I’ve been traveling a lot lately. Right now, I am sitting in the Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C. waiting for my flight back to Miami. I learned a lot on this trip, about people I used to know and people I am reconnecting with again, some I haven’t seen in over eleven years. One of the big topics that I discussed with them, aside from attending my kindergarten classmate’s wedding as her bridesmaid and hanging out with my old neighbor and best friend, was social media and how they could use it in their own blossoming careers. I told them everything I could in the short time I spent with them, helping them think creatively about their future plans as well as what they could do right now.

Sitting here now, writing a story that is fresh and new and seems to have a million possible directions at the moment, I started thinking about the upcoming NaNoWriMo. This will be my third year participating and I’m approaching it stronger than I’ve ever been in writing. I have not just one but three possible plans of actions on how to approach the project and I feel more confident than ever that not only will I finish again this year, I will have a solid first draft to work with that, with heavy editing and some luck, will get published by a major publisher. Also, I was recently contacted by a good internet friend, Alicia Blade (go to her website http://www.aliciablade.com and sign up for her newsletter, she gives amazing advice on writing, publishing, and even book reviews on what she’s reading now) that she’d signed with an agent! I was blessed to start speaking with her when she was still only writing Sailor Moon fan fiction and became her Nano buddy just a month before she started writing her four-part series, which she is now going to publish. I was there to root for her when she hit her 150K mark and had completed nearly all of her working drafts for her four books (she will be writing the final book’s first draft for this upcoming Nano).

I made it a goal last year that if I wanted to take writing seriously (which I do), I needed to surround myself with amazing writers. I could no longer leave it as a “habit” if I wanted to become a professional. Lawyers know other lawyers. I needed to meet other writers. So I can now say I know a writer who will go far (I have read Alicia’s work, I know she is destined for great things), I know that my other Nano buddy (we have now known each other one year! How crazy is that?) Night_Mare will soon finish the first book in her series, Twisted, and will go far with her work. It’s time to write my first publishable story, edit it, and get that sucker in to an agent.

What are you doing to prepare for Nano? What goals are you preparing for this year? Even if you’re going into Nano with a set plan, if you’re going as a “pantser” or a “planner,” what do you want out of Nano? Friends? Just to get your ideas out? To write a little? To write professionally?

My goal: complete a working draft of the first book in my Skull Juggler series, Columbarium. I plan to spend the rest of this year working on revisions, draft a query letter, and begin submitting that query letter to agents in 2011.

What are your goals?

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