NaNoWriMo: Encouragement For the Weeks Ahead

*Originally Published on I Came For The Soup… November 6, 2017

The first week of NaNoWriMo is behind us with many more blessedly ahead. Some of you have achieved your daily writing and creative goals while others may have missed your designated marks shy of a few words.

No worries. You will achieve your goal if you stick with it. Consider the first week of NaNo as your glorious warm up.

The fact still remains that when we set out with a great goal and miss our intended marks at the very start, we tend to lose momentum or even the courage to continue. Our plans seem not to be as ‘plausible’ as they were before…and then we drift…staring at our computer screens too afraid to make music by clicking the keys of our keyboards.

Can we really do this? Can we conquer our vision for NaNoWriMo? Everyone else around us seems to be doing just fine.

I would like to take this time to give you a bit of creative advice especially in moments when our creativity seems to get the best of us and cause knots to form in our bellies as well as our creative thoughts.

MY ADVICE AS YOU PRESS AHEAD

  1. My advice to you is to simply breathe: We as humans, have this tendency to back ourselves into corners of overwhelm. Our overwhelm is sometimes the result of negative imaginings that have nothing to do with the truth. If you feel yourself going there, take some deep breaths and reclaim your thoughts with calm.
  2. Take pauses when you need to. Take a few steps back if you are feeling overwhelmed: Some of the best solutions to our roadblocks are creating gaps by stepping away from the problem. By doing so, we are able to see what is before us from a different vantage point and gain other solutions. By stepping back from your nano project, you are able to reclaim the joy of the writing adventure by seeing it for what it is, an adventure!
  3. See other Creatives as community not competition: Sometimes when we are racing toward a finish line we tend to turn our eyes and focus on those around us. Let’s make it a point to no longer see other creatives as competition but community.

Be encouraged by what your neighbor has done and take hope in knowing that you can do it too but in your own unique way.

Don’t give up! There are several full weeks left ahead. Keep your focus, keep your peace, and keep writing!

“We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” ~HENRY JAMES

 

How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 3 of Countdown)

Tip 3. SET A DAILY WORD COUNT GOAL!

Setting a daily word count goal is such a helpful thing because it gives you a window or a destination for creative breaks.  If you start NaNoWriMo with the goal of 50,000 words, you run the risk of seeing a never-ending tunnel that just keeps getting longer no matter how fast, hard or far you run.tunnel

Do the math and add on from there. It requires a minimum of 1,666 words typed each day in order to reach 50,000 words by close of November 30th.

I suggest aiming for a higher word count goal for each day but with a cushion for a minimum. If you are already a writer you know that even with set goals, life happens and you may not get to write a single word at all.

WHAT DID I DO?

I scheduled my writing into two sessions a day. In the morning I would write for about 2 to 3 hours with a goal of 2,000 to 3,000 words in that session. And then in the evening, I would write again with a word count goal of 1,500 to 2,000 words.

With roughly 5,000 words written each day, this left me wiggle room for the days where “life” interrupted my flow and meant that I had managed enough words to be closer to 50,000.

Perfect example. The first year I attempted to write a novel in 30 days, I used this model of word count. Things went very well for most of the month but then my neighborhood lost power (as did most of the city due to bad storms. The electricity was out FOR A WEEK!

I had to literally write by candlelight and by hand.

Glad to say that I did make well over novel statues by the end of 30 days and even finished the entire manuscript by close of day 96. (That novel will be available WINTER/SPRING 2020. Click HERE for DETAILS.) But because I had managed to work in 5,000 words a day I had afforded myself that cushion for when life took over.

So if you are keeping up, here are the refreshers with my advice:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest reader’s eye, and give you feedback. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 3. Set a daily word count goal that you can manage.

BONUS: Check out my debut novel, NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, my first published piece born from a 30-day writing marathon like NaNoWriMo, both in eBook and Paperback.

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eBOOK AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~LOUIS L’AMOUR

3 Reasons to Write That Novel: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

I believe that everyone at some point in their life journey has made the statement, “I think I should write a book.” While many have said it, very few have actually embarked on the actually journey when you think about it in terms of the ratio of ‘said’ versus ‘done’.

Now, having completed several tomes myself and published my first novel, Nexus Gate 4307: The Animal, currently available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.com, I have to admit that writing a novel from start to finish isn’t the easiest thing to do BUT it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us make it out to be.

Most of what causes the process to be difficult are:

  • Over-thinking: Rather than letting your creativity guide you and dance with your imaginative muse, you think the story into knots to the point that you ware yourself out even before you’ve even begun the actual writing process.
  • Lack of confidence: You put too much stock in what others will think of your creative work and often assume what they will think will be negative.
  • Perfectionism: You concern yourself with the idea of the ‘finished product’ and expect perfection from a work in progress when the first several drafts are actually just your beginning stages.
  • Thinking its already been done before/ Someone took your idea: You choose not to share your spaghetti sauce with others because someone else has already made, marketed, and sold spaghetti sauce…you get the picture.

These four are definitely creativity-killers not just in the world of writing but in the world of doing just about anything that poses a challenge but holds interests to you.

