NaNoWriMo Survival Kit 2017

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Hello beautiful people! Today is all about NaNoWriMo! If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, here’s a brief description: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a month long challenge that takes place every November and challenges you to write 50,000 words in the month. It’s a fun challenge and I’ve participated for several years, and this year is no different.

So I was watching some NaNo Prep videos on YouTube and came across some NaNo Survival Kits – essentially items that you can’t write your novel without during the event. I figured I’d share my own items that I know I couldn’t be without when it comes to NaNo, so here’s my list:

  • My laptop. I mean. Duh. How else am I going to write this novel? I’m certainly not going to handwrite it because ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • My USB thumb drive. I’ve had this same USB for years and years now, and it’s the second most important thing to me when it comes to writing. I save my story after every chapter that I write. I don’t want to lose any of my hard work in case anything happens to my laptop, so I save everything to this USB as a backup.
  • Music. I can’t really listen to music with actual lyrics when I’m writing unless I’m super focused because then my attention will be drawn to the music rather than what I’m working on, and that’s kind of not the goal. I listen to a lot of Lindsey Stirling and movie scores; pretty much anything classical in some way.
  • My NaNoWriMo scarf, hat, and mug. Okay, so these aren’t like super essential for the actual act of writing, BUT I still found these items to be super comfy when I was writing last year, and a little comfort whenever I looked at them because I’d think to myself, “I’m doing this for me and for something I’m passionate about.”

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  • A bottle of water. I don’t know about you, but I need to stay hydrated. I can sit for hours writing, sometimes writing over 1k words every half hour if I’m super into it, so I need to stay hydrated while my brain goes into overdrive.
  • Candy and/or snacks. Not the healthiest option here, but sometimes those little bits of sugar can really make or break when it comes to having enough energy to get out just that last paragraph to call it a day.
  • Writing space. Okay, I don’t know about you, but I can’t really write when I’m in a super distracting environment. I need a place where my brain can associate that when I’m in that space that it’s writing time. This year, I’m not sure where that will be. Maybe my desk, maybe my bed. Who knows? I just know I need that space.
  • My writing program of choice! Obviously I need this because how else am I going to write this novel? I’m most likely going to use Microsoft Word to write it, as I have for a long time now, and I’m fine with that. I write chapters in separate documents and keep planning in one and I have it organized in a way I understand. One day I might use Scrivener, but not right now.

And that’s it! I’m pretty easy to please, haha, but that’s really all I need for NaNoWriMo to survive it. I hope that each of my items help me survive, anyway.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

What’s in your NaNo survival kit? Anything that you’d suggest that I add to mine? Are you excited for NaNo!?

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Inktober & NaNoWriMo Prep

Hello beautiful people! So it’s the first day of Halloween October and there are two major events going on that I’m going to be participating in, and they are:

Inktober and NaNoWriMo Prep.

In case you don’t know what either of these things are, here’s a little info about them & what I plan on doing:

Inktober

Inktober is a drawing challenge that has four rules:

  1. Make a drawing in ink.
  2. Post it online.
  3. Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017.
  4. Repeat every day of October.

That’s it! I first saw the challenge last year around the time I started my art Instagram and I wanted to participate this year. There’s an official list of prompts for the 31 days, and I’m going to be using that list to draw every day in October and – hopefully – improve my skills more.

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I’ll be using Micron Fine Liner pens for the majority of my work, but I may do some in color? I’m not sure as I’ve always loved drawing in black and white, but we’ll see how I’m feeling for that prompt that day. So if you want to see how the challenge is coming along then please check out my art Instagram linked above!

NaNoWriMo

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National Novel Writing Month is coming up NEXT MONTH (ugh, it hurts to say that) and OMG I NEED TO PREP SO BAD. Like. I’ve never really prepped for this before? I kind of did last year where I had an outline and things were going pretty good UNTIL THEY WEREN’T. URGH. But it’s fine. Everything’s fine.

So what’s NaNoWriMo you ask? It’s a 30 days writing challenge that takes place from November 1-30 where you are challenging yourself to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s a super fun (and kind of exhausting) challenge, and if you love to write or you have a story idea that you’ve been dying to tell, then this is probably the challenge for you!

Of course you don’t have to write 50,000 words if you’re unable to or if your story doesn’t need to be that long, but the goal is to reach that word count if you can in 30 days.

I don’t have a synopsis ready yet as I’m still working out some kinks in the story I want to write this year, but here are three keywords that my story revolves around: fantasy, depression, love.

