Saturday, 30 April 2011

Z is for Zzzzz



Tired? I’m pretty wiped out. It’s been an intense month for blogging. I started off doing one or two posts a week in February and now I’ve done 26 in 30 days. That’s quite a leap. I had planned to do them in advance and have them scheduled ahead of time, but you know how that goes. 

It was a great experience, and I’m very pleased with what I managed to scrape together — although, if I had planned things better I would have edited my posts to be more concise and focused.

I doubled the amount of followers and most of my posts got a fair amount of comments, leading to some interesting debates. Those of you that stopped by on a regular basis, thank you for responding to my thoughts and ideas. I’m sure traffic will fall off after the challenge finishes, but I hope some of you will continue to drop by. I tried to visit as many blogs as I could, I hope to keep that up as much as possible.

So what next? 


I still have lots to say about the craft of writing and I very much intend to keep the focus on that. I’m interested in honing the craft beyond the basics found in most ‘how-to’ books. I think they provide good fundamental advice, but to really get your writing to the next level I think you have to be able to go from the general to the specific of your own stories, and you can’t ask a book to answer questions and explain things further. Even those sites that offer more specific commentary, on pitches and first pages or even first chapters, only get the opening ‘agent ready’ and can’t help with the book as a whole.

I’m hoping as I develop relationships with other writers, and become familiar with their writing, their goals and their individual voices, I’ll be able to offer much more targeted advice. Hopefully they’ll do the same for me. 

I believe a career in writing is more than selling a marketable product aimed at the broadest possible consumer base, I think it’s about the thing that excites and absorbs you and finding a way to pass that feeling onto the reader. You need to know the writer to be able to help with that. From going over outlines, to making characters fascinating, to working on satisfying plot twists and endings. If you’re serious about making your writing so good agents can’t say anything other than ‘Yes!’, stick around, maybe we can help each other out.

BTW, if you're curious to see what my own writing is like, you can find a sample: here.

This is an exciting time for writers. Finally the gates are being torn down and new paths are opening up, even if we don’t really know where they lead. I think it would be easy to let quality slide as access to the market becomes easier — only rigorous effort and ruthless (but trusted) peer-assessment will prevent that.

Glad to have made it through to the end. A very worthwhile experience, thanks to Lee and Alex and all the other sponsors, a big success I think. I’ll be posting at least twice a week from now on and it’ll feel pretty easy (I’m hoping). But first a nice long rest (well, a couple of days at least). I leave you with a song. 

cheers,
mood

63 comments:

Rebecca Dupree said...

I'm tired too! It was nice meeting you in the A-Z

J.L. Campbell said...

I envy you. I still got one more post to go. Still not sure what it will be about. Didn't come by during the challenge (I don't think) but I'm sure I'll be back. I agree that writers should never stop learning and trying to better what they do.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I disagree! Oh, wait, this wasn't one of those types of posts... ;)
You've done really well with all your blogposts. A little bit of 'off' time is now deserved :)

Now, I started reading a story about a voice message and a machete... I need to see where that's heading (the optimist in me says it will all end well).

Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Josh Hoyt said...

Ooh I look forward to reading your stuff. I'll be back.

Kimberly said...

Yes, I'm definitely tired. Congrats on getting through the challenge. My New Year's goal was to post at least once a week. Should feel easy now. ;)

Halli Gomez said...

Phew almost over! I still have one left.
I have enjoyed your posts and they have taught me a lot! Thanks very much. I will continue to read them and will check out your own writing

Halli

Lauri said...

Congrats on the A to Z!

Ella said...

Congrats on getting through! I wasn't able to comment, this week, due to family spring break and unexpected events. I will stop by again~
Now, off to post my Z...phew, it has been a challenge!

Laoch of Chicago said...

It must have been exhausting to do the A-Z thing. Well done to have completed it.

Madeleine said...

Congrats. Well Done! Hoorah, I think we need a month off now LOL! :O)

Paula Martin said...

Congrats on completing the Challenge! Hope we can keep in contact via our blogs - though I'll probably go back to blogging once a week (or maybe twice) from now on.

Melissa Kline said...

Hey Mood, I'm so glad to have connected with you via the A to Z challenge. I love your posts and will keep stopping in to say hi! :) I've loved and appreciated all of your comments. Thanks for the groovy song. ;)

~Melissa
Reflections on Writing

KatieO said...