What are the cures to these nasty bugs:

  • Think less, do more: Enjoy the journey and don’t worry so much about the ending destination, especially not in the beginning stages.
  • Believe that trying is worth it even if you ‘fail.’ (Failure is relative.): The joy of simply having accomplished any creative goal is worth pursuing regardless of if you choose to share it with others or not. It simply lets you know that you can.
  • Remember that no matter how sharp we are at our craft there will always be a flaw: There is beauty in imperfection and often where there is imperfection our brains will either appreciate the quirk or fill in the gap. Some of the most highly funded books still have flaws in them.
  • Your idea is unique even if it resembles someone else’s…how many vampire stories are out there? I rest my case…sorta.

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for you to leave the ocean of ‘sayers’ and become part of the flock of ‘doers.’ It’s time for you to WRITE THAT BOOK!

“Many Great Authors began their writing careers in meeting their own imaginative and literary need. Perhaps that ‘book’ you crave to read, but can’t seem to find, rest deep within the soil of your imagination. Perhaps it’s time you begin to bring it to light! Write the book!” ~ Candice Coates

Octavia E. Bulter is a celebrated Science Fiction author. Her success grew from watching what she said was a terrible Science fiction movie and saying to herself that she could write better than that, and you know what? She did.

3 REASONS TO WRITE THE BOOK

1.WHY should you write that book: If a concept has been playing like a movie in your mind for more than a month (or even a week) you should give it life, even if you are the only one to read it.

And don’t worry if you thought up a great storyline only to find that someone else has tried something that seems similar. Here is the reality, many people have shared ideas and they’ve never even discussed them before.

As I said, there are so many vampire novels out there with the undead being in love with the living. Or think about how many mail-order bride romance novels there are. Similar concepts but if you’ve ever read any of these, you would find they are vastly different.

It’s called a niche within a genre.

So write your book because your idea is worth sharing.

2. HOW should you write that book: I recently read a book by Mark Batterson called Chase the Lion. (Great book!) In it, he describes his concept of using the 80/20 rule when it comes to writing. I liked what he had to say BUT I kind of have a similar but different view of it.

Putting it in my own words, 80 percent of finished work is better than 20 percent of daydreaming about it. Daydreaming without any work done will only lead you down a rabbit hole of nothingness where you let in those four creativity-killers.

Let your first draft be just that, a first draft! Go on and misspell a few words, dance over correct grammar, and use ‘to’ in place of ‘two’ too many times. It’s okay. Goodness, even let the plot slip a few times.

Your job during the 80 is to bring the bones and muscle of the story to life. The skin and clothes will come during the rewrites. Yes, there will be rewrites…at least three.

Putting down the words even with the mistakes is HOW YOU WRITE THAT BOOK! You get out the 80 percent and then weave through the 20 percent during second drafts, editing, and beta.

3. WHEN should you write that book: NOVEMBER 1st of ANY YEAR is a great time to write that book or to at least get it started. Why? Because that is NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. Check out the official site here www.nanowrimo.org.

Participating in NaNoWriMo gives you the chance to connect with other like-minded creatives who are running toward the same goal, like a marathon except you are using computers and being pretty sedentary…and probably packing in the calories instead of burning them but that’s beside the point.

The point is you will have a platform to gauge your progress and be encouraged by that of others.

Me, I like to use June as my Novel Writing Month, but any 30-day month will do just to get you started. That is when I finished both Nexus Gate and Warden (coming out Winter 2020).

Just get started. Write that Book! Why? Because it’s in you. How?  By sitting down and doing it. When? Right now is a good time to start!

WRITE THAT BOOK!

If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” ~Beverly Cleary

 

* Revised from original publication on icameforthesoup.com October 26, 2016, by Candice Coates

Indie Publishing Hiccups…and What Not

Hello friends,

Our date for the paperback edition of NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, my debut novel from 2018, goes live on Friday, October 4th! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about all of this even in light of the hiccups I have had in making this work of fiction physically available to you, my readers.

WHAT? WHAT HICCUPS?

So, it appears that somewhere along the lines of formatting and squaring things away for printing, that I ran into some trouble with my ISBN number.

Quick digression. If you are considering going the indie/self-publishing route with your writing, good for you! That is fantastic. Just make sure that you purchase your ISBN numbers form the ONLY legit vendor of ISBN’s in the US and that is Bowker.

Back to the hiccups…

It appears that made the ‘mistake’ of making my book available for mass distribution on Amazon, since that was the first platform I uploaded my novel to, and in so doing, I made my ISBN number unusable for self-publishing on any other platform, namely Barnes & Nobles.

BUMMER!

Now, this could be remedied in a very easy way, and that is for me to use another of my ISBN numbers in order to publish the same book on B&N’s platform.

Allow me to just say that in doing the math, taking not of the royalties I would receive for the same book, which are nearly 50% less than what I would get from Amazon, I have decided to scratch the idea of using another ISBN number on that platform.

Let me be clear though, what has happened to me, was strictly a rookie mistake in that I did not read ALL of the fine print several times over.

