BookTubery | Wordcraft

I think the first thing that cemented into my mind that I could be a writer was my slog through NaNoWriMo 2012. Sure I’d written stories before that, but it was this exercise of writing everyday that made me realize that writing was something I could do. It wasn’t easy though. I had to make it part of my routine. I kind of had to come out as a writer and tell my friends that I couldn’t beat them at board games that day because I hadn’t hit my word count. Being productive in spite of distractions was one of the big hurdles. Not giving up despite being desperately tired and frustrated at times was hard, but there was hope on the way!

While I was struggling with my word count and giving my teeth a healthy amber sheen from caffeinated beverages, BookTuber Katytastic was hitting 1667 and motivating WriMoers with daily vlogs. In keeping with this week’s theme of being lazy, missing deadlines, and using TV as a source of inspiration, todays recommendation for all y’all readers and writers, is to subscribe to Katytastic’s channel. Especially if you like book recommendations and light sass.

The thing I like about the BookTubers, is that like WriMoers, they’ve built a community. They support each other, make suggestions a about resources and are pretty entertaining most of the time. Just don’t fall down the rabbit hole of watching too many vlogs, they’ll rot your brain and eat up your writing time…

Not familiar with BookTube? Check out this excellent overview from Book Riot with suggestions on who else you might want to check out. If you are familiar, who are you watching (and who should I be watching)?

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.

~Stephen King

10,000-Hour Rule: it basically takes 10,000 hours of practice before you’re able to do anything at an “expert” level, which is what you need to be able to do to be successfully published.

~Brent Hartinger

My husband will tell you that apart from my compulsion to spend hours collecting every possible knick-knack in an RPG I also spend too much time reading/writing. No that’s not quite right. I do read a lot and I do write a lot. Unfortunately most of the writing I do is second guessed and deleted. Continue reading

When people find out that I’ve written a novel, (or at least two drafts of it) they do two things. First, they congratulate me saying how cool it is that I’ve written a novel. I tell them thanks and then because I can’t take a compliment, I hide behind the nearest grown-up’s legs.

The second thing that people do is ask me if I’m going to publish it.

Now, I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to be a published author. From the moment I hit my word count quota during NaNoWriMo in 2012 I daydreamed about finally, maybe getting published. To be honest, the dream was nice, but unproductive (see Mirror of Erised). It got in the way. Instead of committing my novel to the page, I was distracted with thoughts that one day I would be a published author. I’d wave, delicate as the queen from the top of the stairs while a herald shouted my name to adoring fans. There would be confetti and revelry and…

It was all an illusion. It’s a nice place to visit, but as far as distractions go, it’s about as productive as coming up with a clever metaphor here. I focused and finished the first draft. Once the daunting task of fixing that hot mess appeared, I started actively distracting myself with information on how to get published. Would I self-publish because e-readers have really lowered the barriers to authors? Perhaps, but there’s something about the majesty of being an honest to goodness traditionally published author with my name on a book in a bookstore and everything. I wanted to try.

I soon found that having your novel published is a completely other world than the wonderfully naive world of writing your first novel. I started reading terms like “unsolicited manuscript” or “form rejection” and couldn’t wait to find out what they meant. Shorthand like SASE, STFU and GTFO enticed me to read on.

I reverse engineered an understanding of how to get my novel published. It involved from what I understand, writing a novel worth publishing (but let’s not talk about that) and then submitting it to literary agents who will champion it to publishers. It was really heartening to see that I wasn’t alone either, there were millions of other books out there trying to get published! Surely the process would be streamlined to accommodate all these books.

Unfotrunately convincing a stranger to invest in your book takes effort that my millennial brain couldn’t understand. However I’ve kept looking for resources to help me query and found Query Shark. This snarky, anthropomorphic shark offers to critique your query letters (and will eat you if you don’t follow guidelines). There are 200+ query letters, critiques, and revisions available and I highly recommend reading it even if you aren’t planning on querying anytime soon. They give you insights on how to pretend to be an author (until you actually are an author).

I’m aware that it’s Thursday when this was published but I was super crazy busy this past week so I wasn’t able finish this in time.

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story

~Terry Pratchett

(h/t to Jodie)

I was coming home from my epic weekend where I was writing the second draft of my novel. As I emerged, delirious from my 13 hours a day for three days writing binge, I saw this quote. It was delightfully serendipitous.