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Writing Challenges

Challenges seem to work for me in different areas of my life. I've recently been involved in DietBets and StepBets and both of them kept me moving. So, it's time for another writing challenge! Or two. I've been getting some writing done, but my plan is to double my output. The more I get written, the closer I will be to the editing stage, so I can get more out there.

I'll be participating in 2 challenges. First, the A to Z challenge. I attempted this last year and most of the alphabet got left behind. There's nowhere to go but up! These will be short blog posts, published here. Broadly, they will be about the writing life, and when it makes sense, I'll write specifically about what it's like to write memoir. My plan is that these posts will either be a warm up for the day's writing, or a reflection of what I wrote for the other challenge that day.

The next challenge is more of a "retreat," but instead of heading down the road to Oklahoma, I'll be taking a daily retreat from my life at Camp NanoWriMo. I've set a time goal for working on my personal essay collection, and I'm in a "virtual cabin" with 19 other nonfiction writers. It's my first time at Camp NaNoWriMo, hopefully I don't get lost in the woods (unless that's exactly what I need). 

This is my plan for keeping my writing on track in April. What's yours? Tell me in the comments (I'm disabling the captcha thing so the A to Z challengers and others find it easier to comment. I'm sure I'll have to delete some fun spam!)

Happy writing!



Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.

Don't Let Too Many Cooks Create a Recipe for Disaster
I love great food, I savor the tastes and textures of all kinds of cuisine; but unless I have specific, de…

Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…