This is a story that I NEED to tell. It’s a subject matter that’s close to my heart and it’s one in which I feel will not only be challenging for me to write, but also beneficial. I hope that during the month of October I will be able to successfully prep myself by doing the following things:

  • Write an outline of the whole story. I found that I actually like outlining as I’m able to use it as a guideline for my writing so that I don’t stray too far from where I had imagined the story going.
  • Come up with a synopsis. Honestly, this should be the first thing I do because even though I have a concept of the character and the power she’ll have (I was also going to originally make her a male, but I think I’m going to write her as a female… we’ll see), I don’t exactly have a plot figured out. Like, I know the general message I want to get across in the story, but I don’t have a way to get there. I sort of do but I don’t? It’s very hard to explain.
  • Work on small writing prompts to get to know my characters, the world, and what they have to deal with. This is a new thing I’m going to try this year. I usually already know my character as I have a file in my head of who they are in everything (imagine Bruce Almighty when he’s in that building meeting God for the first time and opens the file cabinet), but I think that this will also be very beneficial as I can write back story, side story, develop the world, figure out weapons systems and powers and stuff like that. I have vague concepts but not enough for me to really go on.
  • Participate in little NaNo Prep challenges here and there. I think it’ll be fun to join in with other writers and brainstorm and chat about our novels. Plus it’s a little encouraging to know that others will be doing similar things as I am.

Alright, so there you have it! These are the two challenges that I’ll be facing in October. I’ll try to do weekly wrap ups of Inktober to show the art I created for that week, as well as discuss what I’ve been doing for NaNoWriMo as well.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

If you’re participating in either of these challenges please let me know! I’d love to be able to go on this journey with you and see just what October has in store for us. Are you interested in either of the challenges? Let me know how you’re prepping for NaNo.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 5 – The Homestretch & Winning NaNoWriMo

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I WON! I mean, if you couldn’t tell by the banner and the title of this post. But yeah! I won! I’m so incredibly proud and happy with myself. I was honestly going to give up before I reached 40,000 words. But then I was like, “No. I need to do this.” And I pushed through it and I managed to win. It was a long month full of patterns of writing A LOT one day, a little bit other days, and then weeks without writing. It was crazy and exhausting, and I’m so tired, but so happy. Oh man.

To anyone out there who thought they couldn’t do it, but did: CONGRATULATIONS!

To anyone out there who tried but didn’t make it: YOU’RE AWESOME! You still wrote, you still tried, and that’s really all that matters. 50,000 is just a goal. The real goal is writing.

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of November 30th.

My average daily goal is to write 1,667 words.

Stats for Week 5

Day 27: 0 words
Day 28: 0 words
Day 29: 6,905 words
Day 30: 6,246 words

Total Words: 50,234 words

Chart

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That purple bar makes me so happy. But as you can see: I plateaued A LOT this month. See those huge gaps in the bars where they just suddenly shot up? Yeah. That was sheer determination. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I did, and I still can’t believe it.

What I’ve Learned & What I Look Forward To

Oh man, where do I begin? What I’ve learned this month is that I am so a writer. I love to create, to tell stories, to see where my imagination takes me. I want to be able to one day share these creations with the world, but first I need to finish them. But I’ve also learned that I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband, who cheered me on all month which I’m super grateful for, as well as some of my lovely friends on Twitter who cheered me on as well.

I’ve also learned that I really like outlining! I hated it before. Loathed it, even. But man, I found that following an outline actually really helps! I tried doing the pantsing thing multiple times and I don’t think it helps me to stick to the story that I originally set out to do. This time I feel like I followed it very closely, took out the parts that I didn’t need, and formed my story around the ones I definitely wanted to hit.

I’ve also discovered that I like to write in bursts. I like to write 10k+ words in one day because I’m too tired throughout the week to do it, so why not do it on that one day? I find that if I’m really into the story that the words come easily for me.

I’ve also learned that wearing magical writing gear helps, too.

So what do I have to look forward to now that NaNoWriMo is officially over? Well, let me tell you: my story isn’t even close to being done. I just got to the part in my outline where it’s the beginning of the end, so I still have all of the ending of the story to write. I don’t know how much more that’ll be, but I will finish it soon! I am going to take a break, though, because my brain is so tired from pushing so much creativity out in one month. But damn, I missed it.

Once I’ve finished writing my first draft I plan to edit and revise it all before I let anyone beta read it or critique it or anything. I have someone in mind who I’d like to critique it, I just need to ask her if she’d be willing to. And of course let my husband read it (aka make him read it, lol).

