Bookrix: A great place to start

When I was giving my first baby steps toward becoming a publish author, I knew I needed a lot of help and useful feedback. I had a lot of friends who could read my manuscripts, but I was afraid they would be partial due to our relationship.

I also liked the concept of writing contests. As a writer, I know how important is to be organized, meet deadlines and make sure that you present the best of your work to your readers. Bookrix is always hosting some contests for their writers to participate. The winners are selected by votes from others in the community. Winning is always more fun, but the times I competed was more for the training experience and that is worth it, especially for those aspiring to a writing career.

At the time I ran into Bookrix, I was already blogging, but I had not shown my fiction writing to other peers. This is a large community that gives you that opportunity. The Bookrix community is very diverse and you can obtain feedback from readers, writers with minimal or extended experience.

I found a very supportive community and great information to better my craft and my writing style.

One of the questions that beginning writers ask frequently is where to start their careers. Bookrix is a great place to write, to start building a platform and improving their The Road Home Cover (1)writing.

Read the first Chapter of my new novel “The Road Home” for free at Bookrix or if you have decided that you want to read the whole book, you can obtain your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Testing the waters

One of my struggles throughout the year is finding time to write. I have a regular full-time job. I have a lot of ministry responsibilities. I have an elder mother who somewhat depends on me. So when I’m home,sometimes the cleaning, the finally having a chance to sleep or finally having a moment to have dinner with a friend cuts those moments short. I still manage to do it, but some days are more challenging than others.

I think my biggest challenge is that I’m a night person and have the ability to be up and ready early for my regular job I had to be in bed by a certain time. I’m not complaining at all. I’m very grateful for the job that I have, I’m just stating a fact.

This past week I had the opportunity to see what my life as a full-time writer would look like for the first time. In the past when I took a vacation, it was to do a specific errand or travel. This time I took my vacation time to write. As you all know I’m participating in NaNoWrimo and today starts the second day week of the challenge.

I was concerned that I could not be disciplined enough to be home, do what I needed to do and keep up with my writing. I’m proud to say that I proved myself wrong. Since I’m a night person, I woke up early, not by choice but my dog can’t walk herself. I prepared a full breakfast. I have not had one of those in years. I did loads of laundry, worked on my platform for a few hours in social media, read some of my educational blogs, finished the questions for an upcoming interview, by then it was lunch time. I took a quick nap (30 minutes) because I had gone to bed at 3am.  Got up, took a shower and went to my first hosted write-in where I cranked an additional 2k words. As of now I’ve written a total of 30,000 words and it’s just been a week. I know that this is a first draft that requires a lot of revision, but I actually enjoyed the pace of life I had during that week, and I honestly worked harder than my usual weeks.

This gives me hope, that yes, in God’s will and in due time, I can be discipline enough to make my gift, my full-time job and lifestyle.

Wrimos, lets keep on writing!!!

Be blessed.

It’s beginning to smell like Nano

I can’t believe November is around the corner. It’s finally not a hundred and five degrees. I was able to sit outside without the fear of melting. The stores ahead of the game as always have already all the Christmas things out, but the best thing is that it’s Nanowrimo time!

For those who don’t know what Nanowrimo is, it’s the National Novel Writing Month. It’s where thousands of writers abandon themselves into the crazy challenge of writing a novel of 50,000 words or more in just the month of November. This will be my third year doing Nano, but different that my prior years, I have no clue of what I will be writing about.

Us Wrimos (Nano writers) are doing all sorts of preparations at this time. This is our Super bowl, our All Star Game, the moment we wait for all year long. Wrimos are starting to pre-cook meals for their starving families, taking pictures of themselves as that’s all their families are going to see, blocking their calendars from other social events other than our write-ins (meetings of wrimos to write in public places)and buying extra underwear as there will be no time for laundry during the month of November. We will only stop for two hours on Thanksgiving because we need to be thankful to God for our lives, our muse and the turkey and then back to writing.

Do I have many wrimos out there? Do you have a plan set in place? I would love to hear from you.

Let every word count.

So far on writing goals

Writing samples: Parker 75
Image by churl via Flickr

Starting the third month into the year I was prompted to evaluate how my writing goals have worked so far. Kind of assessing if I actually kept my new year’s resolutions or if they were already been postponed.  I feel closer to my writing than I have ever felt. Writing has slowly snuck up on me and it’s a need like eating and I love to eat! Every day I feel the need to write, but not every day I think I have something relevant to say.

I’m pushing myself to be a better writer and what are some of those things that I have put in place to accomplish that in 2011…?

  • I’ve returned to my reading roots. Last year I dedicated a lot of time to writing, but not enough to reading. I believe that a healthy balance is important for any writer.
  • I’m actually following my calendar. In December I created a calendar of contests I wanted to participate (if you’re interested in peaking at that calendar it’s on the publication and achievements page). Last year I created the calendar but actually did only a few of those. So far I have submitted to each and every one of those competitions that I committed to participate in. It doesn’t matter the outcome, it’s about the exercise of meeting deadlines and writing more.
  • Joined wordpress post-a-week challenge where I’m committing to at least post on my blog once a week.  I’ve been trying to post more than that. At my current rate I could have joined post-a-day, but at least once a week still gives me the necessary breather for days when things get complicated.
  • Accountability- I hired a proofreader who is aware of my deadlines, so the expectation of the workload I have to provide for her it’s a constant reminder that I have to come through with my committed contests. Also, I have some readers who have decided to contact me when I go without posting for more than two days to ask when the next post will come. I’m flattered that they enjoy this blog, but also the feedback gives me the sense of responsibility to keep it up.
  • Class- I have committed to be part of at least one writing workshop before the end of the year to improve my skills. I have invited a teenager aspiring writer to take the workshop with me. Have you been able to promise something to a teenager that they will forget? Trust me we will go to the workshop!
  • Social Media- I’ve subscribe to the Kristen Lamb’s Blog. She not only gives great advice for writers but also advises about how to utilize social media more efficiently. I just found this blog last week and I’ve learned a lot.

So these are some of the things that I’m doing to take my writing to another level and so far so good… Have some tips of your own? Share them!!!

Stay tuned.