Category Archives: Goals and Resolutions

NaNoWriMo Day 19: Some Reflections

 

  • Current word count: 18,715. Aiming for 20k before this day is over.
  • I will never again attempt NaNoWriMo knowing I have a book release pending on Cyber Monday. Now I’m falling behind on two different but equally important writing projects. (Or, perhaps I should just not plan a book release during November so I can participate in NaNoWriMo.)
  • Migraine headaches have reared their ugly heads which also has affected my progress.
  • As I near the end of this story, it is most likely NOT going to be 50k. It’s predecessor in the series (Prophecy Revealed) is not that long either. Not that I won’t write 50K…I’ll just start book 3 of the series when book 2 is completed.
  • The Essential Clannad CD has been my soundtrack for working on this project. I wish I could use their music for the trailer, but I’ll have to find something comparable to the mood, and feel of their music on incompetech.com.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Corithian Saga, creativity, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Writing, Goals and Resolutions, music, Nanowrimo, New Release, Novel Writing, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, stumbling blocks, writing

New Years Resolutions 2014

1. Write one full poem per day, any style any subject.
2. Read at least 5 pages per day, fiction.
3. Read at least 5 pages per day non-fiction.
4. Apply for at least one freelance job per day.
5. Write at least 2,000 words a day of fiction.
6. Complete all unfinished writing projects.
7. Publish a new ebook (poetry or fiction) every 2-3 months.
8. Submit something to a trad pub (maybe small press), agent, or contest every 6 months.
9. Have a full day write-in (or write-a-thon) one day per month.
10. Stick to all my deadlines, no matter what.

1 Comment

Filed under creativity, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-publishing/indie publishing, Staying focused, time management, web design, writing

Ten Reasons Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo This year…

There are a lot of “Non-Nano” and “Nan-Not” post out here in the blogging world…

I just thought I’d add my two cents and state why I decided to give it a try again this year. Specifically, my own personal reasons for doing nano…and why I think I really need to at this time.

1. Why not? Since I’ve been laid off from my day job I have plenty of time on my hands. Lord knows it’s a better time waster than playing Angry Birds, Temple Run, etc. 😉

2. Self-esteem. Finishing my writing project on time aka “winning” Nano will give me a sense of accomplishment and boost my self-esteem, which I really need right now.

3. Self-discipline. I tend to start writing projects and not finish them. And, as of late I haven’t been disciplining myself to sit my butt in the chair and write for at least 3-4 hours. Participating in nano will help me do this, stop me from chasing after the next “shinny thing” because I have a goal with a deadline, and need to stick to it.

4. Freeing my creativity. The need to just sit, and let my mind flow…let the words flow.

5. My sanity! Good Lord, yes! The need to pour out my emotions in text format, use writing as a way to deal with things that frustrate me…Yeah. And, with Nano’s “rule” of not worrying about making it perfect I can do just that. If I get mad at somebody I can have my protagonist fictionally kill them. LOL

6. Forming good habits. Good writing habits, that is. When I wrote Wishful Thinking it was for Nanowrimo 2007, and the habit of writing every day lasted long, long past november. True, I did worry more about the rules of mechanics, punctuation, grammar, syntax, and style…but I kept up the good habit of writing daily, having a monthy and daily word count goal and a need to finish what I started.

As Og Mandino wrote, “I will form good habits, and become their slave.”

7. It’s fun. Simple as that.

8. Writing every day makes you a better writer, as does reading every day.

9. It will make me a better editor too. When this draft is finished, and after it sits for a while unnoticed, I will have my work cut out for me for sure! I will have a ton of revisions to tackle, from correcting misspellings and typos due to writing in a rush, fix my plot holes, add dialogue, etc…and then the fun stuff. Grammar. Punctuation. Spelling. Style. Syntax. Mechanics. Come January, I will have just as much practice doing all of that work as the work I am doing writing now. Thus, my skills will be sharpened.

10. When all is said and done, I will have added a great new body of work to my repertoire. And, I can do what I chose with it, polish it up to send to a publisher or have final edits done by an affordable editor, and publish it myself. 😉 You can never read or write too many books. 😉

The more you write, the more likely you are to become successful…So why not Nano?

Write with pride,
~K Crumley

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, creativity, day job, Fantasy Fiction, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-publishing/indie publishing, Staying focused, time management, time wasters, writing

Why I don’t Write Book Reviews

As some of you may remember, I used to do blog posts known as “Friday Five”. I would feature 5 titles from a specific genre each friday. Many of these titles were indie/self-published.

