It's the first Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means ... it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting. IWSG was created by the awesome ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can find out the other members of the group here.
When I was a child, I remember watching the movie Fern Gully. A few lines of the dialogue stuck with me, even though I can't remember which characters said them.
Are you sure?Positive.Only fools are positive.Are you sure?Positive!
Maybe only fools are positive, but I'm positive it never hurts to be positive. And last month tested my abilities of being positive.
I'd signed up for July's Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal was 50,000 words, although I'd hope to write a lot more than that. What I did manage to write was a few hundred words shy of 25,000 words. Half my goal. A quarter of what I'd really hoped to accomplish. But as the month went along and I realized I wasn't going to make my goal, I also realized that was all right. I wrote 25,000 words in one month. This year, I've written more in January-July than I have ever written before. The only year that came close to my word count from January-July was 2009, the year I started writing. That's pretty awesome. Each word written is one word less to "The End." And I'm good with that.
On August 3, I also was on a panel about ebooks at the Virginia Writers Symposium. I was a bit nervous about it. Being an introvert, conferences, although a ton of fun, can be very draining. I was exhausted by the end, but it was probably one of the best conferences I'd been to.
The first class I attended was Websites, Blogs, and Social Media. I got some ideas on how to improve my website (going to create a more standard home page and add about and contact pages, which are currently on my home page). I also would like to consider more things to do when it comes to my newsletter, but that's a post for another day.
The second class I attended was my own panel: Nuts and Bolts of E-booking. We had a large group of people interested in learning more about ebooks, which was very exciting. We got tons of questions too from the attendees. Seriously, this panel alone could've taken an entire day. Two things stuck out the most for me while being a part of this panel. One, people really want to take their careers in their own hands, but they don't know how/afraid to learn. Two, there is a huge divide in knowledge of those who have been keeping up on what's going on in the current publishing realm and those who are set in how publishing was two, five, even ten years ago or more.
After my class, we had our keynote speaker, the fantastic Kathleen Grissom. This was the fourth time I've heard her story on how she wrote The Kitchen House, and I get chills every single time. If you ever get a chance to hear Kathleen speak, jump at it.
Then, we had lunch, and I met up with a couple friends who I'd first met at the James River Writers Conference a couple years ago. It was great to catch up with them, and we continued the fun by going to the same last panel together.
The last panel was Publishing Scams to Avoid, brought to us by Dave Kuzminski, the founder of Preditors and Editors. One thing that I thought was so awesome about Dave was Preditors and Editors will look over contracts for writers and flag problematic clauses based on what they'd seen in other publishing contracts. That is a wonderful service to writers and one I had no clue they offered.
Last we had the networking session. I sold four books, signed three of them, gave out bookmarks/business cards, and talked to various people. It was fun, but I was also anxious to start heading home. I'm so thankful for the opportunity, though, and I'm positive I would jump at the opportunity to be on another panel again.
So what have you been positive about lately?