Tis the Season- NaNoWriMo 2019!

NaNoWriMo is the highlight of the year for us at Pacemaker! It’s like Pacemaker Christmas! The mood changes, we hear from users we haven’t heard from in a while, we meet new people and exchange kind words and even exchange gifts- you give us the gift of amazing feature requests, and we give you the gift of new features!

We even have our own version of ‘Christmas Decorating’. We spruce up the site, exterminate some pesky old bugs, and deck Pacemaker’s halls with exciting new features!

This NaNo season’s decorating includes a few new ways to help you feel encouraged and productive. We hope you’ll get a burst of happiness and an explosion of joy when you see what we’ve done with the place… I could tell you more but why tell you when I can show you? Just head over to the site, dust off an old plan or create a new one, and update your progress! This is just a small taste of what’s to come over our next few updates, so definitely stay tuned!

Happy NaNoWriMo 2019!

Logging in 101

Has this ever happened to you:

You head over to the Pacemaker website, eager to see what your writing day/week looks like, or excited to add your latest progress, you try to log in and you get hit with this annoying little guy:

What a headache! Inside scoop: we know because it’s happened to us (D’oh!)

If this ever happens to you, don’t panic! It’s a fairly common issue that some of our users experience, but the good news is that it’s a really easy fix!

Most times users report this error, it’s because they are attempting to log in using their e-mail address as their username, or, they are entering their username in the wrong case.

Simply logging in using the username you registered with, and ensuring all the characters are in their proper cases, will fix that right away! If you can’t remember your username, no problem, just shoot us an e-mail requesting it, and we’ll get it to you as quickly as possible.

Trying these steps before contacting us could save you a lot of time and get you back to logging that progress before you know it!

The Pacemaker Team is always looking for ways to improve your Pacemaker experience, so we’re currently discussing ways to make the log in process more seamless, for example, by automating username retrievals and making usernames case insensitive. Stay tuned!

Writing- surprisingly social.

The other day I was scrolling through Tumblr and saw the phrase “Writing can be a surprisingly social activity” in a post by wordsnstuff, and the idea of it stuck in my head. While I don’t consider myself a writer, as an editor, I spend a large part of every day working with books and authors and writers, and so, SO much of my job is about connections and communication. Writing itself is a means of communication, a way to tell stories and share ideas. And sure, a large part of that is sitting in a chair typing away, but that’s where the story begins, not where it ends. Especially not in today’s world.

Writing communities are incredibly important.

Even if you are the kind of writer who needs to be in a room of their own locked away from the world in perfect silence for the words to flow, eventually you are going to reach a point where you will need to involve other people. Sometimes you’ll get stuck and need someone to talk things over and brainstorm with. Or maybe you need a new perspective, or insight into some aspect of the human experience that you aren’t personally familiar with. Maybe you are feeling discouraged and you need someone around to listen to you vent and encourage you that you really CAN do this, and that it’s okay to get it wrong the first time, because as long as you keep writing you’ll get there eventually.

Or maybe you’ve finished the book, which means it’s time to start revising and editing. That’s a place where new readers are almost always helpful. It can be hard to find the places where the scene that is so clear in your own head might not be translating to the page quite the way you wanted. Sometimes you might have looked at something too many times and need a fresh pair of eyes. Hearing what other people think of your work is one of the best ways of finding which parts are working and which parts might still need a bit more thought to really shine. It’s really, really hard to grow and change in an isolated bubble.

And eventually, after you’ve finished revising and editing, the next step is to share your work with people. Whether it’s with agents and editors as you pursue being published, an online community, or people you’ve never met who found your book in a store or library and decided to pick it up because it sounds so awesome, you are going to want a community of readers to enjoy your work, and to help inspire you to get started on the next project.

I know the idea of joining a writing community and putting your work and opinions out there can be scary, but I really think it’s worth it. Being part of that community, making connections with wonderful creative people, finding books I can fall in love with and helping to make them the best that they can be is why I became an editor in the first place, and why I LOVE working at Swoon Reads so much. As of September 2017, Swoon Reads has 40 fantastic authors on our list, with 33 published books, and over 40 more already acquired and in progress, and an ever growing community of readers and book lovers who challenge, support, encourage, and inspire us every day. If you are interested in coming and hanging out with us (and possibly working with us to publish your book), check out swoonreads.com. Hope to see you there!

Become a Pacemaker VIP!

Hi all! In a few weeks we’ll be launching our Pacemaker VIP newsletter! It’ll be a one-stop-shop for all things Pacemaker- exclusive discounts, new features, betas and launches, and blog posts, along with helpful resources from Community members like you!  Becoming a Pacemaker VIP is easy, simply subscribe below!

Perks of being a Pacemaker VIP:

  • Exclusive discounts on existing services and special promotional pricing for new feature launches!
  • Early access to limited seats on beta tests for new tools (along with the ability to directly influence the functionality through discussion groups and feature voting)
  • A platform to share your content with other Pacemaker users. We’ve got the users, you’ve got the content, and we don’t mind being the middle man! We’re always excited to share helpful resources with our users, and Pacemaker VIPs can submit their content for our community feature spots in each issue! (As our list grows, there may even be some ad space, and we’ll keep a few heavily discounted slots exclusively for Pacemaker VIPs)

Get on board! 🙂

Sign up to receive our best discounts, beta invitations and resources, and to be eligible to submit your content for our community highlights!

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Let’s Talk About the Writer’s Games- Group challenge!

As Round 1 of the Writer’s Games- the Individual Portion, simmers to a close tonight, the flames of friendly competition are already being fanned for Round 2- the Group Portion!

In case you blinked and missed it, over the past 7 weeks, hundreds of individual participants have written 7 short stories in 72 hrs as part of the Writer’s Games! If you can believe it, they each received personalized feedback from multiple judges, on each of their 7 short stories! Winning entries will be featured in the Writer’s Games anthology, to be published and sold later this year!

In this round, however, participants will work in Groups to conceive an idea for the weekly prompt, then plan, write, and edit their entry. An elected Team Leader will submit the entry on behalf of the team, and then the judging begins. Just as with the Individual portion, each Group will get personalized feedback on each entry from multiple judges, and the winning Team’s entry will be published in the Writer’s Workout Anthology later this year!

I know what you’re thinking, “I really want to join but I don’t have a group of my own!”. No Team? No problem! Here are three ways you can get on board:

  • Join an open team
  • Create your own team (of 7-12 members)
  • Leave it up to chance by selecting the “I NEED a team!” option. Balanced groups are carefully curated by the Writer’s Workout team based on participants’ strengths/weaknesses.  (Insider scoop: the two-time reigning Group champs, The Red Herrings, were one of these chance teams!)
Although Groups can have as many as 12 members, there is absolutely no room for spectators! Each team member is expected to pull his/her weight to produce consistent, on-theme submissions which read with one voice!
Here’s some important information to keep in mind:

The Who: The Writer’s Workout

The What: The Writer’s Games 2017- Team Portion

The When: Group Games Registration begins: July 1

Group Games begin: August 4

Anthology published: exact date tbd Fall/Winter 2017!

The How: Visit the Website or Follow the Writer’s Workout and the Writer’s Games on Twitter. Their Facebook page is very active, and the admin are incredibly responsive!

Watch this space to register from July 1! Who’s in?!