August – Writing Goals

I always think of August as a transitional month. This month in Texas is always hot, but 2011 has been a year like no other that I can remember and I’ve been here a long time. My mom doesn’t remember one like this either and she’s been here a lot longer than I have. We’ve only had about 1.5 inches of rain in the Panhandle of Texas all year. The thermometer reads 100+ more days than not. Thank you God for air conditioning.

August is the month everyone purchases school supplies and new clothes – Back to School season. Teachers go back to work in preparation of the first day of school, which for us is August 22. College students head for campus, purchase dorm stuff, text books, and pay tuition for the coming Fall Semester. Working moms look forward to fewer calls during the day from her children asking if they can go to the pool or reporting on a sibling’s behavior.

Most people seem to settle into a routine that follows the school year. If you’re a stay at home mom or dad, then you have more time during the day to set aside for writing. For more mature writers, for me at least, there is a sense of change and schedules. People are back from summer vacations or taking their last trip before school.

Our thoughts, as writers and readers change. There were some great summer reads, but excitement for new releases in the fall and all those great holiday releases will expand the pile of books by your favorite chair or expand your files on your Kindle or Nook.

Writers are setting goals to accomplish before the end of the year. We have  five months left – almost half of the year before us. Make your goals reachable but challenging. Myself, I can get overly ambitious sometimes and then as the writing process takes place I shift my self-made deadlines with an eye on reality.  One goal I encourage writers to prepare for is to participate in National Novel Writing Month, November. The challenge is to write a novel draft in 30 days – 50,000 words. The NaNoWriMo website gives you sign up and tells how to officially participate. Even if you don’t reach 50,000 words in 30 days, think about how far you will have progressed during that time and just keep on writing. It comes out to about 1,600 words per day and you can take Sundays off.

Snow Storms and Subzero Temperatures

Cold weather, hot chocolate, and curled up with a good book (or Kindle, Nook, iPad to mention only a few).

How’s everyone doing out there? Hope you’re all keeping warm. I have stayed hunkered down with the wind howling outside and wind chills 20 below. Now I realize that many of you have it much worse than we do here in the Panhandle of Texas, but this is way colder that usual and just a dusting of snow. We are really dry here and could sure use some of the moisture others are getting. Our weather patterns have gone nuts in the past few years. Okay, I  know you don’t need another report on weather conditions.

Has anyone been writing while their stuck inside? I’d love to hear what you’re working on. My new schedule for three posts a week is off because I was ill, but am feeling much better and really hungry today.

I’ve been reading – of course. Next up on my list is Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I don’t usually read horror and his books are a bit much for me, but several members of my family love his books. I recognize him as an excellent writer. This book on his experiences as a writer and about the craft of writing is said to be a must read for those of us who write. I expect it would also be a great read for those of you who love his books. It will give you a glimpse into Stephen King himself – the man behind the stories. At any rate, I’m looking forward to it.

Kindle and E-books

Anyone involved in writing or the publishing industry is well aware of the rise in E-books sold. If you don’t get the Publishers Weekly free newsletters, then I’d recommend them to you. Over 13 million iPads were sold in the last half of 2010 and E-book sales are up 158% according to some sources I’ve read recently.

If we’re not on board, then the train is going to pass us by. One of my goals for this year is to become a part of that change to a greater extent. My publisher, Buoy Up Press, editor Dan Case put Rebekah Redeemed and The Fisherman’s Wife on Kindle and Nook for the Christmas shopping season.

Joan and Steve Neubauer of WordWright.biz, Inc. Publishing, are getting my women’s fiction book, Shelter from the Storm, ready for re-release in the early Spring on Kindle.

Amazon has directions available for authors who want to go directly to publishing their works on Kindle. Read discussions in online writing groups for experiences of others and their tips. I know that Amazon converts your document from html to their formating software much better than if you try sending it in MSWord or PDF.

Check our the upcoming free online conference for free and upgraded members of savvywriters.com . In February, they’re offering this online conference focused on E-books, publishing them successfully, and changes in the publishing world. Even if you don’t write romance, I think the information about changing from only print books to a combination of both electronic readers and print books is valuable to any writer. (Note: This site is for 18 years and older because some of the books have adult content.) Watch for other conferences or webinars that can help us with the transitioning to electronic books. I’ll pass on links as I come across them. I’d love to hear about conferences or webinars from you. Feel free to post them in a comment.

I’m also reading and learning as much as I can about preparing manuscripts for E-books so they can be on Kindle, Nook, and other readers or downloaded from my own website Dianne G Sagan – Author . Right now, I’m working toward’s having Free downloadable discussions for book clubs or groups to use for Rebekah Redeemed and The Fisherman’s Wife.