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!

November 2016 Wrap Up

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a fast month! Seriously, in the blink of an eye we’ve already passed Thanksgiving (for us Americans), gone through the Presidential election (let’s not talk about it, okay?), a second wedding anniversary (yay!), and now it’s practically the holiday season! This year has flown by. I think my mind’s still back in March or April, so pardon the dust. But this month was a month of writing (and failing, and I’m fine with that), of reading fun and fantastic books, and just overall enjoyment.


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

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  • Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – Was a fantastic, unique, brilliant book! I laughed, I cried, I felt emotions for characters I didn’t expect to feel for, and it was amazing. 5/5 stars!
  • P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – This was so cute and I felt that it was really realistic to how a relationship could start in high school. 5/5 stars!
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – What a great sequel! I loved the sci-fi elements, the story, and the new characters introduced. 4.5/5 stars!

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

thugkitchen thefifthseason ifiwasyourgirl thesunisalsoastar heartless winter thecrownsdog underdifferentstars theisland thechasm

Other Blog Posts

Writing Related

Fun Things

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31/30. I surprisingly haven’t read any fantasy books this month, which is fine! I’ve still surpassed my goal, which I’m proud of. For those participating, tell me how you’ve been doing!

Instagram

So over on my Instagram I participated in four different challenges this month! It was crazy, but I did most of the days and combined two or more of the challenges in one pic, usually doing two a day. It was super fun and next month I’m participating in four again! Also: I love the bookstagram community. Like the rest of the book community, they’re all really sweet, talented people.

 Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

  • Hazel of Stay Bookish talked about being a fat girl and how a book helped her stand up to body shaming.
  • Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything movie adaptation has a release date of August 18, 2017 (my birthday!).
  • #TheThanksUGive was a fun chat where a lot of the book community came together to talk about the thanks we give to others in the community, from bloggers to authors and more.
  • Maggie Stiefvater answered the important question: main character’s facial features of how they are in the books (The Raven Cycle).

Life Updates

  • My husband and mine’s second wedding anniversary happened and we spent the day in Boston, specifically Brookline because there’s an independent bookstore there that I love. We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves, which was great. We got series one Apple iWatches which are pretty cool. I keep forgetting to wear mine, though, because I’m still not used to wearing something on my wrist all the time. Whoops.
  • I saw Moana and it was glorious and I need to see it again. Like now. Right this second. The story was captivating and spoke to me so deeply to my core. The art was stunning and very well made. The representation of the Pacific Islander peoples was amazing to see! It was so fantastic and I highly recommend you check it out.
  • I also saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was cute. Predictable, but cute. It was also kind of long and I couldn’t understand Newt a lot because his accent was so thick, but I loved the creatures and getting a little more backstory of the wizarding world.
  • I got Pokemon Sun and have been perpetually distracted by the game since getting it. My team consists of Primarina, Arcanine, Minikyu, Sylveon, Magneton, and Zygarde. I love my team to bits and struggle swapping any of them out for whatever reason. Are you playing one of the new Pokemon games? Tell me your team and which game you’re playing!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this month? How was your progress? What books did you read this month? Did you enjoy your reads? Tell me all the things!

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!

Top Ten Tuesday: Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey peeps and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke & the Bookish. This week is all about what we’re thankful for because here in the U.S.A. is the week of Thanksgiving (which is on the 24th). So today I’m going to do two categories: a) bookish things I’m thankful for having in my life, and b) things I’m thankful for in my personal life. Let’s go!

Bookish Things I’m Thankful For…

1. I was able to attend three book signings this year. I think that that’s incredible because I haven’t been to a book signing since Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer came out YEARS ago. And each signing was a blast and much better than that first experience.

2. I got to meet my favorite author at one of those said signings. Sarah J. Maas was so sweet and so fun to listen to during her chat. I asked her what quote from her books I should get as a tattoo, and she named a few I already loved, and yes, I will be getting one soon.

3. Giveaways! Yes, I’ve actually won a couple, which is cool. They may have been swag or for a coloring book, but it was still cool to be able to win something since it doesn’t happen often.

4. Getting a subscription box almost each month. It’s always so fun opening the boxes and seeing what’s inside. It’s like my birthday is every month when I get one!

5. To have such a wonderful community to connect with. Seriously, everyone I’ve met in the book community has been amazingly nice, compassionate, and friendly. I’ve made some friends with people and I think that that’s so cool, how our common love of books brought us all together.

Personal Things I’m Thankful For…

6. Family. Things kind of took a major downhill turn in my family, but we’re coping and dealing with it every day. It’s not 100% better, but we make do with what we can, and that’s all we can ask for. And other than that, my family is great at caring and wanting to be there to help, which is great.

7. My husband. I know he can be lumped into the family category, but I want to put him in his own spot because I love him very much, and through all of the family stuff he’s been my constant rock and I appreciate him so much for that.

8. My best friend. She stepped up to the plate and offered to help when my family kind of crumbled, and I’m very thankful to her for that. She’s over every week, and she helps by just being here. I don’t know what I’d do without her and I love her very much.

9. I’ve been at my current job for over a year. I mean, I was at my previous one for almost six years, but still, this is a “big girl” job and I’m glad to say I’ve made it past the one year mark by a few months. I also appreciate that I get praise and appreciated there because I’m an efficient worker and I get things done.

10. For this blog and the community that I’m in. As I stated before, this community is amazing and I love that I’m part of it. But not only that, but I’m just grateful that I’ve been running this blog for over two years, and I love it so very much. It gives me a place to feel like I belong, a place where I can go to be calm, a place that I can call my own and design and use how I wish. I’m so thankful to those who read this blog, comment, and to just have a space to call mine on the Internet.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Happy Thanksgiving! How do you celebrate? Do you have a big family gathering, or is it smaller and more quaint? What are you most thankful for this year?

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!