It was great to meet you thru a to z. Congrats on making it to the end!

Lauracea said...

It's been great, hasn't it? Back to normal blogging from now on though :) (love your picture zzzzz)

Talli Roland said...

Yay! We're done! Congrats on finishing the challenge. :)

Talei said...

Oh, its been lovely meeting so many new friends!! I enjoyed reading your writing snippet too. Good luck with your writing. And yes, I am definitely looking forward to more of ZZZzzzzz at nights now. ;-))

Kris Yankee said...

I was much like you - not blogging on a consistent basis. This challenge kicked me in the tush and I'm so happy I stuck with it. I feel like I've made a whole new group of friends. The new challenge, for me, will be blogging a few times a week as well as visiting everyone else's blogs. So glad to have found yours along the way!

Donna Weaver said...

Wonderful post, Moody. And you're right. This is a great time to be a writer .. and you can't learn everything from a book. You have to do it.

Donna Weaver said...

Love the picture for this post, btw.

Catherine Denton said...

I agree, it was a heavy blogging month with the challenge! *wipes brow* I'm looking forward to seeing what is "normal programming" for all the new blogs I found.
My Blog

Rebecca Bradley said...

It's been a really hectic month. Pleased to have met you through the challenge and I look forward to continuing to follow your blog :)

Robyn Campbell said...

I did ZZZZ, too, mood as you know. I'z tired, but glad to have been a part of such a great challenge. :-)

Loved your posts and now for a nap. *wink*

Clarissa Draper said...

I have a feeling the number of posts will drop substantially over the next few days. People won't want to blog for awhile.

Summer Ross said...

Congrats- You went from a few posts to many posts- you are taking chances on yourself and that is great news!

Gail M Baugniet said...

I'm planning on increasing my posts from one up to two per week also, though I'm taking a break for a trip to Alaska first!
See you again in May.

Madeleine said...

There's an Award for you on my blog :O)

Tim Riley said...

Definitely ready to scale back the blogging. Great job with the Challenge Mood. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great job! Great finish! YEAH for us!
Heather

Marion Sipe said...

Congratulations on finishing A-Z! I'm thinking about doing it myself, next time around. I'm at a similar place in my own career, where I want to get to know other writers and work more closely with them. I've worked really hard on learn and getting the basics down (or, you know, as down as I have!) and I think that developing further really does require getting in there and examining not only my own work, but other people's as well, on a level deeper than just critting. Great post! Cheers!

Ellie said...

Congratulations on making it to the end of the challenge. I'm so glad I met you through A to Z and I am looking forward to following your blogging journey.

Ellie Garratt

Anne K. Albert said...

Congrats on completing the challenge, and like so many others I'm looking forward to your next posts. NO pressure! ;-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you made it and gained so many new followers! It really rocked my world last year.

Melissa Dean said...

Congrats! Can't wait to read more from you!

Nicole said...

Congratulations on making it through to the end of the challenge.

You have a nice layout for your blog here and I'm glad to have stopped by for your reflections post.

The Madlab Post

doreen said...

I am glad to finally be visiting and following. Congratulations on finishing the challenge; I am enjoying reading your posts and look forward to getting to know you better!

N. R. Williams said...

I hear you Mood. It was tasking. Nice to get to know you a little though.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Karen Walker said...

I'm exhausted as well. I think I found you early on in the challenge, then wasn't able to get back again cause I was trying to get to everyone. I'm sorry for that, but I will be adding your blog to my blog roll so hopefully, we'll stay connected.
Karen

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Nice to meet you too - looks like I am still meeting nice people as a result of the challenge! Look forward to following your blog.
Melissa

Brianna said...

I'm so grateful for the challenge because I found great blogs, like yours.

I’m interested in honing the craft beyond the basics found in most ‘how-to’ books. I think they provide good fundamental advice, but to really get your writing to the next level I think you have to be able to go from the general to the specific of your own stories, and you can’t ask a book to answer questions and explain things further.
This is exactly why I enjoy your blog. I learn practical tips I can readily apply to my own writing.

I especially enjoyed when you broke down the first chapters of A Kiss Before Dying and The Notebook. I learned a lot from those posts and they were fun to read. It was like being back in college in an English Lit class.

