Why I disagree with Laura Miller of the Salon.com

On november second, Laura Miller, one of the co-founders of Salon.com wrote a post that she called: ‘Better yet, Don’t write that novel‘ where she basically express that in her opinion NanoWrimo (or National Novel Writing Month) is a waste of time and energy.

I need to disagree with Laura Miller. In my modest opinion, there is a difference between a writer and a professional writer, in the same way there are athletes and professional athletes. When my mother was in mid-thirties and until her mid fifties when her back broke, she was an athlete, she was a runner and finish the New York City Marathon 3 times; but my mother was far from being a Professional Athetle, at that time I remember my mother talking about Grete Waitz, according to Wikipedia a professional Athlete that won the mentioned Marathon nine times.

I remember the training that my mother did, she run 10 miles, 13 miles, 15 miles and even more constantly and all those milles where not a waste of time, was training. I am sure Grete Waitz as well as the many other women that had win the marathon, had also train to run 10, 13 and even more miles, and never was consider a waste of time, that was training.

The same principle apply to Nanowrimo, it is practice, it is a place to be free and practice, the mistake is not in the practice, the mistake is in the people that think that they will be professional writers because they won a NanoWrimo. This is my second year in Nanowrimo, I finish my 50,000 words last year, and will finish my 50,000 this year too, but I am not expecting that the job will be on the lines of Joseph Finder or James Patterson, those are professional writers, those are people that practice the art in a total different form, in my case, and in the case of many people NanoWrimo is a place to learn, to practice, it is a place when people can come and practice, learn how hard is to write, but more importantly how hard is to write something good.

I am sure Mrs Miller, that you have also write practice words, I understand you don’t need to write 50,000 words of practice, and I respect that, but I wonder how many words you have waste over the years? I am sure; and I am sure because I have read you before, that you had waste many. All those words were not waste, actually all those were the ones that allow you to write as a professional writer, and finish the Marathon in the first place; because without those wasted words, most likely you will have never wrote what you have.

With all due respect.

Augusto Pinaud

A Fellow Writer.

Sometimes, I really need to simply stop Time

Yesterday, was one of those days, instead of write, I went the afternoon to the park to play with my daughter, so instead of read and go to bed earlier I went to bed later than I want it because I am trying to catch up with my new writing commitments, I am working on my post for this blog, and my post to Mind Like Monkey for Friday and an extra one for saturday, plus NanoWrimo and the final edits on another novel.

Recently, I am spending more time at home, that in my mind was the perfect image to be able to write many, many words per day, the funny thing is as I had express already, this weeks had been the most inefficient ones ever, so instead of write more, I had wrote less that my busiest times.

I know some people will say that it is common than on a change this kind of things happen, but it is funny to see how I can handle with a lot of efficiency many things and how much this change has make two of my favorite things in the world suffer, read and write.

By the time this is up, I should be in the Ford Dealer, and I hope that with coffee and catching up on all the writing that I have behind, and trust me, it is a lot.

So, if anyone has one of those watch that stop the time, can I please borrow it for a little bit.

They joy of writing

Yesterday I had plan a lot of writing, and life got in the middle, so out of the many I was planning, I was only able to accomplish 194.

Life change, and when you are in the middle of it, you can go from be a highly productive person, to the most unproductive person in the world. Two weeks ago I leave my job after four years, many reason, among others we are moving out of state. I am having a Lap Band surgery next monday and I am in the final edits of my First Public novel, tentatively “The Writer” a Mistery-Crime-Triller kind.

I have being public about the fact that I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon book “The Shadow of the Wind”, when I read that book and research him a little, I found him saying in one interview, that he writes the books he loves to read, well I am doing the same, I begin this book on NanoWrimo 2009, and took me the whole year to finish it. Now I am in the final editing part so it can get to the test readers and then I will begin the hard work. Also I need to hurry, since I am participating in NanoWrimo 2010 and I am already behind.

I will be talking soon more about the book, and the new book, and some other projects that are coming on my way, some of them from Califonia, and I hope many more from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I am back! and NanoWrimo 2010

I abandon this blog, not because I didn’t wan to write it, but because I need it to figure it out what I was trying to get out of it.

This blog, is my pace for write about my journey as a writer, my love for productivity, technology and once in a while personal stuff. I don’t know if later I may need to open another place to write about more specific projects, or I will just mix it here with everything.

In the mean time, this is what it is.

