Happy (Almost) New Year!

After a holiday hiatus, I’m back!

First, a piece of shameless promotion: through Saturday, my book, The Historian, is FREE as an e-book on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Historian-Rachel-Bohlen-ebook/dp/B00OZ85SI2/ With this free e-book promotion, the book has jumped to #66 in its subgenre! (Science Fiction – Dystopian) Go check it out, and I hope you like it.

Second, I am absolutely ready for 2014 to be over. Looking back, it was a strange year. I moved to a new place, transferred to a different job, and published my first book, which are great things. But on the other hand, my father passed away, as did a friend of mine. I spent most of 2014 feeling like I was in some sort of haze.

I don’t really want to do a list of New Year’s resolutions. Like most people, I never fulfill them. But I do have general things I’d like to do – I’d like to live my life with a better sense of purpose. I’d like to be healthier (meaning, I know that I need to drink less and eat better). I’d also like to push myself out of my introverted shell more.

And of course, I’d like to write more. I’m proud of myself for how much I wrote during 2014 – in total, across all projects, it was over 110,000 words. For the new year, I started using a great website to track my word count: WordKeeperAlpha. I really love it – and it has charts! I’d highly recommend it to any writer who needs the extra incentive of organization to keep going.

Happy holidays to all, and here’s to a wonderful 2015! If you are doing resolutions, I’d love to hear them (and how you plan to meet them)!

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Book Update: Available Now on Kindle

Good news!  My book, The Historian, is now available on Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Historian-Rachel-Bohlen-ebook/dp/B00OZ85SI2/.  I’m hoping to have the paperback version available later this week.

I’m trying to balance being proud of myself for developing a finished product and constantly reminding myself that it’s “just” self-published.  No matter what, I’m still proud that I actually finished a book and polished it to the point where it’s acceptable for people to read, but I still find myself correcting my friends when they say congrats on publishing — “It’s just self-published,” I tell them. “Not really published.”  I know that I shouldn’t say that, but I do.

I’ve never been someone who is eager to have other people read my work. This may seem counter-intuitive for someone who claims they want to be a writer, but I think that other writers out there may understand.  Of course, a part of me wants people to read my work (and, I hope, love it), but the potential for harsh criticism has held me back.  That’s even held me back from putting myself out there and telling people that I enjoy writing at all. Creating this blog and my Twitter account were huge steps for me.  Saying to the world, “Hey! I love writing!” gives the world the chance to say, “You? But you’re not good at it,” or, the worst, “But you’re not a real writer because you’re not published by a traditional company.”

My expectations are realistic: this is not going to make me money. I don’t expect to be the next Hugh Howey or A.G. Riddle, those wonderful self-publication success stories.  I just want to be proud of my work, and I want to feel motivated to write more.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying, my book is available, and I’ve been told it doesn’t suck. Hooray!

NaNoWriMo 2014: The Aftermath

Ah, welcome to December.  Normally I’d write something in about cold, dreariness, and snow, but it’s shockingly warm in my part of the world.  November is done, and with it, another wonderful month of NaNoWriMo.  My final count was 56,315, which is less than I wanted (I was hoping for 60K), but better than 50K, so I can’t complain to much.  As I’ve said on here before, I still have a long way to go in the story.

The most recent message from the powers-that-be at NaNoWriMo asked writers the following three questions, and I think it’s a good exercise to actually answer them.

What are you most proud of achieving this month?

I’m proud that I wrote almost every day, and that my daily word count was consistently over 1,667.  Even while I was on vacation, I made time to write.  I think that none of us really have time to do anything–we make time for the things that we prioritize.  I’m proud of myself for sticking to my plan.  I’m also proud of hitting 50K.

What did you learn about yourself as a writer?

Writing non-linearly really helped me this month (thanks Scrivener).  When I got stuck on scenes, instead of forcing myself to write crap, I could just switch to something else.  That’s not something that I used to really allow myself to do.  Part of that was because my brain used to go crazy if I didn’t work linearly.  But using Scrivener helped me make sure that the parts were still organized enough that switching scenes or even complete parts of the story worked out well.

What excites you about this draft of your NaNo-novel?

It’s a LOT different than anything I’ve written previously.  I found myself browsing the Science Fiction forums because I missed writing that kind of story.  This is solidly more in the Fantasy genre.  It’s a challenge, but it’s interesting to see what I can do with this new world and what the characters can do in that world.  There’s something pretty great about being about to tailor the world to whatever it is that I want.  I’m also really excited to see how this story ends.  I had an idea in my head, but now I’m not so sure–there have already been some twists that I wasn’t expecting.

Overall, I definitely think this was a successful November.  Looking forward to continuing my daily word count into December and beyond!