Career Map

In my last post, I mentioned that during the UW Writers’ Institute this year, Nina Amir closed the weekend with a talk called “Create Your Successful Author Career Plan.” She went through ten (assuming I wrote all of them down fast enough) questions to answer as an author when planning your career. I’ll list them out here, and then I’ll answer them myself.

  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What do you feel compelled to do in the world?
  4. What are your values?
  5. What topics do you want to write about?
  6. What theme connects all your books?
  7. What products and services could you offer?
  8. How do you want to be known as an author (branding)?
  9. Do you have a website?
  10. Do you have a platform?

Continue reading Career Map

My Takeaways from the UW Writers’ Institute

This was my third year attending the UW Writers’ Institute. Just like in the previous years, the best part of this conference was being around so many people on a similar journey as I am. It’s such a supportive, encouraging, and nice bunch. I can’t help but bristle at the word “networking,” but it’s hard not to connect with these people. I’m excited about the new connections and friends I made, and I’m rooting for all of them.

Last year, I wrote about my favorite part of the conference and highlighted points from the Sunday keynote. And in 2015, I wrote about what I learned at my first writers’ conference.

In the past, I enjoyed attending the sessions on craft, but this year, I focused more on the marketing ones. As always, I kept a list of snippets that resonated with me from each session. And now I’d like to share those with you.

Continue reading My Takeaways from the UW Writers’ Institute

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!