I hope you all had a wonderful writing month and that no matter how much you wrote you are still proud of yourself for what you did accomplish.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Did you win at NaNoWriMo? What was your final word count? I hope you had as fun a time as I did this past month because man, what a ride it was! Tell me the ups and downs you faced this month as well as what you’re looking forward to for your project. Congrats to everyone!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 4 – Take a Break

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I’m sensing a pattern here… I seem to be able to write nonstop every other week and then just not write for a week straight. This past week was particularly difficult what with the holiday and I’ve just been so incredibly tired. I just want to sleep constantly and I don’t know why. So I didn’t write any words this week, but I’m okay with that. I mean, I’m not, but I’ve accepted that life happens and it’s going to happen. If you’re stuck in a rut too, I hear ya. But we’ve got a few days left, so let’s make it count, yeah?

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of November 30th.

My average daily goal is to write 1,667 words.

Stats for Week 4

Day 20: 0 words
Day 21: 0 words
Day 22: 0 words
Day 23: 0 words
Day 24: 0 words
Day 25: 0 words
Day 26: 0 words

Total Words: 37,083 words

*I’m not including today, November 27th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Take a Break

It’s probably not what you wanted or were expecting to hear this week. I don’t mean do what I do and take a week off in between writing; I mean give yourself a break. A few hours, a couple minutes, or a whole day. Your brain needs to rest if it’s going to keep giving you words to write, so you need to give it the rest it deserves and needs.

Sometimes it’s more beneficial than just chugging along to reach the word count or to reach your own personal goals. We all can’t chug out a crap ton of words in a single day. That’s fine! You have to do what you can and accept it and go with it. Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind as a result. Even if you don’t win, look at the progress you’ve made. Look at it! You’ve done that all on your own. So give yourself a much needed break and relax for a little while.

That being said, though, don’t just drop writing completely. I mean, look at my progress above: NOTHING written this week. Zero. Zilch. It happens. I’m not going to let it get me down. I’ll power through if I have to, but even if I don’t, I’m still very happy with the progress I’ve made this month and I’m so glad I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

Keep going! But take the breaks you need. Read a book, go for a walk, play with your dog/kid/guinea pig, play a video game, watch movies (Moana was amazing, go see it), but above all: don’t stress. R E L A X. I know it can be hard, but you can’t strain yourself over it.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How has this week gone for you? We’re in the home stretch! Are you excited? Did you already reach 50k? How much more do you have to go? What are you doing to take a break during this time? Let me know!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 3 – Your Writing Is Worth It

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This week was MUCH better in terms of how much I wrote and meeting goals and all of that. I’m kicking butt and having a blast doing it, that’s for sure! I plan to shut myself off from the world again today, so I’m hoping that I can write another 10k words. Even I only get another 5k I’ll be happy, but my goal is to just write until I can’t anymore. Of course, now that I have Pokemon Sun, I’m very distracted (hence not writing the past three days). At least I gave myself a buffer.

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of November 30th.

My average daily goal is to write 1,667 words.

Stats for Week 3

Day 13: 11,551 words
Day 14: 2,135 words
Day 15: 2,441 words
Day 16: 4,795 words
Day 17: 0 words
Day 18: 0 words
Day 19: 1,777 words

Total Words: 37,083 words

*I’m not including today, November 20th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Your Writing Is Worth It

At this point in NaNo you may be feeling like your writing sucks. Not just your writing, though, but the story itself. Maybe you veered off course from what you wanted to write in the first place, or maybe you just can’t seem to bring the right words to the page. I just want you to know: it’s okay. Your first draft is supposed to suck. Remember: you’re not in school. This isn’t going to be graded. It doesn’t need to be perfect right off the bat. This is for fun, for YOU, so keep that in mind as you write.

What I also want you to keep in mind is that your writing is worth it. Every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter that you write is a step closer to your ultimate goal: a completed manuscript. Or maybe your goal isn’t a completed manuscript, but it’s to reach 50k words. Or maybe it’s to see how many fight scenes you can put in before you ask how much is too much. Whatever your goal might be, it’s worth it. Keep taking those steps, writing those words and paragraphs, and keep writing. Strive for the highest that you can achieve – then strive higher than that.

But I want you to remember the most important of all of these things: do this for YOU. No one else. Just you.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

We’ve survived the first three weeks of NaNoWriMo! It’s a weird time because there’s still a week and a half left, so it’s like we’ve got five weeks of writing, but hey! We’re over the hump! Take the time to celebrate and to reward yourself for each milestone that you pass. Little rewards can add up, and you need to keep your morale up. Tell me all of the things! How’s your progress? How are your characters getting along? Are you finding the words to tell everything you need to tell? Let me know!