As cold sets in, this writer gets ready to conquer the challenges that lie ahead

Tiffany S. Doran

by Tiffany S. Doran

Can you believe it’s almost November already? Officially—and unofficially—it’s a “brrrr” month. I say that because here in Virginia, temperatures have finally fallen, and my husband is dancing around, excited for the colder weather.

I’m sure you, too, are excited and dancing around, but not for the same reason. October’s 10K Novel-Building Challenge is officially coming to an end, and at last, you can let your mind rest. (For now, anyway. I mean, we’re writers—does it ever really end?) During this Challenge, I pushed my normal schedule aside and pushed myself to the brink. I also pushed the limits of how much caffeine one person can take in.

On the morning of the deadline for 10,000 words, I sat at my dining room table, the glow of my laptop screen hitting my face, and counted every single word I had typed. Then suddenly, with three hundred words left to go, my mind drew a blank. So I reread the whole chapter to find something—anything—that might trigger my brain to write those last few words. It worked, and just like that, I was finished. I was mentally drained, but so excited that what had once taken me a month to do had only taken me a week.

The next phase of the Challenge was Critique Week, and with so many people offering advice and constructive criticism, I was able to correct the things I had missed during the mad dash to pen 10,000 words. The encouragement I received from other writers in our Facebook discussion group reminded me that we’re not in competition with each other, we’re running the same race.

The only thing stopping you from making this a reality is you, so get out of your own way and be amazing.

So the Challenge may be over, but that doesn’t mean our work is. Many of us now have new books to complete, and being an author is a “forever” job, whether we get paid for it or not. If you’re like me, you constantly think (and dream) about writing, and long to achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself. I can tell you that the hard work you put in will hand you great reward. As an author, you are in control of your characters, your plots, and your storyline. It’s all in the palm of your hand. You just have to keep going.

Even if you didn’t reach 10,000 words, you still did something that truly matters: you invested in yourself and your book. If you’re new to our community, I hope you’re hungry, because once you get that first nibble, it becomes an addiction.

It’s around this time of year, as the weather changes, that Thanksgiving starts weighing heavily on my mind. (Then afterwards, it weighs heavily on my hips and thighs, but nonetheless, it’s a joyous time.) Even though it’s good that we take this time to put an emphasis on being thankful, I think we should be thankful all the time; not just one day out of the year. After all, there is so much to be thankful for every day.

This is also a great time to start listing out your goals and aspirations for next year. Where do you see yourself at this time next year? What do you want to happen with your book? Maybe you see yourself as a published author, with your book in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, making appearances at book fairs and organizing book signings. These are all worthy goals, and they are all very achievable. The only thing stopping you from making this a reality is you, so get out of your own way and be amazing. It’s in you.

Now, who is ready for some pie? Or turkey? Or both? I am ready for both!

Tiffany S. Doran is the award-winning author of soon-to-be-published Desires of the Heart. She’s a Tier IV Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, where you can see what she’s currently working on. You can also pick up copies of Tiffany’s published books on Amazon, and connect with her on her blog.

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