Nancy: It’s the End of the Year As We Know It

Happy-New-Year-2016Is it just me, or was 2016 a terrible horrible no good very bad year? We had Brexit and the US election; ’nuff said. Then there were the deaths of icons: David Bowie, Prince, Keith Emerson, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder. Things felt strange on the good days, bleak on the not-so-good-days. On the personal front, I fought through the day job from hell and dealt with a minor but weird medical issue that culminated in surgery.

But in good times or in bad – perhaps especially in bad – writers need to write. We do it to save our sanity and maybe even to save the world. As Donald Maass told the group gathered at the UnConference I attended in early November, the world needs our stories now more than ever. So if 2016 is our inciting incident and writing is our call to action, where are you in your story quest?

Looking back at January 2016 (was it really just a year ago? really???), I was facing months of a crazy day job with impossible deadlines and terrible hours. I anticipated that would mean less time for writing, and unfortunately I was so, so right. But this year I set different goals than in previous years, goals that were not about word counts and finishing multiple stories, but about joie d’ecriture. Now almost 12 months later, it’s time to analyze the results and fess up to how well I did or didn’t fare. Continue reading

Nancy: Joie D’Ecriture – January Edition

Happy-New-Year-2016Last month, I told you about my goals – small, attainable goals – to recapture joy of writing, story, and life. So with one month down, it’s time for me to report on my progress.

Learn something new everyday and make connections to story. When I started on my path to joie d’ecriture, I’d tried to spend some time at the end of each week remembering what I’d learned. As it turned out, I was typically too mentally exhausted to actually come up with anything. So I started using the notebook I always have with me (you know writers and notebooks) to jot down something I learned every day. Continue reading

Nancy: Ready, Set, Goal!

Happy-New-Year-2016See that picture, that one there, to the left? Notice that beach peeking out through the numbers? Yeah, that beach is where I want to be right now, as the temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic finally plummet to more seasonal levels (sub-30° F). In fact, that beach, assuming it comes with tropical drinks and a pool with a waterslide, is where I want to spend all of 2016. There I could write my little heart out and meet, nay, surpass all my 2016 writing goals.

Alas, that beach is not where I am or where I will be. So I’m going to have to achieve my goals the old-fashioned way – through planning, tracking, and working around all the life stuff. If you’re not hiding out on a tropical beach for the remainder of the year, you might be in the same sad, ramshackle, beachless boat as I am. Hopefully, you’ve already set your goals. If you haven’t, or even if you have but you need help refining or tracking them, I’ve got you covered. We, with some help from the wider blogosphere, can get through this together. (And if all else fails, I have a frozen margarita maker we can use to make those tropical drinks.)

Aligning Goals to Your Publishing Path

We’ve talked many times on the blog about traditional publishing. The most common way to do it Continue reading