It Began in NaNoWriMo: One Writer’s Debut Journey

As we approach the frothing mouth of the great NaNoWriMo, many of you are gearing up to spew those sexy words like machine gun wielding cheerleaders. Hell yes, game on! Sure, the peanut gallery is across the field bitching about how NaNoWriMo is a waste of time because you’ll have to rewrite everything anyway if you want it to be worth a damn, but get your game on anyway and plug cotton in your ears. Don’t listen to the naysayers. We’ve all got to learn what works best for us, and we can’t spend our lives letting others decide what we should or shouldn’t do. The truth is, YES, you will probably do some rewriting. But that doesn’t mean National Novel Writing Month is a waste of time. My self-publishing journey began in NaNo, and I’m happy to say I now have a novel I’m proud of that bounces around on the Amazon bestseller’s list from time to time, and currently sports 84 reviews and a 4.7 star average. Did I rewrite? Yep. Was NaNo a waste of time? Absolutely not.

I had a blast! I learned who my characters were and what I wanted my story to be, and I also learned a ton about myself as a writer. I learned that there is this frigging amazing community of writers out there, whom I have grown to love and adore tremendously.  But perhaps most important was learning that I can write every day, no matter what, despite the excuses I had let hold me back in the past. NaNoWriMo gave me my very first taste of being a word-slinging BADASS, and I spread my tattered Dystopian Scifi wings and soared into action. NaNo jump-started me there.

If you’d like to watch my journey, you can here:

If you’d like to check out reviews or purchase my NaNoWriMo-spawned debut novel, “The Treemakers,” (Mature YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) you can by clicking on the cover. 
UPDATED EBOOK COVER WITH TAGLINES

So, happy writing NaNoWriMos!! You can do it!! And here’s a nifty little calendar I found for making sure you hit that daily goal. Good luck!!

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And as always,

Write on ❤

Dear you, stumbling in the dark

On this day, 11 years ago, I started my journey into the light after years of horrific, consuming, debilitating darkness. No over-exaggeration. What I went through, I should not have lived through. The fact that I am here today, alive and well, parenting my children as a single mom, living a fulfilling life I’m proud of, and achieving any measure of success is nothing short of a miracle. Not a moment passes that I’m not grateful for that. The demons of my past kill people every minute of every day, both inside and out. And though it took years of falling down and getting back up, time after time, I finally made it out for good, and I made it out for a reason.

A few years ago, I couldn’t even care for my children the way mothers should. I wasn’t mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally capable of doing so. But today, in the eyes of my children, I’m a hero. And now, I can use my own hero’s journey experiences to bear witness to others: you can make it out, too. If you want it bad enough, and you’re willing to go to any lengths to get it, the light will come.

Each of us has a different path to travel, yet we all go through darkness at one time or another. It’s up to us to share our light with each other, because we never know what sorts of darkness and demons others around us are battling. The light I share today is through my stories. In them, I offer love through loss, joy through heartbreak, perseverance, redemption, growth from grief, overcoming, friendship, unlikely families, and so many other sparks in the dark that we all need to (and most will) experience at some time in our lives. And though sometimes I think maybe I shouldn’t “brag” about my accomplishments because someone else might resent me if they are struggling with a lack of success in their own lives, the truth is, I have every right to be proud. Being proud isn’t the same as bragging. Being proud is loving myself and being my friend. And dammit, for so many years I was my worst enemy, so I deserve to be my friend today, to be proud.

Same as you.

So if you are going through darkness, don’t give up the search for the light. It’s there. Love is the key. And I’ve found that my dark journey has only helped me to see the beauty of the light that much clearer. I’m stronger, having been through what I needed to go through to find myself, and I stand before you now, offering whatever hope I can to get you one step closer to your own light. Don’t give up. You can do this. Don’t you ever give up. ❤

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(And if you know of anyone who may need this message, please to share)