I would simply post the cover, blurb, and amazon/bn/smashword links. No one book got special treatment over any other.

While I was requesting for people to email me their info about said books, if they wanted me to include them, I started getting requests for all kinds of things from book reviews to author interviews, etc. THIS was not my intention…

It was not about reviewing and rating books, merely about spreading the word.

Plus, At the time I was working 40-50 hours/week at my dayjob, still editing and publishing Full Armor Magazine, 2 plus writing my own books and poetry, and apartment hunting. Something had to give…
(To make matters worse, I was suffering from colitis).

I was completely overwhelmed, and took a brief blog hiatus. When I began to blog again I ceased the inclusion of Friday Five. It was just too hard to fit that into my schedule. And, although I regretted dropping Friday Five for many reasons, I was relieved that I was no longer getting requests for reviews, etc.

Which brings me to my point:

It’s often debated whether we authors should or shouldn’t review each other’s works.
I’ve heard and considered arguments from both sides of the fence, and found that I can only speak for myself.

Here are the real reasons why I won’t review any book, indie or traditionally published (at least not in any public forum).

Time management. Between my crappy part-time day job, online courses through the Art Institute, Freelance web design work, writing my own books, and everything that indie publishing entails…I simply do not have the time. I wish that I did, but I don’t. Book reviews should not be written in an off-hand, casual manner. They should be written with a lot of thought, and by someone who sincerely enjoys doing them. Dare I say it, by someone who feels it’s their duty to do them. That is not me. Which brings me to my next point.

I don’t want to be known as a book reviewer, or even a reviewer/author. I just don’t think it’s a hat that I want to wear; even as a dual career of author/reviewer. I already proudly wear the dual hats of web designer/author. I don’t want to divide my goals any further as far as writing and editing, etc.

The Quid Pro Quo/Eye for an Eye Scenarios I avoid these scenarios at all cost. If we agree to review each other’s books in a sort of partnership, we foster the scoffer’s thinking that we are a “mutual back-patting society.” If we bash each others books, we risk being scorned and/or having the other author (or their fans) retaliate.

These are just some of my feelings on the matter. For more insight on this issue check out Kristen Lamb’s Blog!

Also, I’d love to hear your take on things…
Agree or disagree?

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, Blog Hiatus, changes, competitiveness, day job, Friday Five, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, internet, Recommendations, Reviews and Reviewers, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-publishing/indie publishing, Staying focused, stumbling blocks, time management, Uncategorized, web design, writing

New Words to Live (and Write) By.

~When you give up, and when you quit you are letting the haters win.~

~The road to success is made of many small steps, rather than one giant leap.~

~One word at a time…One word at a time…One word at a time…~

~Writer’s block is the result of under-confidence, rather than not having anything to write about. Take a break, and write a list of top 10 things you can do, or the achievements you are most proud of…If you come up with ten (or more!) Start writing again.~

~Don’t let anybody tell you “You can’t…” they’re probably only saying that because they can’t.~

~To paragraph John Lennon, “(Writing) is everybody’s business…it’s only the publishers that think THEY own it.” ~

~Don’t let anybody tell you “But no one wants to read about ____________.” How do they know? People tend to make grandiose statements, and speak for everyone else when they really only should speak for themselves. Nobody should ever speak for all of the readers in the world–people’s tastes vary when it comes to art. Tell your own story the way you want to tell it. Be true to yourself and to your artistic abilities.~

~Surround yourself with positive people. Let them lift you up. Listen to only positive thinkers. The “Negative Nellies” will drag you down if you let them.~

~Chose your mentors wisely. Foolish people will claim themselves as experts even if they’ve only done one thing right their whole life. The internet is full of “self-proclaimed experts” and less than 25% of them actually know what they’re talking about and/or are worth listening to. (there’s a whole separate blog post on this topic next week). What may work well for some may not be the right path for you. Look at the most successful people, take ONE thing they have done and try that out…Talk to educators (real educators) in the field, and get feedback ONLY from people you trust and respect. Again, chose your mentors wisely. ~

~Time is valuable. Take any spare moment you have and WRITE.~

~Read every day. Read mostly in your own genre, but read anything that interests you. Read non-fiction as well as fiction. Read good books, and even skim through bad books. Be a critical thinker and reader. What you like and don’t like about the work of others can help you make critical decisions about your own works, your own storytelling, and style.~

