In QUESO You Missed It
Hey, Friends! Sorry it’s been a couple of weeks. My book launch and unofficial pre-launch were AMAZING and surreal and WOW. Just WOW!
You all have been super fabulous in purchasing my book and wanting signed copies. I’ve signed 201 books so far (plus additional drive-by signings of books people bought it online)! Thank you for posting on social and sending me messages of support. It makes me feel like it was the right time to put my book out there! Forever grateful, y’all!
When I first sat down to write “The Project” in my mid-20s, I wrote one page after several hours because I backspaced and rewrote sentence after sentence. I fussed with each word, wanting it to sound perfect in case someone was reading it over my shoulder. I focused so much on my perception of perfection that I didn’t get anywhere. I felt defeated. How could I write a whole book if I can’t get past one page?
Then, I heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) from a friend (shout out to Tish Titus!) who was doing her medical residency AND writing a book during NaNoWriMo. I thought, if she can do it and go to med school, what excuses do I have?! I looked into NaNoWriMo, but then procrastinated some more (aka fear of failure).
In 2005, I first participated in NaNoWriMo and “The Project” was born. Ya know that saying about “if you want something done, give it to the busy person”? That is so true for me. I decided to finally write my a novel when my first born, Chet, was nearly a year old (he’ll be 16 in 10 days!) and when I had a busy, full-time career writing grant proposals. Insert palm to face.
NaNoWriMo happens every November. Participants around the world challenge themselves to write 50K words (roughly 150 pages or a short novel) starting November 1st and ending November 30th. That’s 1,667 words per day. If you complete 50K words, you are considered a “winner”.
This “contest” was exactly what I needed to get me over myself and my fear that I was going to suck. Because, guess what? Every first draft written in one month pretty much sucks. Having only 30 days to write a novel, made me crank out my story. I didn’t have time to self edit. The biggest hurdle I hear from other writers is just getting the story out. Without words on paper, there’s nothing to edit and there’s nothing to publish.
Since 2005, I’ve written four other novels during NaNoWriMo. I found an approach to get me out of my own way!
Stacey’s Suggestion: Check out NaNoWriMo - https://nanowrimo.org/. They have other writing “contests” like “summer camps” (with shorter word counts) and a young writers’ program if you have youngsters that have a knack for writing. If you always wanted to write or know someone who has talked about it, check into NaNoWriMo. If you want to get started now, create your own month-long contest. January is a great time to start fresh and you get an extra day in January to write than in November! Write On, Friends!
Thanks for stopping by! Check back for more of my path to publishing. Sign up for my future newsletter under “Contact”. If you want to email me directly, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you!
Photo cred (signing book): Erin Farrens
Photo cred (me writing in a bog like I always do. ha!): Sara J. Tyler Photography