I have been writing since I can remember. In fact, when I was a young child I would emulate my mother’s writing. I’d take a black felt pen along with a yellow legal pad and simply pretend I was making words. Line after line I’d scribble in blocks of ‘cursive’ writing. To this day, I have a love affair with pens and pads. I even get care packages from friends and fans sending me different types of notebooks, journals, and an assortment of pens for writing. To me those little packages are priceless. So you can say writing has been a lifelong journey.
As many fiction writers know, November is known as National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for those in the industry. It’s a fun little word and I’ve finally mastered the pronunciation. Until this year I never really paid much attention but because my next project is a more traditional book, rather than poetry, I have been following along. I have to give credit where it’s due. I have been following Derek Murphy on YouTube for the past six months or so. It’s there where Derek creates short videos offering sound advice on writing – anything from cover design, to properly utilizing keywords on Amazon. And although with my web and graphic design background I knew a lot in the way of online content marketing, Derek’s videos have given me new light on not only book promotion but self-promotion.
Recently the subject of NaNoWriMo has filled his feed and I’ve been following along as he and several others rented a castle for the setting of their writing retreat. In the latest post to his website CreativINDIE, he shared several pics of the surroundings as well as a brief background of each guest enjoying their Austrian NanoCastle retreat.
What is NaNoWriMo?
To summarize it best I can, NaNoWriMo is an online writing project held annually during the month of November. The goal is to complete a 50,000 word manuscript or have 50,000 words towards the completion of a longer manuscript between November 1 and November 30. There are no official prizes but anyone who completes the 50,000 words is declared a winner. According to the NaNoWriMo website, approximately 600 novels have been published as a result of the month long project, including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
Although all genres are accepted, I did not participate officially in the 2017 NaNoWriMo project as the book I am working on currently is more a self-awareness style book, which is outside the norm of my previous two poetic prose style books, and does not fall into the fiction category. I still feel it helped light a flame under me. I won’t finish the entire manuscript by the November 30th deadline but I am on my way to putting together an inspiration filled self-help, self-awareness book I feel many will relate to. I am only about a third of the way through with hopes to be complete around the first of the year.
The beauty of NaNoWriMo is its concept can be used during any month. Simply set your goal and get to writing. Each word you get down is another word closer to completing that manuscript. Don’t forget to check out Derek’s NaNo Castle post, maybe you’ll find a bit of motivation – if you can overcome the jealousy of not being in a castle for a month.
Also check out Derek Murphy’s Guerrilla Publishing on Amazon.
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The internet, and more importantly, social media has made sharing the written word much easier. I myself found Facebook a very easy platform to share my writing. In December of 2014 I created the Writer Jay Long page and since that time, it has been liked and followed by tens of thousands. Today Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, are filled with hundreds, if not thousands of pages of poetry, quotes, and prose by prominent old school writers as well as many unknown or up-and-coming writers. Certainly they all don’t stand out but they are finding their voice and that’s more important in my opinion. Not only was I able to share my own writing with the world, I was fortunate to discover so many other talents along the way. I have put together a list of writers who I find to be powerful voices in today’s modern writing movement. Of course, this list is not definitive, as there are certainly more than a dozen influential writers, and poets gracing the world today with their words. I am sure there will be follow-ups that will include even more strong writers in the weeks and months to come.
Michelle Schaper : Soul Kissing: A Collection of Playful Poetry and Prose Paperback – August 26, 2016. This volume of poems, prose, and musings is the first published work from Michelle, encouraged by her family, friends, and followers of her Facebook page. Michelle’s writing is heartfelt and unique. Her words will have you thinking.
Alfa : Abandoned Breaths: Poetry, Quotes, and Poetic Prose (First Edition) Paperback – May 1, 2017. Abandoned Breaths is the debut poetic collection from Alfa. Between these pages she has gathered the warehouses of the unsaid, and weaved together the voices that have remained silent in our heartbroken hotels. Alfa was one of the very first writers I found on Facebook. Her pieces are quick and very powerful. I am looking forward to her next release.
Tyler Knott Gregson : Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series Hardcover – September 2, 2014. Tyler Knott Gregson has released several books of his brilliant writing. Chasers of the Light has always been my favorite of his. His Typewriter Series: is a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method.
J.M. Storm : In My Head Paperback – August 1, 2017. This is J.M. Storm’s debut book published by Monarch Publishing and immediately found it’s place among poetry best sellers. In My Head, dives below the surface of love, loss, and life. J.M. Storm has crafted a haunting yet hopeful poetry collection that is meant to be felt as much as it is read.
Nicole Lyons : Hush Paperback – April 10, 2017. HUSH written by author and poet Nicole Lyons, is a searing collection of poems that takes the reader on an emotional ride through a tunnel of mental illness and reckless love. It is Nicole Lyon’s debut book of poetry.
Zachry K. Douglas : A Journal From The Sea Paperback – August 30, 2016. A journal from the sea is poetry through the eyes of a man who had been lost and finds his way back by the love a woman. These poems are intended to bring hope to those looking for answers and peace for those who are restless.
N.R. Hart : poetry and pearls: romantic poetry Paperback – November 27, 2015. N.R. Hart leaves small pieces of herself on each page of ‘poetry and pearls: romantic poetry.’ Reading her words, one definitely understand who she is. Each page holds a memory, creates a setting or lays out dreams full of wants and desires. Romance has certainly not died and if N.R. Hart has anything to do with it, never will.
Atticus : Love Her Wild: Poems Paperback – July 11, 2017. Love Her Wild is a collection of new and beloved poems from Atticus. Within its pages, Atticus captures what is both raw and relatable about the smallest and the grandest moments in life.
Michael Faudet : Bitter Sweet Love Paperback – October 25, 2016. Bitter Sweet Love is the much-anticipated second collection of internationally best-selling poet Michael Faudet. Michael’s poetry and prose explores the many different facets of love and relationships.
Dena Daigle : Scattered Ashes: A Collection of Poetry and Prose Paperback – August 18, 2017. This is the debut collection of writing from poet and author Dena Daigle. It shares her journey of struggles and ultimately triumph.
Fiona Summerville : Typos and All: A Collection of Poetry and Prose Aug 29, 2016. In her second release, Typos and All, Fiona Summerville once again addresses life’s poignant nuances through poetry. Delving deep, as she dares the reader to revel in every sweet and bittersweet moment, while never losing sight of the hope and love always waiting on the other side.
Christina Strigas : Love & Vodka: A Book of Poetry for Glass Hearts Paperback – December 2, 2016. Love & Vodka is Christina Strigas’ third poetry book. A contemporary poetry book that will not disappoint you and that will restore your faith into the power of poetry again. Christina writes romantic love poetry in a stream of consciousness story-telling prose.
The list is just a sample of the talent out there today. I also have been fortunate enough to have two books published; Timeless Chatter Between the Heart and Mind and Eternal Echoes. I am proud of the writing I released. Each page is part of my journey and I hope anyone that reads through those pages will see the growth and enjoy the experience. More information on where to find is on the BOOKS page or if you’d like signed copies, they are available in the SHOP section of the website.
Who are some of your favorite modern writers?