~CONFIDENCE is about more than reading a bad book and saying “I can write a better book than that.” CONFIDENCE is reading a great book, and saying “I can write a book as good or better than this one!”~

~Don’t pigeonhole yourself. We tend to do that with genre, and even with style. So many authors (and soon-to-be authors) go around saying “I only write paranormal romance,” or “I only write literary fiction,” when we should feel free to expand. If your muse is guiding you toward horror, don’t ignore it. If there’s a poem on your heart, write it down. If you don’t want to be known for doing “XYZ thing” then use a pen name, but by all means free that creativity! Maybe you can incorporate it into your own writing somehow, or do a side project…or write some stuff just to write it, without publication. Do not ignore your muse.~

~Formula fiction is a lot like filling out “Mad Libs.” I avoid it at all cost.~

~ The market is fickle. A few years ago we were mesmerized by a boy wizard, then it was vampire love stories, and now the trend is distopia… But epic fantasy has never really gone away, nor has romance, or mystery. As I’ve said before, don’t chase trends, don’t write for the market. Write what YOU want to write, and your books will be more likely to stand the test of time.~

~Feedback is vital, but don’t let your manuscript dwell in the “feedback basement.” That’s when you’re so afraid (or insecure) about your current project that you are trapped in the feedback/revise/feedback/revise/feedback/revise treadmill. At some point, your story is good enough and publish/submit worthy. Have the confidence and knowledge to know (yourself) when that is without relying on someone to TELL YOU when that is.~

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, changes, competitiveness, creativity, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, industry news, internet, Poetry, Recommendations, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-publishing/indie publishing, Staying focused, stumbling blocks, time management, time wasters, Uncategorized, writing

V. I Will Live This Day As If It Is My Last. (part I)

I will live this day as if it is my last.
I will finish this book/this chapter/this rewrite today rather than postpone it for tomorrow.

In short, I will do today’s work TODAY.
Tomorrow’s work belongs to tomorrow.

No longer will I procrastinate, especially with my writing.

Procrastination is another bad habit of mine that I have no choice but to break if I even hope to gain success.

“I will form good habits and become their slaves.”

You never know what tomorrow may bring…
You could wake up in the morning, and be too sick to work on your current project(s).
A storm could knock the power out, and you’d be relying on very little battery juice left in your laptop/tablet/phone.
The internet could be down…
Any number of things could happen that would interfere with your writing/productivity time.

Therefore, we must do what we can to take advantage of every spare moment we have TODAY. Carpe Diem!

Carpe Diem!  Gather ye Rosebuds While Ye May!

Carpe Diem! Gather ye Rosebuds While Ye May!

Take advantage of every spare moment that you have today! Every moment of peace and quiet is writing time, productivity time, and study time. Every uninterrupted second I will put toward work, and work joyfully.

I will treat each day in this matter.

For tomorrow is it’s own new day, and will be full of its own work and accomplishments.

Seize the Day! Live each day as if it is your last.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, changes, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Recommendations, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, stumbling blocks, time management, time wasters, Uncategorized, writing

II. I Will Greet Each Day With Love in my Heart.

Why do I write?
More specifically why do I pursuit a career in writing fiction?

Am I in it to get rich and famous? Maybe even be dubbed the next J.K. Rowling? Nice dreams…but no. That is not why I write.

Quite simply, I write because I love it. I love to write, and am in love with the whole process of writing and publishing from beginning to end. It is my passion.

A very wise woman who I respect, and fellow writer and poet once told me “You have to love what you do for a living…”
And she is right. I’ve had a lot of unpleasant jobs with bad career decisions, and have learned to steer clear of those. A day job (especially for a writer) is a necessity, but the more pleasant a day job you have the better off you are.
I like retail, and have really enjoyed retail loss prevention…
But more than that, I love writing.

As I focus now (more so than ever) on making writing my full time career, I am writing with a new fervor each day for minimum 2 hours…and before I know it those 2 hours have become 4…then 5.

I Start each day doing something that I love.

And, it has changed my attitude and outlook for the better.
Suddenly, I don’t mind the rest of my tasks so much.

Dishes, laundry, even Algebra homework. 😉

And when I’m all done with my other daily tasks, I just might find time to write again.

