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Friday, November 16, 2012

NaNo Update

I really hate to abandon NaNoWriMo 2012, but I have chosen to. In my perfect future, my NaNos are not cut short and I get to attend at least one of my local Nights of Writing Furiously. Or the original Night of Writing Dangerously. Sigh.

Sometimes decisions entail choosing between something bad and something good. Boy, are those ever easy to pick. And then they work up to harder selections, like mine. Both for the best. Both within my author purview and both would move me forward.


You knew that was coming, didn't you? Among all the November activities anywaynot to mention freelance jobsI signed up for two online classes and have been enjoying both, mostly lurking. However the creativity class by Mary O'Gara has opened my eyes.

Why do we not see clearly what is right before us?

Anyway, through one of the homework assignments, I discovered I had seventeen WIPs. Eighteen if I count this 2012 NaNo idea. More than double the eight I kept talking about.

So, yes, I have yet another novel idea for NaNo 2012 and I will finish it, after I get some other projects finalized.

As an Indie author, with no extra time or money, I wear all the hats. So the creating part, the new novels, is just one step in a multistep process, which entails:
  1. CREATING. Enough said.
  2. EDITING. Checking for plot holes and irrational stuff that screams, What were you thinking?
  3. COPYEDITING. Grammar and whatever else cleaned up.
  4. ADDING. Front matter, such as your blurb/description and your copyright info page for each of the online venues you choose to use. I have my offerings on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords; therefore, I make four separate title pages to accommodate each. Back matter, including your links to ALL your other books. (FYI: I previously listed each item grouped by website; now I just have a link to each store that leads to my author name search page.) Add in any free stuff from your own writings, like your prose poem or your inspirational article. Also social media links to Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, if you like.
  5. CATEGORIZING your current work, the two-to-four genre headings you wish (depending on the online store), along with seven tags, for use when uploading and coordinating with your title, your blurb/description, etc. Think SEO.
  6. BEAUTIFYING with styles applied to your chapter headings and openings and time breaks.
  7. SIMPLIFYING with a Table of Contents and links to each chapter. For your reader's ease in jumping around. Probably better used in nonfiction, unless you've compiled a collection of fiction (like short stories or whatever). I'm now inclined to add one no matter what.
  8. WRAPPING with cover art (adding in your tagline, title and author name via GIMP 2 or whatever software you choose).
  9. UPLOADING. Set aside a good chunk of time for this so you don't get frustrated. Let me amend that. Setting aside ample hours at least lets you not get antsy about the time running out too soon. There are still plenty of other details to ignite your ire.
  10. PREVIEWING. This is where I spend a couple hours at best fixing any visual problems with my upload. Remember, I'm a do-it-yourselfer. For those of you who have someone who formats for you for all the venues, I bow to you. You are The Man.
Rinse and repeat. For each new book. For each online store.

Exhausting, isn't it?

Still, I now have ten steps defined within my Indie-publishing domain. None of that covers dealing with any social media or accounting or researching, whether a topic or cover art, or being sick or having unseen problems to address. Like I cannot find one of my nonfiction books, so will have to type it in from my Kindle edition. Unless I can email it back to me. Hmm. Have to check that out, too.

Stuff like that slows down the process.

The point is: creation is only the first step. Until I get my own assistant (yes, to dream), I must hit each step in the process. I cannot focus merely on creating, creating, creating without getting to all the other levels.

Hence my release of my NaNo participation this year.

It hurts. But I have additional clarity now. While I've already drafted a (very rough) 2013 production schedule, this new overview will help in nailing down the details, the dirty work, the stuff that I don't enjoy the thought of doing, yet feel invigorated once I've chosen to dig in.

I hope this helps someone else out there in Indie-publishing land who is busy, who is focused, who is immersed in the reading, writing, learning...yet not "producing" as in new offerings coming with each passing season.

It is a process.

I'm thinking a physical wall calendar with huge squares to write in to cover yearly/monthly/weekly goals on top of my daily ones will help me.

I'll let you know. Confronting the problem is part of the battle, right?

Best wishes to all you lucky NaNo participants. I'm there with you in spirit.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

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