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!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 2 – Don’t Give Up!

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Well, this week was less than stellar, as you can see by my LACK OF WRITING AT ALL. UGH. I just couldn’t bring myself to write last week, what with the election, work, no motivation WHATSOEVER. I’M NOT GIVING UP THOUGH. I’m going to do my best to reach 50,000 words this month, I swear it!

I also got some NaNo merch last week and I swear they have magical properties. Each time I’ve put them on I’ve felt the need to write, and I actually would write and get a lot done, too. It’s crazy. Here’s the merch I got:

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  • Astro mug
  • Knit hat
  • House NaNoWriMo scarf

I feel like I can conquer the beast when I’m wear this merch (and have the mug next to me), so I should seriously just wear it each day I write.

This week is going to be better! It is! If you’re like me and you’re stuck, keep pushing through! I know it’s hard, but we can do it.

Goal

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

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

Stats for Week 2

Day 6: 0 words
Day 7: 0 words
Day 8: 0 words
Day 9: 0 words
Day 10: 0 words
Day 11: 0 words
Day 12: 0 words

Total Words: 14,384 words

*I’m not including today, November 13th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Don’t Give Up

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? Well, this is usually the time when everyone starts to feel exhausted from writing. If you’re a good person you’ve been writing every day and meeting your word count, but you might start feeling like you’re winding down, giving up. If you’re a bad person (like me) you probably feel like there’s no point to you writing because you’ve fallen SO FAR behind.

Well I’m here to tell you: don’t give up!

We’ve set ourselves up to reach a very hard goal this month: writing a short novel in thirty days. It’s challenging even for some highly acclaimed published authors, let alone people doing this for fun or otherwise. Don’t feel like you NEED to prove anything to anyone other than yourself. Show yourself that you can do this, that you can write every day. Forget about the word count goal; just write for yourself, write as much or as little as you can per day.

Do your best and don’t give up! It’s not about winning, it’s about getting your story out of you and onto paper (or computer). You can do it. You may get frustrated, tired, drained, but you can still do it. Once things start falling into place in your novel you’ll start to feel so much better.

Keep your eyes set on the horizon and keep writing!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How was your second week of writing? Was it as bad as mine? (aka non-existent) Have you been meeting your word count goal every day? How far have you gotten in your plot? Tell me all the things!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 1 – Embark on an Adventure

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This week started out really strong. Like really, really strong. You can see by my stats below that I was kicking some major butt the first day of NaNo. And then… it just kind of went down hill real fast, haha! The end of the week was a bit more difficult for me to concentrate on writing, so I wasn’t able to get much done at all. And that’s fine. I’m still writing and doing what I can and having a good time doing it. At least this time around my story is flowing a lot easier. I’ve got an outline I’m following and I find that it’s really helping me.

Goal

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

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

Stats for Week 1

Day 1: 10,339 words
Day 2: 2,092 words
Day 3: 1,869 words
Day 4: 0 words
Day 5: 84 words

Total Words: 14,384 words

*I’m not including today, November 6th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Embark On An Adventure

When you’re writing a story, you’re not just writing a bunch of words to get them down and out of your head; you’re embarking on a journey. It’s long and tedious and, quite frankly, exhausting, but it’s so much fun and so worth it when you see that end product on the horizon. Even if you don’t meet your goal, you still accomplished something just by starting because most people don’t even get that far.

Take the time to sit back and enjoy what you’re writing. The first week is probably the easiest week and it’s only going to get tougher from here. You’re going to want to quit, to change everything, to start a new story. I implore you to keep going! Don’t let that funk put you down and don’t let anything stand in your way. This is YOUR story. YOU are the only one who will be able to tell it.

I want you to try something this week: envision yourself as your character. I know you’re already going along for the ride with them as their creator, but just imagine yourself as them for a minute. Are they enjoying the journey? Can they see what’s coming next? Or is it a thrill to have a foot in the unknown? If you find that you are struggling, put yourself in your character’s shoes for a moment and make sure that what is going on is what THEY need out of the story. Not you.

Take this journey and embrace it. It’s a fun time, and though, yes, it will get rocky, that sight you see when you’ve reached your goal will be one of the best ever. So keep at it, and keep reaching toward that horizon.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How has your first week gone so far? Have you achieved any personal milestones yet? Have you participated in any sprints? What is your main goal in the week to come? Tell me all the things!