It’s That Time Again: NaNoWriMo!

It’s the happiest time of the year! At least for me. It’s Week Two now, and this is when things can get discouraging. Like they say (“they” being pretty much anyone who’s ever participated in Nano), any words you put down this month are more than what you had before. So good job! Keep up the good work!

Some time around the end of October, I was talking to my husband about my upcoming NaNoWriMo plans, and he said something to the effect of, “you’re doing that again, huh?”

I responded with:

“It’s the one month of the year when I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing.”

Ideally, I would write consistently 12 months out of the year, but unfortunately, that just doesn’t happen. With Nano, the daily attainable goals, the impending deadline, the friendly competition, and the supportive community keep me coming back for more year after year.

At this point, I can’t imagine not participating. Don’t get me wrong, I get some pre-Nano jitters that last week of October. What if I run out of material? What if I don’t finish? I’ve won all the other years—what if I skip a day, fall way behind, and never catch up? Then November 1 hits, and I’m right back at the keyboard, banging out my next project. It’s a good feeling.

I believe that if you want to write a novel and make the time (as opposed  to finding the time) to do so this month, you won’t regret it. Even if you don’t hit that 50k. So find a good spot to work, or try a bunch of different spots, and type things! My favorite place to write is the Milwaukee Public Museum, which I’ve mentioned before. However, I get the most done sitting at my desk at home in silence with Write or Die flashing red at me if I stop typing. Go figure.

Good luck to you!

Follow along with me:

November 5: Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books

On Saturday, November 5, I will have a table at the Writer Marketplace during the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books at UW-Waukesha. I hope to have some sweet swag to give away along with my paperbacks for purchase. Come find me before noon!

I’m also excited because a couple other great Wisconsin authors I know/have met once will be there presenting like Rebecca Williams Spindler and Amy E. Reichert! Not to mention my writing group buddy, Malinda Peterson, who will also have a table. It should be a fun time!


This month, Amazon is celebrating self-published authors with their #PoweredByIndie campaign.

I wanted to share a little about why I decided to go the self-publishing route and what I’ve learned from my journey so far.

I first heard about Amazon’s self-publishing capabilities in about 2009 before many people were doing it. I had an idea in my head for a book, but I couldn’t bring myself to work on it, let alone finish it. On one hand, I kind of wished I had just to be one of the first. On the other hand, I learned so much in the years following that I’m sure my first attempt would’ve been a complete mess had I done it back then.

Finally in January of 2015, with the push of the NaNoWriMo challenge, I was ready to publish my first book. I toyed with the idea of submitting to literary agents in an effort to be traditionally published, but I ended up going it on my own for some of the following reasons:

  • I’m incredibly impatient, and I wanted to see the results of my hard work as soon as possible.
  • At the time, I felt I had a good idea of who my audience was and how to reach them. (I was only half right.)
  • I felt I had enough varied talents and knew enough talented people to make a professional-looking book.
  • It just sounded like fun to have my hands in every aspect of the book creation.

Full disclosure, I did submit my children’s fantasy novel to a few agents, and I probably should’ve submitted to a few hundred more. Instead, I backed off and experimented with publishing it under a pen name to differentiate it from my very different other series of books.

So what have I learned in the couple years I’ve spent book publishing?

  • It absolutely is fun having full control of every aspect of the book creation process.
  • Although the writing part is a solitary task, it takes a village to publish a good book. If you can do it all on your own, you’re far more talented than I. Get more than one set of eyes on your book before it’s published! Excessive typos and weird formatting are distracting for readers, and a professional-looking cover will draw more eyes after it’s published.
  • It helps to surround yourself with fellow writers to give and receive support, advice, and motivation. I tend to do my best work during write-ins (usually the coffee ones as opposed to the wine ones).
  • Marketing is endlessly hard, and I may just have to pay someone to help me with that…anyone?

At this point, I’ve published four books and a short story with more to come! Need an editor? I can do that, too!

Be sure support the indies by checking the featured books on the #PoweredByIndie landing page!

I Can Edit That for You

DSC_0255I’ve been slacking on my writing duties for the last, oh, few months. I still have an almost-finished manuscript that needs a couple more scenes added and a final proofreading pass before I can call it publishable.

What have I been doing in the meantime? Editing. Technical editing has been my career for the past 6 years, and I have loved it. I just can’t stay away, so I decided to try my hand at starting my own editing business.

Now I want to get my hands on your writing.

Check out my Editing Services page for more details.