Now let’s talk about NanoWrimo 2009 and NanoWrimo 2010. I won NanoWrimo 2009, my novel, that is almost done, let’s clarified it is all finish, all my drafts are done, I wrote it in NanoWrimo, put it in the trash, write it again, put it in the trash again, and the third draft had been re-write 3 times, this last version I like, and I hope it works, now is in the hands of my pre-editor and later will be in the hands of the test readers. So I will be spending NanoWrimo 2010 on a new adventure, and maybe I am lucky and took me less time to finish it, and with a better quality. A writer can hope.

Beginning tomorrow, I will begin posting my word count for NanoWrimo, plus I am planning to use this as a launch platform for more information on my Writing Career and adventures.

52 Books in one Year!

Four years ago, I noticed that I wasn’t reading as much as I use to, so I set a goal for myself, read 52 books.

The first year I failed, I read more than I was reading but I didn’t reach the 52 I need it to meet my goal, but there is something interesting with goals, I didn’t complaint because I read only 45, trust me.

The year after that I reach 52, the one after 56 and last year 54. Tonight I just reach 52, and therefore I can cross this big goal of mine until next year (even tough I will continue reading)

So this is the list of the first 52 books of 2010 in no particular order…

– Bird By Bird. Anne Lamonth
– The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life. Leo Babauta
– The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin
– Linchpin. Seth Godin
– Insubordinate. Seth Godin
– From Idea to Book: Writing, self-publishing and print-on-demand…for your book. By: Joanna Penn
– Way of Aikido, The: Life Lessons from an American Sensei: Life Lessons from an American Sensei by George Burr Leonard
– Mojo. Marshall Goldsmith
– The Sales Leader Playbook. Nathan Jamall
– The Power of Full Engagement. Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by James E. Loehr (Author)
– Rework by Jason Fried
– Harry Potter and the half blood Prince. JK Rolling
-The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Robin S. Sharma (Author)
– My Name is David Cole. Jon Souza
– Write Good or Die. Varios Artist
– A Writer’s Coach: An Editor Guide to words that work. By Jack Hart
– Heroes for My Son By Brad Meltzer
– Your Money: The Missing Manual. J.D Roth
– Small is the new Big. Seth Godin
– The Promise Doctrine (a guidebook and system for consistently delivering on your promises!) (Volume 1)
by Craig P. Womack, Jason W. Womack
– Black Echo. Michael Conelly
– How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters by James N. Frey
– The Book Thief by Markus
– Her Side. Mur Lafferty
– Get Paid For Who You Are. David Wood
– Retrato en Sepia. Isabel Allende
– Winning by lossing. Julian Michaels
– Black Ice. Michael Connelly
– Concrete Blonde. Michael Connelly
– Heat Wave. Richard Castle
– Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins
– Catching Fire.Suzanne Collins
– Mockingjay. Suzanne Collins
-A Million-Miles-in-a-Thousand-Years. Don Miller
– The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy about Writing and Working From Home by Stephanie Dickison
– The Legend of Bagger Vance: A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life by Steven Pressfield
– A whole new mind by Daniel Pink
– Drive by Daniel Pink
– The Dip. Seth Godin
– Stumbling on Happiness.Dan Gilbert
– Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk
– Tribes. Seth Godin
– Purple Cow. Seth Godin
– Switch. How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
– This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True. by M. J. Ryan (Author)
– Cien Años de Soledad. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
– Cuando ya no importe. Juan Carlos Onetti
– Las Luces de Septiembre. Carlos Ruiz Zafon
– A Parent’s guide to Ear Tubes. By Richard M. Rosenfeld
– Hilos de Esperanza. Rodrigo Lares
– Delivering Happiness. Tony Hsieh
– Cuentos para Principiantes. Maria E. Mayobre
In case you wonder, I am going to re-read “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon as a book number 53. In my modest opinion one of the best books ever.

The smell of Books! Really!

I can’t agree more with JC Hutchins, I may be a fossil too.

I have always been a reader, for years I carry books with me, even, there was a time in my life that I wasn’t allowed in the School Library on class hours. I use to get there, hide and read. I got kick out of class for read books instead of paying attention to class.

I remember at that time, that if a book smells was a bad thing, if you will have said then that the book you were reading was smelly my mother would have told me to put it on the sun so it loose that smell.

I read my first ebook from Peanut press around 1997-1998, and I have been reading e-books since then, more than 90% of my annual reading is electronic, and I love the fact that I can carry many books, and read many more without any additional weight, additionally there is no smell.