RG Pyper said...

Oh neat! Your writing style is nice (so polished!) and I'm terribly excited to see where you go next.

I agree (I'm sure we all do) that the writing market is changing in promising ways - and, yes, we all need to uphold some rigorous traditional standards in our writing so that literature can really continue to flourish. I've had my nose stuck in Victoria Mixon's Art and Craft of Fiction for the last couple months. She's brilliant and I feel you and she have a lot in common: wanting to help us newbies get grounded in solid skills before we aim our sites on the publishing world. I appreciate any advice!

Looking forward to following!

Pk Hrezo said...

That's an excellent Z word! That's how I feel for sure after this challenge. But all in good fun. I was reading your Y post on fantasy YA and you're right.... it seems it's all carbon copies of the same theme with a slightly different storyline.

My last 2 stories were YA contemp which included romance but revolved around a much stronger meaning, so romance only added flavor to the actual story but did not encompass it. My latest story which is MG, but borderline younger YA is fantasy and there's no romance at all. I wrote fantasy for the creative aspect and the world and creatures. So I don't think it's always about romance, but man, it sure does sell like hotcakes!!

Angela Ackerman said...

I am in awe of all of you who did the A to Z challenge! Go get yourself a nice nap, or a bowl of chips and a good book! You've earned it! :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

baygirl32 said...

congrats on making it through to the end, new we can take a break!

Langley said...

Yeah, everyday pushed me to my limits too. It was well worth it though. Thanks for your support and encouragement! Langley Writes about Writing

Joyce Lansky said...

I found the A-Z Challenge very doable by writing my posts on the week-end then editing right before posting. That's what I plan to do for Z-A in May, but these posts may be shorter.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Joyce
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

Donna said...

Congrats on finishing :) I'm pooped out too. I look forward to reading your blogs in the future.

Better is Possible said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge. I'm still working on visiting all the blogs. Glad I got to see yours.

Mercy a.k.a Rogue said...

It was definitely a challenge. Congrats on reaching the end.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for finding me! I enjoyed your Z and look forward to catching up on some of the others, until you start up again! Julie

Misha said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge! I'm so impressed with you guys who jumped from one or two posts a week to six and still got it done.

Proud of you!

:-)

Ciara said...

Congratulations on finishing the challenge! It's been an exhausting and fun ride. :)

Liz Fichera said...

I'm tired too and I didn't post nearly as many as you did! I'm lucky to do three a week.

Nice to connect with you today!

Rachel Morgan said...

There are so many people who did zzzzzz..... And it's hardly surprising, considering how blog-exhausted we all are!

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

Congratulations! And thanks for visiting my blog! I think I'll join you in a well-deserved nap!

Talei said...

Me again! When you're done napping.... ;-) I've got an award waiting for you at my blog, do pop over when you can.

Cheers! ;-)

Sheila Siler said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. It is nice to meet you. This challenge has been exhausting, but the value of the discipline of writing and meeting new people has been a great payoff. Have fun!

San said...

As I read your reflections I kept nodding my head and saying yes, exactly, uh huh and seriously...THANK you for THAT.

And congrats for completing the challenge. I am looking forward to more writer tips posts from you, thanks again!

Cheers :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Mood,

You did a great job on this challenge. Your blog was one of the few I frequented the most.

You'll be seeing me often. I like your style....

Congrats on making it through.

Michael

N4M3L3SS said...

+1 follower from blog hop, cool blog

upinthecosmos said...

Wow, tons o' comments! I feel like I was just getting started & then it was over.. LOL. Stop in & read The Challenge Never Ends

Arlee Bird said...

Commendable job of blogging in April. Congratulations on making it to Z and with such terrific content. You provided a service with your informative posts. Thank you for being a part of this great blogging event.


Don't forget to pick up your Winner's Badge at my site.
Lee
Tossing It Out

Laurie Starkey said...

Might I just say "wow" - this is some intense blogging you've committed to and accomplished. I am going to take a page from your book (so to speak) and up my game. I will be running back through your previous postings to see what you've had to say over the last month - and of course giving my 2cents - better late than never!

Tina said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge! I'm looking forward to coming back and reading your posts. I'm most definitely interested in honing my craft and learning from others! You might be interested in this: Shannon @ The Warrior Muse and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!
Tina @ Life is Good

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