NG 3D Front 2The fact is you can use the same ISBN on different self-publishing platforms as long as:

  • The books have the same title
  • The same interior information and formating
    • Page numbers
    • page color type
    • are the same dimensions/ size
  • The same cover

The soup gets a little thick when you allow the book to be released for mass distribution on either platform (I believe) making it unusable on the other.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

Being a person firmly anchored in faith in Christ Jesus, I know that although He didn’t cause this roadblock, that He is more than able and willing to use it for my good! I am expectant that much good will come out of this, that I will gain much valuable knowledge from this specific situation, that will aid me in my next publishing adventure coming WINTER 2020.

As I wait to hear back from B&N for other options available to remedy this current problem, I continue to get things all square on Amazon and explore my other distribution options with other indie retailers.

The goodness in all of this? I don’t know a single person who doesn’t make purchases from Amazon.  So win-win, right?

Right!

So, the party goes on. Paperbacks for all on Friday, October 4th even if they are only available on Amazon.

~Candice, the Genre Jumper

When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles.” ~UNKNOWN

 

*Photo by Water Journal on Unsplash

 

Progress & Publications: Gearing Up for Greater Things

Hello Friends and Fellow Genre Jumpers!

It’s been a long while since I’ve sat down and given you all updates on plans and plottings, happening here in the Novel World of the Genre Jumper. So let’s not delay any further.

First, Debut Novel Business

New NG Back Cover the Animal 1NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL will be available for purchase in SEPTEMBER 2018. I am still in the process of polishing and formatting as well as learning the ins and outs of KDP and other ePublishing platforms. My plan is to have this work of fiction available for download on KINDLE, iBooks, KOBO, B&N, as well as PLAYBOOKS by Google.

I feel confident in saying that once I have gotten past this mountain of first-time-publication, my bookshelf will begin to fill up quickly and hopefully yours as well. This is my prayer and this is my hope.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for future snippets of the book beginning in August.

Other Written Words

Beginning on Thursday, July19th, I will start sharing short stories and other works of fiction that I have called, My Favorite Writes. You will be able to see and read these pieces by simply clicking on the link in my menu.

My Fav Writes Banner

MFWs are exactly what they are called, written bodies of work, ranging from several different genres that I delight to share with you all. Not only is it a way for us to stay creatively connected while I work on publishing longer tomes, but it is a great way for you, the reader, to ease into my writing style and taste the way I serve each genre.

Staying Connected

The best way not to miss a moment in my writing adventure is by staying connected. Following my author site is as easy as clicking “FOLLOW”…seriously, that is all it takes. Just click that big ole button in the side panel to your right and Bob’s your uncle! Once you do that, you will receive an email alert each time I share updates here.

If you are not keen on following that way, you can always get connected on Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram.

There will also be a tried and true EMAIL LIST OPTION COMING SOON, where you can leave your contact information and receive monthly updates about future projects and more.

I am super excited about how my journey is going thus far and being blessed to see my dreams manifest. The greatest part of it all is having you along with me for the ride!

And can I just say that this lady feels AMAZING and BLESSED as she sees her seeds begin to sprout! Super exciting and incredibly blessed!

Thanks for being apart of my Novel World and Genre Jumping journey!

Sincerely,

Candice

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress. ~NICHOLAS M. BUTLER

Worlds Built on Words: Guestbook Quotes for the Writer’s Heart

As a person of faith, I fully believe that our world and existence is built upon Words. Words, positive or negative, or the source of life.

As speaking spirits–especially as writers–whether we are published or private practitioners, we have a great power to influence those who give us the gift of their time and attention by reading the words that we share.

For the last few years, my fuel for writing has come from the words of four writers I’ve had the pleasure of calling muses. From the words of these writers, and a fifth from a Pastor’s wife, I created ‘writing guidelines’ that have helped me to maintain creative focus and peace.

  1. “Let peace be your umpire.” ~Vicotria Osteen
  2. “Geez, I can write a better story than that.” So I got busy writing what I thought of as Science Fiction.”” ~Octavia E. Butler
  3. “I am the audience and I try and write a book that I would like now as a mature adult and that I would have enjoyed at thirteen or fourteen and upwards.” ~Garth Nix
  4. “The best way to convey a spiritual truth is by telling a story because stories work.” ~Frank Peretti“Don’t try to find truth by looking within yourself; you’re the one who’s confused.” ~Frank Peretti
  5. “Some, I stumble across watching in nature programs…watching my mother and sister produce blankets from balls of yarn and crochet hooks. I thought of it as a kind of magic and wondered what all could be done with thread and magic.” ~Tamora Peirce

These are the quotes that have created my word-world of focus. These are the ‘muscles’ that have strengthened my belief in my craft.

As a visitor to this guestbook I ask that you share the words that have inspired you the most, be they words that have sharpened your creativity or words that have blessed you to get up every morning and face a new day with hope.

I look forward to greeting you in the comments below!

Thanks for sharing your heart.

~Candice Coates

*To read the full blog post of my writing guidelines and what they are, you can do so by visiting my sister site www.icameforthesoup.com. An updated version of the post is coming soon.