Start every day with love in your heart.
Do something that you love,
Spend time with someone that you love…

And the rest of the day will seem that much brighter. 🙂

~K. Crumley

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, creativity, day job, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Great Reads, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, time management, Uncategorized, writing

I. Today I Begin a New Life.

“Failure will no longer be my payment for struggle.”
Here starts the first of my blog posts inspired by one of my favorite books, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it…

I’ve really felt the need to re-read this book, considering that my writing career has been on a downward spiral due to procrastination, lack of confidence, and paralyzing insecurities. Let alone the lack of marketing (which I think correlates to my lack of confidence, as well as my lack of money.)

Sometimes you just need to start fresh.

This is that time for me.
Do things differently–do things better. Put my days of mediocrity behind me; start anew.

It’s never too late to start fresh.

It’s not–and never shall be–too late to revive and resurrect my writing career. It’s never too late to breathe new life into old stories, long neglected and half-written on my laptop’s hard drive and on my flash drives. It’s never too late to do things better the next time, with the next book and the book(s) after that. Nor is it too late to set new goals, and work toward achieving them.

I will start by forming good habits and becoming their slaves as the first scroll instructs.

For example, getting up each morning and writing at least 2,000 words. I will make that part of my daily agenda, and will no longer slack off in doing so.

Also, I have already formed a good habit of reading each night; craft books in addition to books in my genre of Fantasy.

This is my pledge to myself, and to my writing.

I challenge you all to do the same…make a new good habit, and stick to it. Whatever that habit may be…And whatever goals you may have in your life, I wish you all luck in reaching them. 🙂

I hope you continue to read the rest of the blog posts in this series, and appreciate those of you that follow this blog.

~K. Crumley

Leave a comment

Filed under changes, creativity, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Great Reads, Recommendations, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, Uncategorized, writing

What a stupid question…

You know, I really hate when people say “are you working hard or hardly working?” It’s not funny…it’s almost insulting. It’s like people want to hear you say you’re doing bad…so they can feel better about how they are doing. And, they use that cliché little jibe to cover their true intentions.
Alright, alright. I know it’s really an old joke, and maybe my recent job situation has just made me oversensitive. But, I have always hated that expression, and never found it amusing.
However, I have the perfect comeback…sad to say, it is actually true.
So, from now on when people ask me “Hey, Karen! Are you working hard or hardly working?”
My retort will be,
“Hm. Let’s see…I’ve got two novellas nearly completed; each part of two different fantasy series. I also have a poetry anthology to be released, a new short story, and a Young Readers adventure series on the back burner. I also just started a new epic fantasy series for NaNoWriMo…all while working a new full-time retail loss prevention job, and going to school online for Web Design. *deep breath*
Does that answer your question…?”

But maybe the late, great Donna Summers said it best…

Writing is hard work, especially working on multiple projects at once.
My day job is mentally and physically exhausting. Plus, going to school online…?
I just wish the world would slow down a little bit…

I also wish that people wouldn’t ask such a stupid, unfunny question.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, changes, day job, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, nuisances, pet peeves, schedules, time management, Uncategorized, web design, writing

Playing Hardball with Myself: Writing and Self-discipline

I need to re-dedicate myself to my writing, and my writing related goals. To do this, I need to discipline myself. It can be hard with my new job, new class schedule, and other demands that accompany the holiday season. Still, I have to make every effort to get myself to where I need to be right now with current projects (there are many), New releases (hopefully soon), and (hopefully) sales.

I am at a time and place right now in my life which is perfect for me to set my sights on new goals, dedicate more time to writing, and focus on the publishing process from beginning to end. However, I lack self-discipline.

I have realized there comes a time to play hard-ball, and make myself stick to a solid writing schedule as well as new release dates. Now those release dates can be flexible…but not to the point where I’m letting a whole year (or years) slip by as I have done in the recent past. I have to stick to some kind of “grace period” of no longer than 3-4 months from my intended release date(s).

I’ll be posting release dates soon, as I work out the schedule and details.

For those of you patiently for Charmed Lives (sequel to Wishful Thinking), I assure you I will be working to make the next 3 titles available ASAP. And, I appreciate you as readers. 🙂

~K. Crumley

1 Comment

Filed under authors, changes, creativity, Daughters of Oberia, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-publishing/indie publishing, Staying focused, stumbling blocks, time management, Uncategorized, Wishful Thinking, writing