Sunday, November 25, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 25 - On Goals

So did I make my 50k goal, or will I be shaving my head?

Sorry to disappoint, but I won't be doing any shaving. Because I cheated.

I did get 50k words. And they're 50k pretty good words.

But they're for two different stories.

Halfway into the Jack book, I launched into a side story and just rolled with it. This became its own novella. For those who read my novels, it's a Harry McGlade story. With zombies. Which is why, obviously, it can't be part of the Jack novel.

Anyway, because it's an odd length (20k words) it's going to be damn hard to sell. After I edit it, I think I'll look into one of those publishers who do overpriced limited edition hardcovers.

So I technically didn't write 50k of one novel, but I did do 50k with the same characters (Jack is in this too) so I'm going to compromise. Instead of cutting my hair, I'll cut my nails. There's enough crap on YouTube to bother videotaping it.

For those who want to cry foul and demand a head shaving, I encourage you to start one of those online petitions, like the one used to get Family Guy back on the air. Get 1000 people to sign it, and Marcus Sakey can shave my head in front of a live crowd at Love is Murder in February. If 1000 people really want to see me bald, who am I to argue?

That said, I enjoyed the pressure NaNoWriMo put on me, and I may do it again. In fact, I encourage all writers to try it, whether they end up with a novel, or part of a novel and a novella, or even a bunch of crap that will never see print.

That's because writing is about setting, and reaching, goals.

Stories don't write themselves. They take a considerable time commitment. Often that commitment is hard to justify. But writers, real writers, make writing a priority. They make the time and the effort.

This is a business about pushing yourself, because many times there's no one else pushing you. Unless you're lucky enough to have a deadline, the pressure is mostly self-induced. NaNoWriMo helps to put on some pressure. Pressure = words on a page. And that's what writers do. We write. Anything that helps us write is worth trying.

Speaking of goals, my anniversary is coming up. This is my 299th blog entry for A Newbie's Guide To Publishing. Over half a million people have visited this blog since it began in 2005. I'm grateful to each and every one of you for believing I have something to share with the writing community.

I'd like to make my 300th post something special, and since much of this blog is about setting and reaching goals, I'd like to open up my blog to my readers.

I want to hear what your goals are for 2008.

Whether you're a pro or a newbie, a long time reader or a recent visitor, please email me at and tell me:

1. Your Goals for 2008.

2. How you will reach these goals.

If you're a lurker, but never comment, this is the perfect time to introduce yourself. If you're a long time reader, I ask you to help me spread the word. We're all part of the same community. We all have goals. Let's share them and inspire each other.

And please provide your answers email here, not in the comments section here. I'll put all of your goals (and my goals) in my 300th post in week or so.

Thanks again for reading.


Mystery Dawg said...

Congrats on 50,000I guess it will be FUZZY NAVELS in LA this summer.

JA Konrath said...

Yes it will!

Marcus Sakey said...

Please, oh please, someone start the online campaign. I'll sign twice.

Congrats, brother! 50k in a month is impressive even by your speedy standards.

Jeff Strand said...

Harry McGlade vs. Zombies? Sounds suspicious to me. Where's our proof of this "novella"? I think we've been DUPED!!!

Mark Terry said...

Wait, wait, wait! Didn't I suggest you name a title FROZEN ZOMBIES! I want credit, dude!

WayneThomasBatson said...

Mannnn...what's the big deal about shaving the hair? I mean do you really have much left to shave? lol I'm reliving my 80's hairband days, so if I shaved my head, now THAT would be a big

Joe, thanks for stopping by my blog to comment on editing.

And about goals:

1. Finish my edits for Isle of Fire before Christmas.

2. Spend as much time with my family as I can.

3. To work on my next writing project, but not under contract. I know this sounds odd, but I really want to explore this new fantasy realm I'm creating. I don't want to have to churn it out in 4 months.

Isle of Fire will be out in the spring, so I'm going to enjoy the invention stage a little longer than usual.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the 50k. Two stories or one, perfectly valid for NaNoWriMo as that's just the organic nature of writing. Whatever, well done!

Tasha Alexander said...

I don't know, Joe, I'm kinda fond of the longish, wild hair.

That said, I wouldn't be able to tear myself away from watching it get shaved...............

Rachel Green said...

Congrats on hitting your goal.

I didn't this year. Broken leg and dead PC stumped me.

Swanny said...

That's it. If Sakey shaves your head, I'll sneak into "Love is Murder" if I have to. Congratulations sir.

Toni Lea Andrews said...

I didn't do NANO this year --working on a non-fiction project that is mostly charts and graphs, so word count doesn't apply -- but I got something publishable (by Mira in May 2008) last year.

I actually had to write a 20K word novella early this year, which I found to be an odd length, in order to meet a publisher's standards. It was for an Avon Red anthology (and so is erotic) but that's the length they want. Don't know how naughty yours is but if it has sufficient heat, have your agent call May Chen at HarperCollins.

Nick Kelly said...

And here I was hopin' ta see some pics of J.A. Kojak...

"Who loves ya baby?"

/e Telly

Cyn Bagley said...

Congrats. I was really hoping that I could see the hair-shaving video. Well, hope springs eternal. Maybe next year. :-)