Since the boom of e-Books people that is afraid of this new technology has been talking about the smell of the books, people apparently now cares that the book smell, and a book that smell is a better read.

I should say, that I continue thinking that books that doesn’t smell are better, but who I am to say that.

My question to all that people that suddenly need the smell of books, it is really the image of the library full of books, like the one I dreamed I would had someday, or it is the fear of the new technology, the fear that you might like the fact that you can bring with you all those books you have want to carry all your life.

Amazon, or Sony or Apple may end up designing an e-book reader that produce the mystic book smell that people is referring too, in the mean time, I continue expecting from the book I am reading that has no smell but instead a great content, I continue hoping to felt in love with the pages, the story the characters, I continue to be able to get captured in the story, smell free.

Novel Update

I am happy to say that I am on the chapter 6 of the second reading, and things are looking good, I continue in time with my personal deadline, and most likely will be on the hands of my private group of readers before the personal deadline.

I used to live in Colorado and part of this novel happen there, and had bring so many great memories, it has been actually a treat to remember how much I love Colorado.

I notice this last week something interesting, writer do certain things really well, like get into other stuff instead of writing, many times we called it research, other times we blame it on writers block, in many cases even that we are not willing to admit it the reality is that we are afraid of not have anything to say, or worse, have too much and too many dumb things to say. In my case I have been reading more and writing less, sound good, better than TV, I never call it research, but the fact is I reduce the amount of writing, including this blog and the other blog I write on Mind Like Monkey. The good news is that I discover that, and I am trying to go back to the discipline, in the way it works when I was in school, I can only read after my writing is done. When I got out of school, I though that discipline wasn’t going to be needed it again.

For now this is done, my word count for the day is not even close, but I better start, since I want to finish Catching Fire from Suzanne Collins.

Fear of Change

Regardless what you do in life, change is one of those things that most likely you aren’t going to be able to avoid. Change is inevitable, grow is optional, someone once said.

I am working into some heavy duty changes, and I have been dealing with a lot of fear, the good news is that I have been embracing my fear, I have been choosing to grow out of this fear, continue moving forward and get to the place I’m going.

Today, I had a great conversation with someone else dealing with a similar change, and a similar fear, the cool thing was this person was looking forward also to grow, this person had choose the hard path.

Are you choosing to grow, choosing to embrace change or are just choosing to paralyze to the fear of change?

Are you counting blessings or lacks?

I have work really hard for years in learn to count my blessings, the good things, the things I am grateful for, the things I am happy that I have made. I made the decision years ago to be happy, to see the positive side, to see and count my blessings.

It is easy, especially in this economy to focus on our lacks, the decrease of our discretionary income, or the income, or the lack of sales, or commissions, the hard climate, make your choice, or choose to count your blessings.

The interesting thing is that one moment or other we all go to that pity party, we count our lacks, the stuff we can’t do anymore, or we feel we are loosing, and we begin stressing about it. The problem with that while you are celebrating your lacks you close the channels to see your blessings, your health, your family, your friends, your people, and instead of move forward you just sit in the corner missing the opportunity to enjoy all the blessing around you.

It is important for me to say, that I have been on many of this parties, I have create and invite myself to many of this parties, and require a lot of work on my side to end the party and noticed my blessings. Today continue been as hard as the first time I stop to contemplate my blessings instead of my lacks, and continue giving me that incredible feeling, every time I do it.

So what are you counting?

On Writing: Telling a Story

Telling a story is a challenge, when I am writing, that challenge is evident, how you tell the story and how you refined is usually a different thing, because when you tell a story, things change, they way you tell the story evolve. One of my readers have been asking me for the next version or the manuscript of the novel I am writing, and I am exited about it, because means there is something on this story worth to read, but as in any story, you need to remember that there are things that the first time you tell the story you include and after you read it again, you discover tell too much or too little or tell things that should not be exposed.

Telling a story is a challenge, is about make the the heart of the reader beats, is make the reader alive, is about bring the reader inside your words, make them feel the fear, the happiness, the sadness, and the excitement.

If I tell you:

Susan is running as fast as she can to survive for the killer, most likely you will read that sentence as fast as you can.

Instead read the following sentence:

Little Susan was breathless, but regarding of that she knew that he was close, she had seen him kill other people, and she knew that if she stop to take some air, he may catch her and kill her.

Same story, most likely the first one is the original telling, the second one is the revision version.

I have been learning that writing the first version is easy, building the second one is a challenge, and that is the challenge I am facing as a Writer.