The Romance of Following a Mentor-Part Two

Yesterday, I blogged about the benefit of following the example of a virtual mentor (for planning my wedding, and it was Martha Stewart).

Today, I look to indie author Hugh Howey to help me decide how to balance the demands of blog-writing with novel-writing. And yes, just as with Stewart, Howey would also not know me from Adam.

If you’re writing a novel or non-fiction work everyday, particularly against a deadline such as the one in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) (50,000 words by November 30), you have to wonder how much – and about what – you can and/or should blog everyday as part of National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). Enter Hugh Howey.

Hugh Howey is prolific. Since August of 2009, he has published over two-dozen works, most of them in science fiction, although some might be categorized as coming-of-age stories, traditional fiction, horror, and young adult science fiction. His brilliance comes to life, for me, not in his adept creation of post-apocalyptic worlds, but in inviting a reader’s emotional response.

Since May 25, 2009, Howey has also been a prolific blogger.

His early posts were about his then-forthcoming work, Molly Fyde, and were very creative and unsettling. A first-time reader might not know if these writings were snippets of his novel, an outside-of-the-novel created character’s views, or Howey’s own author-view. He has some beautiful posts about his father. Lately, the vast majority of his blog writing is about the publishing industry, indies versus the Big Five publishing houses, Amazon versus the Big Five, Amazon versus Hachette, and the like. All interesting, enjoyable reads.

It’s Hugh Howey’s post from this past Halloween, NaNoWriMo Eve, that inspired me to write this post. He wrote about his participation in NaNoWriMo. The very same NaNoWriMo in which I am participating. About this challenge, he wrote, “It’s that time of the year to disappear for a bit.” But he then continues to blog every two to three days!

For me, disappearing entails, among other choices, writing fewer posts, or at least shorter ones, and possibly escaping to the second floor space at my local Starbucks. Because I am participating in NaBloPoMo, fewer posts are out of the question.

Hugh Howey blogs vigorously while producing fiction prodigiously. His posts are absent of snippets of his novel, thoughtful, and inspire numerous responses.

The mad drive towards completing 50,000 words in 30-ish days (I maintain that there are fewer days due to holidays and other obligations) is meant to encourage writers to lose their inner critic. I confess that my inner critic is along for the ride. She whispers to me that I should return to my novel as I draft a blog post, and jeers as I write a chapter when I could be sharing on this blog. But she and I both admire Hugh Howey’s fiction and blogging output. Maybe she would like a latte?

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