I did not do a Q3 update on my year of living outside my comfort zone, partly because I spent most of Q3 living inside a corporate training room doing client work.
On the other hand the 4th quarter has been super busy already and way outside my comfort zone. My friends and followers will know that I went to the James River Writer's Conference last month in Richmond, VA. Talking to that many people about my writing and even pitching to a literary agent was a bit daunting, but also exhilarating. I met some terrific people and talented writers. All-in-all a great experience and I would definitely go back, though I hope next year it doesn't conflict with the Celtic Fest. I really missed not seeing some of my pals there.
NaNoWriMo or no?
I did sign up for Nanowrimo in the hopes that it would help me jump start working on the sequel to The River Maiden. I was hoping that the built in "measurable daily goal" would get me moving the way that deadlines real or artificial frequently do. I promptly wrote the first chapter, which showed me that I had more plotting work to do. So instead of getting word on the page, I've been arranging index cards and tweaking character profiles.
That's all great and needs to be done. But I'm afraid that now I have plotting paralysis which is very similar to Analysis Paralysis in corporate speak. I keep sitting down to try to put more words together, but my brain is still working on the high level, so I'm frequently not satisfied with the quality of the result. I have a plan to fix this. I'll get to that in a sec.
The rest of this quarter involves 2 big leaps
1) I have sent The River Maiden to my editor. I am crazy excited about this. I checked around and got several editing samples and found someone who I think is a good fit for me and my style. It's nerve wracking, but also thrilling. I can't wait to see his feedback,
2) I'm trying something new. I am a plotter. Even my short works start with an outline. I also don't show work to anyone until it's been edited and revised quite a bit. So I'm going to push myself a little by making myself write and publish something with only a vague outline and minimal editing. This feels very dangerous and daring for a super plotter like me. It's sort of like setting out down a country road with no map or GPS.
Also, there is this character that keeps popping into my head. He's not from The River Maiden nor anywhere else in that story-line. He's all new and interesting and he won't go away. Furthermore, I don't seem to have any trouble putting his words together. So I'm hoping this will be a way to flex those word muscles, like a weekly workout. This should help me drill down on that manuscript for the next book too. I'll be posting the episodes here on my site. So please check back each week to find out what happens next. You can read the first installment here.