NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 1 – Embark on an Adventure

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

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!

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4 Recap & Wrap Up

CNW_Participant

Well, this month was very difficult for me to get into my writing mojo, but I started several projects, wrote more for some over others, so I’m interested to see if I’ll continue with any of them.

Goal

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

That’s the equivalent to a 200-225 page book. So my average daily word count goal to reach my main goal is to write 1,667 words per day.

Stats for Week 4

Day 23: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 24: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 25: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 26: 2,617 words for a total of 20,890 words
Day 27: 1,397 words for a total of 22,287 words
Day 28: 0 words for a total of 22,287 words
Day 29: 395 words for a total of 22,682 words
Day 30: 0 words for a total of 22,682 words

This Week’s Advice: Don’t Feel Rushed or Pressured to Write

I think this is an extremely important point to remember when writing: don’t feel rushed or pressured to finish in a certain amount of time (unless you’re on deadline, then good luck to you!). When writing for a competition like this (even though it’s not really a competition), it can get overwhelming to write a certain amount of words in a month if you’ve never done so before.

If you’re like me and a lot of other people, you’ll expect perfection and everything to flow smoothly your first go around, and that’s just not the case. Even seasoned writers and well known authors don’t even have that luck. I think it’s fairly common to get into the mindset that your writing is the best or maybe it’s not good enough, and you end up comparing yourself to another writer.

Stop that. Because there will always be someone better than you, but you have to remember: what you do is your best at this moment. You can, and will, get better with time and practice.

This past month I’ve barely written anything toward my goal. Well, okay, I’m a little over half way to my goal, but if I had actually written the past two weeks instead of derping around then maybe I would have actually reached that goal this month. But the reality is that I struggled a lot with my original idea, I wrote three or four other things before finding one that I really enjoyed writing, and even that changed in front of my eyes as I wrote it and got to know my characters more.

But there’s something important that I realized while I was writing this new idea: I can’t rush it.

I want to take my time to get to know my characters, to learn who they are, what they like and don’t like, what their mannerisms are, their backstories. And I can only learn that by writing them out and letting them lead where the story needs to go. I can only interfere so much before I know that something isn’t working and my characters take the lead again.

Writing isn’t about rushing or having the most perfect piece of work ever, but it’s a slow process of learning your characters, your story, and most importantly, yourself as a writer. Keep your chin up, fellow writers, because even though Camp NaNoWriMo happens twice a year and NaNoWriMo happens once a year doesn’t mean you can’t write throughout the entire year.

Take the time to slow down, reflect on what you’ve written, and keep going because YOU created that new piece of art. YOU created something only YOU can tell. And that’s the most important part.

Wrap Up

So this last month was less than stellar for my writing, but I still made progress on several stories, so that’s really what matters.

My ending total: 22,682 words

My Goal: 50,000 words

If I had stuck to it I definitely could have reached my goal, but life and other things got in the way, unfortunately. I still had fun and will probably participate again.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How was your writing month? Did the words flow or did you struggle like me? Did you find out anything new about your characters when you were writing that you weren’t expecting? Let me know!

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 3 Recap

CNW_Participant

Oh hey, I forgot to post this yesterday, hahaha… And this week had a lot of nonexistent writing. And by nonexistent, I mean I wrote ONE DAY. That was it. This Camp NaNoWriMo I’m really struggling to get anything written, so I don’t know if I’m just going to stop altogether or try to get something done. Maybe if I hit 20,000 words I’ll stop, but we’ll see.

Goal

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

That’s the equivalent to a 200-225 page book. So my average daily word count goal to reach my main goal is to write 1,667 words per day.

Stats for Week 3

Day 16: 0 words for a total of 17,660 words
Day 17: 0 words for a total of 17,660 words
Day 18: 0 words for a total of 17,660 words
Day 19: 0 words for a total of 17,660 words
Day 20: 613 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 21: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 22: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words

*I’m not including today, April 23rd, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Keep Going!

I might sound hypocritical here given my own progress, but if you’ve come this far this month in your writing then keep going! We’re almost to the end and your goal may seem far away (like mine), but you can do it! Even if you don’t reach your primary goal, strive to reach a smaller one.

You really wanted to get to a specific scene that you were building up to? Write it. You’ve got your beginning and ending down, but the middle seems kind of funky? Write an imaginary one as filler. Play around and experiment and see what kinds of things you can come up with because even if you can’t reach your goal you’ve still made progress this month and you should be proud of yourself!

