The Writers Circle: New Year New You 2017

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

Happy New Year!  All of us at Today’s Author wish you a happy, healthy, creative, and successful 2017 in all aspects of your life! 

While the New Year is a somewhat arbitrary day to set as a “new beginning” within our lives, it is certainly a convenient time to take stock of things, set goals, and see if changes might be helpful.  So today we’d like to learn what you are considering doing creatively in 2017. It doesn’t matter if it is a change from your normal writing endeavors or a continuation of what you have always done.  Today we would love to hear what you’re working on, what your plans are for the coming year and how you plan to achieve these goals.  If you are making changes to your writing strategy or process, we’d love to hear about those changes too. 

The Today’s Author community is here to foster creativity.  We are here to help each other along the writing path but also to learn from each other.  Here at Today’s Author we hope to provide a lot of useful ideas, strategies and platforms for sharing ideas that help you get your story out.  So let’s start today! What are your creative goals for 2017 and how can the Today’s Author community help you achieve those goals?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

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Looking for a Few New Authors

Here at Today’s Author we are have been working to build a community of aspiring writers since December of 2012. We’ve accomplished a lot in the first few years of working toward this goal and we are constantly seeking new ways to improve what we bring to the community.

To continue our growth as a community, we are looking for a few new contributors to write for Today’s Author. Do you feel you are ready to commit to writing a post or two each month, sharing your techniques, strategies, goals, challenges and dreams with respect to writing? If so, please fill out the contact form on the Contact Us page and let us know.  We look forward to hearing from you.

We also want to be sure that we are bringing you articles that interest you and fit the topics you want to learn more about. If you have anything you wish we would cover – or cover more often – please leave a comment and let us know!

We hope you enjoy the posts and writing prompts here at Today’s Author. Thank you for being part of our community and remember to just keep writing…

‘Tis the Season

It’s hard to believe that this morning I tore the page off the calendar as we moved to the first day of October (okay, I realize the phrase “tore the page off the calendar” may say more about my age than I’d like). Didn’t summer just start a few days ago?  Yet, here we are, October 1.  Leaves are falling, there’s a cool, crisp feeling in the air (at least here in New Jersey) and thoughts are turning to seasonal things like pumpkins, Halloween, raking of leaves and… NaNoWriMo.

Yes, it’s officially the season for National Novel Writing Month preparations!  Many writers spend October gearing up for a fast-paced November of writing. Whether it’s for the thrill of creating a new work of fiction in a short amount of time, the camaraderie of participating in a writing event with a couple hundred thousand fellow writers or simply a writing challenge, NaNoWriMo presents aspiring writers with an opportunity to make writing a priority above all the other top priorities we have each day.

Whether you are planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year or not, the start of a new month, a new calendar quarter  and, essentially, a new season of the year is a good time to consider the projects you are working on and what new project(s) you might be considering in the near future.  As a “pantser”, I don’t really plan out what my writing projects will include, but I still have generally vague ideas in mind.  I’ve participated in and won NaNoWriMo every year since 2006 and am hoping to participate and win again this year.  But I understand the concept and rigor of a month of writing isn’t for everyone.  So today I am wondering who among our community is planning to participate or at least considering participating in NaNoWriMo, either on the main “adult” site or via the Young Writers Program.  Whether you are participating or not, what project(s) are you looking forward to working on over the coming months?

As always, I and everyone here at Today’s Author are happy you have made us a part of your writing journey and hope to continue supporting your creative efforts.  If there are ways we can help, please contact us, leave a comment on one of our posts or create a topic in our forums. Keep writing, everyone!

NaNoWriMo: The Community

On October 1st, we relaunched our website with new features, new, squeaky clean forums, and more. The site reset is a physical reset, but for a lot of people, it’s a mental one, too. For many of our participants, the reset is the sign that NaNoWriMo is here, and the panic and planning begin in earnest.

The most valuable resource NaNoWriMo provides is its community. And I’m not just saying that because I manage the aforementioned community, either! Time and time again, people have told us how the community has transformed their writing, and I’ll be honest: I’m one of those people! For me, writing was something I did alone, in a corner, scribbling madly in a notebook or behind a textbook where the teacher couldn’t see me.

Mind you, I had writer friends, and we talked about it. Maybe we even shared work now and again. But write together? Madness!

NaNoWriMo changed all of that. I was suddenly surrounded by a community of thousands, all writing together, with a common goal and deadline. The community was sheer magic. It drew me like a moth to flame, and today, it’s quite literally my passion and my career.

So how can you leverage that magic for yourself?

First and foremost, if you don’t have an account, create one. Many people do the event on their own, or know it’s going on and kinda write along with us, but never really use the site. That’s great, but you’re missing out on a rich community of writers who want to help!

Once you’ve created an account, head straight over to the forums. That’s where the main, international community resides. Forums exist for just about every writing-related issue you can think of, and then some. There are age groups, genre lounges, tips, tricks, and more. There is also a regional community for most areas. You can find that under Local Events.

So you do all of that… now what?

Well, what’s your need? If you’re having trouble with naming things (one of my favorites) you can pop over to the Appellation Station. If you need prompts, or competitive word sprints, you can hit Word Wars, Prompts, & Sprints. If you’re looking for filler characters, chapter titles, motives, or just about anything, Adoption Society will have a thread to find one. You can find commiseration in the NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul forum, or check out the genre lounges.

The most important thing is to engage. Ask questions. Help others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve improved a piece simply by looking at what others are doing, and getting inspired, or realizing what I did wrong… or any number of things. Sometimes, the process of typing out a question will solve the problem by getting me thinking in the right direction.

What do you have to lose? Well. I’ll be honest. Time. Your soul. NaNoWriMo (many a novel has been lost to the Games forum.) But you might just gain something instead. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?