Whew!  This retirement stuff and writing keeps me busy.  As many of you know, I participated in NaNoWriMo this year and finished with a little over the 50,000 word goal.  I had the character and bits of the story kicking around in my head for years.  I settled in, hammered things out and got busy writing.

When I first started with NaNoWriMo this year, I joined a facebook group for inspiration.  There was lots of discussion about whether one was a planner, one who plotted everything out in advance, or a panster, one who just writes and figures thing out along the way. As a teacher, I was definately a planner, often planning my lessons out for a month at a time; however, to my surprise, as I wrote this book, I was a panster.  I wrote at least a chapter a day. Then I revised first thing the next day.

As a big picture person, I am really, really bad at editing.  I found lots and lots of errors even up to today when I posted my book for sale on Amazon.  I don’t doubt there will be some more.

Once NaNoWriMo and Bea’s Tale: The Adventure Begins (Becoming Bea) were finished, I submitted my book to Kindle Scout.  This program offers readers an opportunity to nominate books they would like to buy and read. The campaign last for 30 days and after that time, Amazon kindle decides whether or not they want to publish it — offering a modest advance and promoting services. My book was not selected, but I was happy to have been part of the process.  It would have been nice to get some feedback, though.

It took me an entire day to get my book formatted for e-readers using Kindle Direct Publishing. It took me a day and a half to get the paperback ready for printing.  Kindle Direct Publishing is pretty easy to use and I am certain that the next book will take less time.

Bea’s Tale: A New Chapter (Chasing Bees) is half written at 30,000 plus words.  Now that I am finished formatting, I can get back to writing. Yeah!

Writing Habit

For decades, well two anyway, I have been telling my students that writing takes practice.  I encouraged them to write every day with journal prompts in a writer’s notebook.  We read how famous writers tackle writing: Annie Dillard, Stephen King, Anne Lamott and Alice Steinbach, and Tim O’Brien to name a few. I talked the talk, but never really got down to walking the walk.  Too busy reading papers and books to prepare lessons, too busy with graduate school, then too busy traveling.

Things changed in October 2017.  I retired from teaching.  I spent months and endless hours in the night worrying that I would find retirement boring and purposeless.  Instead, I find I am busy and satisfied.  Why?  I have developed a writing habit.  I get up when I want, drink my coffee, then sit at the kitchen table soaking up the sun and writing.  I begin by skimming over what I wrote the day before then going from there.  I write in the afternoon for a couple of hours, too.

Since I retired three months ago, I have written over 90,000 words!  Unimaginable even a year ago!  During November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and finished a 50,000 word novel — the first in a series:  Beas’s Tale: The Adventure Begins.  Since then I have written 32,000 words in the next book:  Beas’s Tale: Chasing Bees.  AND I am having fun.

Most of the habits I have developed over my life have been not so inspiring: swearing, smoking, biting my nails — the list goes on.  I like this habit and am proud to be a writer.