This week was a rough one for me and I don’t know that I’m going to keep writing, but I’m going to see what happens.

How was your third week? Have you hit a lull or given up? Or have you soared higher than anything your expected? Let me know!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 1 Recap

CNW_Participant

This past week had a really great start and I was so excited to be able to say that my word count grew and grew quickly, but then I reached a lull toward the end of the first week and saw a little bit of a dip, but I wasn’t too far behind and was actually ahead of the goal for the day.

Goal

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

That’s the equivalent to a 200-225 page book. So my average daily word count goal to reach my main goal is to write 1,667 words per day.

Stats for Week 1

Day 1: 2,683 words for a total of 2,683 words
Day 2: 5,467 words for a total of 8,150 words
Day 3: 2,449 words for a total of 10,599 words
Day 4: 1,844 words for a total of 12,443 words
Day 5: 1,110 words for a total of 13,553 words
Day 6: 0 words for a total of 13,533 words
Day 7: 0 words for a total of 13,533 words
Day 8: 255 words for a total of 13,808 words

*I’m not including today, April 9th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Stay Motivated

Writing isn’t always an easy thing for everyone. For some people writing is the equivalent to what math is for others (like me): it’s something to dread, to turn away from, and to hate. But writing doesn’t have to be all of those things for many reasons, but I think one of the biggest reasons writing is a turn off for some people is because of a lack of motivation.

When writing for a challenge like Camp NaNoWriMo, it can seem daunting to write 50,000 words unless you’re practiced in the art of it. It really is a lot of words, if you think about it. When typed out into Microsoft Word in 12 point font, Times New Roman, it can reach upwards to 100 pages of manuscript, which is nothing to shake a stick at! That’s a great beginning and it’s definitely a smaller novel in the making.

But how do you get to that point? When will you be able to say, “I accomplished this because ___!”?

Stay motivated. It is so, so easy to fall off of the wagon and to derail from what you had set your goal to, whether it be 10,000 words or 100,000. Life gets in the way, things come up, and sometimes you’re just plain tired – trust me, I understand. But there are some ways that can help you to stay motivated that will help you be able to reach your goal in the time that you want to reach it in, and to be able to say and feel that you’ve accomplished something.

Here are some tips and tricks to stay motivated and to keep at it while writing:

  • Find prompts to churn some creativity. If you’re ever in a rut there are thousands of prompts online that you can find to jump start your creativity to make something awesome.
  • Reward yourself, even for small accomplishments. You want to be able to reward yourself with something each time you reach a milestone that you deem worthy of rewarding. For me, I’ll reward myself with something small every 10,000 words, such as a new book or something. You can deem whatever your prize is worth to the amount of words you’ve written, but giving yourself small rewards when you reach those little goals can really keep your motivation going. Reward yourself with something big when you’ve made it to the end and you’ll feel like you’ve truly accomplished something.
  • Take breaks. Yes, I’m telling you to watch Netflix (and chill if you want, I won’t judge), or read that book you’ve been dying to get to (which I’m doing in between writing), or go out to each with friends, or sleep. All of these things helps to bring you back to reality and away from your writing and it allows your brain to recycle through all of that stress that writing can bring on if you do it for too long. So try to breathe and relax every day, too (but not too much – you still want to reach your goal!).
  • Listen to music that can inspire the next scene you’re about to write. I often prefer complete silence when I’m writing because it allows me to think through everything I’m typing, but I think that listening to music can really help set the tone and mood for what you’re trying to achieve in the scene you’re writing. Need epic battle music? What about a movie score from The Lord of the Rings? Need something to lighten the mood? Find a tune that never fails to make you smile.
  • Don’t stress! I know that when people are stressed they tend to not want to do the thing they’re supposed to do, so the important thing to remember is to not stress out too much about not reaching your word count goal for the day. Real life is going to happen, jobs and kids and errands and responsibilities are going to get in the way, but don’t worry: you can always go back and write more the next day or over the weekend when you have free time.

In all honesty, this is supposed to be a fun time of writing where you get to learn about your characters and your world, how they all work together, and also learn more about yourself in the process. The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo is a fruitful and powerful one, and I know from experience that it only gets tougher from here when you start to hit those writing slumps.

Keep your head up, keep motivated, take plenty of breaks for water and food, and have fun!

If you’re participating in Camp NaNo, how was your progress the first week? What’s your overall word goal? Have you found this week to be a good one or do you find yourself falling behind already? Want to share what your story’s about? Tell me!