How's NaNoRiMo Going, You ask? Look at this--------------->

Well as you can see by the meter in my side bar, it's safe to say that NaNoRiMo is NOT going anywhere for me. I could give you all kinds of excuses as to why I'm not writing much, but frankly it comes down to letting stress interfere with my writing.

Anyone out there got an Amen for me?

When it's going good, it's great! When it's going bad... it sucks! Unfortunately, this has been a year where I have struggled to write more than other years. It's become hard to put the words on the page and it has more to do with my stress level than with anything else.

We all have stress, but for some this means that your mind and body shut down, especially if there is major worry involved. Our brains go into a survival mode and we function on on-dimensional level. This isn't good if you are trying to create stories out of your imagination. This is the holidays. Many writers have a hard time trying to fit in their writing around family committments and the multitude of other things that draw your attention away.

For me, I need to make a renewed commitment to the Nano project. It's a good one and it isn't the content that's holding me back. It's complete and utter worry that has stagnated me. I'm hoping that this week will change that I can get the household back on an even keel. I've still got 20 days to pull my butt out of the fire and get the pages done. I've done more, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make it. I'll just set another goal.

To those of you toiling away on your NaNoRiMo goals I have only the best wishes for you! I hope you accomplish and even exceed all the goals you've set. I'll be cheering you on.

Best wishes to all,

Reality of Being a Writer (Author): Part 2

Not long ago I posted on an article that Jessica Jewett wrote about the Reality of Being a Writer where I address the myth that writers make a ton of money and live in mansions and travel to exotic places and... well, you get the idea. But the reality is that I have yet to meet more than 2 or 3 writers who can afford this kind of lifestyle.

Another reality is that being a writer and being an Writer (note: the title case), especially one that is published, are two very different animals.
But I wrote a book? I'm a writer! I used to think that there was no difference between claimed the title of "Writer" or "Author" when you are writing and actually having a book published. I hated the distinction of "Pre-Pubbed" or "Aspiring" and frankly thought that those pegging me with the titles could just go away. Permanently. However, I was unpublished, at the time. Now, when I look at it I find that the distinction isn't really between writing and being published. The distinction is really between writing sporadically with hope for publication and actively working toward a goal of publication... again, again, and again. And, the reality is that once you are published this widening distance doesn't diminish, especially in light of the tightening traditional markets and the boom of the Indie Pubbing trend.

I've published three books and written twice as many. I actively seek publication from the traditional publishers and I actively publish as an Indie Pubber. The IRS has qualifications for claiming it on your taxes. They want to be sure that you are actively pursuing your work. So, why shouldn't we demand the same from ourselves. I didn't start claiming taxes on my writing until I published OBSIDIAN and THREE TRUTHS. I believe the IRS says that you should go no more than three years without an income from your pursuit. (it may be 5 years. I'm trying not to focus on taxes at the moment.) They will also allow you to continue if you can prove that this is a day to day endeavor. You've done the professional thing and kept records and logs and rejection letters (yes, those count since they prove dedication to publishing). But the thing is that I went over 12 years without a sale. 12 years. That's a long time, even when it's not dog years.

I know that there are a few people who may not like what I'm saying. It really comes down to intention. Even before publication there is a vast horizon filled with people who are a differing stages of their writing career and dedication. The reality is that I've been around this profession for 18 years and I've seen just as many who are actively working toward publication as I've seen those who write because they like the idea of being a writer.

I'll give you another example that isn't writing related, but it does speak to what I'm trying to say. A few years back I was approached about being involved with the local Ghost Hunting group, Maine Ghost Hunters. I really wanted to do this, but I had reservations about whether I could give it a full measure of commitment. After all, I was already working a full time job, writing and had a child that was soon to be graduating. I joined because I wanted to be a part of it, but I also joined knowing that if the time came and I was unable to give it all I had then I needed to step away. I was heartbroken when that time came, but I needed to step away. I couldn't keep up the pace or the commitment and it wasn't fair to those around me. I still miss it, but that's reality.

There are some who will whole-heartedly disagree with me. I wouldn't have liked my stand any better just 10 years ago. But I can also see it from the perspective I'm at currently. I'm not a NYT author. I'm not a even a top 100 writer. But I am a "Writer" actively pursuing my writing.

In the end, you can join every group out there. You can go to every conference and workshop and even write a book, but just how committed to the goal of being a "Writer" are you?

Coming in November to eBook! OBSIDIAN


"OBSIDIAN is a terrific combination of romance and suspense. Teagan Oliver knows how to keep her readers turning the pages!" -- Tess Gerritsen, author of LAST TO DIE: A RIZZOLI AND ISLES NOVEL

"Tangled mystery and touching romance--it doesn't get any better than OBSIDIAN. I couldn't put it down." -- Susan Vaughan, author of PRIMAL OBSESSION.

When a boat explosion kills his best friend, U.S.Coast Guard Officer Jamie Rivard is lured into investigating the connection between his death and an undercover smuggling operation off the coast Maine. But going back to Maine means coming to terms with his brother's death while guarding his heart from a beautiful widow with troubles of her own.

Shelby Teague knows the risks of making a living from the ocean. When her brother disappears while diving, Shelby must overcome her fears and trust in a stranger with a few secrets of his own in order to get her brother back.

Together, Shelby and Jamie must race against a coming storm as they begin to realize that no matter how far or fast you run from your past, you can never outrun your heart.

If It's November, I Must Be Crazy...

I really had no intention of jumping on board this ship. The NaNoWriMo is a month long challenge that involves 30 days of writing, a goal of 50,000 words and over 300,000 writers from all over who are crazy enough to join in.

The idea is really very simple. Get the words on the page. No matter how you do it, get them down. No editing. No revising. Just put your butt in the chair and write. Sounds scary, but if you break it down it's only about 7 pages a day. There is also the idea that in order for form a commitment to making something a habit you need to practice it continually for 20(or something) days. I remember that from a lecture I went to once, but the idea rang true. Want to make something stick. Do it every day. Of course, that would be why the diet and the exercise have been spotty at best. But the writing? That's the one thing I always come back to. In fact, without writing it can feel akin to not being able to breathe. I need it.

So, for a month you will be seeing me making periodic updates on my progress. I'm working on a totally new project (something they encourage). This is a gaslight steampunk set in an alternate history New York City and contains some interesting characters that have been bugging me to write their stories. There are also a few more notable or recognizable names that just might show up for the ride. I love me some good history and the more strange the better. Definitely plan on adding some of that into the mix. The working title is Unwilling Allegiance and I'll post below the short blurb I wrote for the project. Let me know what you think.

When a iron clad warrior washes up on the shores of the Independent New York, Trevor McFane knows that even the iron fortress walls separating the city can't hold back the war going on in the fallen colonies beyond the waters. Not even the unsteady allegiance with a overbearing, manipulative Russian bear of a man named Stroiigard can assure that he will be safe. Already the members of the Tinker Society are disappearing and the only link he can find is to an elusive psychic holding court at Barnum's Museum. But he isn't the only one looking for Madam Petrov. India James, with her shock of white hair and widows garb is as unusual as the other participants, but her wealth of knowledge and astute accuracy with weaponry make her an unlikely partner. India is in search of a legend, the fable key to the Crystal City and she isn't about to let some overbearing, suit, no matter how intelligent he is, get in the way of finding the artifact that will release her parent's souls.

Joining the masses who will be taking the NaNoWriMo Challenge? Post me a message and let me know how you are faring and what your project will be. I'd love to buddy up and help cheer us all on to victory.

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