An Unexpected Journey

by Diana Sousa
Books, by Zhen Yang

It was almost a year ago that I started to actually dedicate myself to trying to publish a book. Since then I have read so many articles on writing, queried so many great agents, met so many excellent people… I discovered a great community, gotten amazing feedback and support. Two years ago I would never have guessed any of this.

I finished writing and revising a book, started another one, decided to take a break on that one, and I’m now researching for a completely new one. If it wasn’t for college I’d probably have done more in this area. But it’s my last year, and in a bit more than six months I’ll be free and part of the statistic of unemployment… so, yay? (I’m actually looking forward to this one, I need time to focus on some of my own projects.)

I started working on Edwardian Promenade in January, on Lytherus in August, and started my internship with Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates in September. I’ve read so many amaaazing manuscripts because of this last one, learned so much while editing, reading queries, what works, what doesn’t… And yet I still wonder why anyone would want my opinion on any of this.

(I’ve also learned how hard it is to say no sometimes, because even though there might not be anything wrong with the book, it just isn’t the right one. It has given me a new perspective on the query responses I’ve gotten.)

I have read less books than I wanted, less comics and graphic novels, I haven’t drawn near as much I’d like to, but I have still procrastinated and wasted time when I should be working. But that’s the same as it has always been.

Overall it’s been a good year. I need to remind myself of that sometimes. I don’t want to be soppy (I need to maintain my image of evil, after all), but it’s true. Let’s hope 2014 is even bigger and better. It’s going to be different, I know that. And scarier. But doesn’t that make it more interesting?

(At least I hope so. I’m overly optimistic today, must be the lack of sleep.)

Maybe I should go back to work now. Yes, stop this silly procrastination nonsense. Yes… *goes back to playing video games*

P.S.: One of the things that’s going to happen in January are the results of PitchWars! I was chosen to be part of Team Michelle (or Team Mostly Harmless, how great is that?), but I’ll do a more in-depth post about that then. Wish me luck!

NaNoWriMo and Deadlines

by Diana Sousa
As Msyterious As A Cat by AbelPhe

What have I been up to, you ask? Oh, you didn’t? Well, you could leave me to talk to myself then… or maybe stick around and see if I have something interesting to say. I probably don’t, though. Just some crazy ramblings about stuff and things.

So… where was I?

The first time I did NaNoWriMo was in 2007. 6 years ago. And although that first time didn’t go very well, the ones that followed did. I was finally getting things done, instead of dragging on and on during several months and then never actually finishing everything. I learnt that I worked better on a deadline, or at least with some kind of goal in mind. This system worked for several years… until I got into university.

As many of you know, university is already pressure enough. Besides, in November I always have several projects to develop and finish, so starting a novel during this month is nothing short of crazy. NaNoWriMo has the worst timing, and yet I can’t resist trying it every year, even if my goal isn’t 50k words.

Because, you see, during those months that it actually went well, when I actually had time, I learnt how to work. How to keep writing, how to use the time you have, how to ignore your inner editor (ahah, liar liar pants on fire, I’ll never be able to do that), and I applied all that to writing in general. Not just in November, but over the whole year. I started Sincerely Yours, the Villain in November, didn’t get anywhere near fifty thousand words, but I still finished it eventually. I didn’t give up, even when I thought it was worthy only of fire.

I suppose what I mean is: although NaNo doesn’t work for everyone, or perhaps it does and you just don’t have time, it has the potential to help you get something done. Maybe it’s the deadline, the pressure, the community (and my group of writers is crazy and amazing), but at least for me it was a great way to learn that I could do it.

But that’s the easy part. Now I have to actually write this manuscript. The motivation is there, I just need time. Or a time turner, that would surely help. I have even outlined the book (well, some of it) and I’m usually a pantser! Let’s see how this goes.

Apart from that I have recently been working as an intern for Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, and it’s been amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to read some great manuscripts, and although I can’t exactly tell you about that, I think I’ll make a post about it in the near future. It has been a very interesting experience.

So good luck to those of you doing NaNo, don’t go insane!