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Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

…and I didn’t pull out all of my hair in the process!

Originally, I had this nice, long post about this earlier and then my blog decided to eat it or take it away to the dark blog abyss. What a jerk. Anyways, as a NaNoWriMo finisher, let me try and be your NaNoWriMo coach (self-appointed, of course) and help guide you to the 50k NaNo finish line. Or at least, I’ll try to. 🙂

First off, I should mention that writing is my full-time “job”. I know it’s harder for those who have jobs and families to take care of to fit in a decent writing schedule. My best advice is to try and schedule in at least 60 minutes of writing time. I always tell people not to bother me unless the house is on fire or someone needs to be taken to the hospital. You know, the emergency stuff. Once you have that figured out, write in 15 minute intervals, making sure to take five minute breaks. During those breaks, do whatever you can to rest your brain. Take a walk or relax on the couch. Just make sure it doesn’t last very long. You need to get back to writing as soon as you can. If the internet ends up being a distraction, unplug or disconnect it. I have a bad habit of becoming engrossed with Twitter and blogs, so I had to unplug my internet and hide it while I was writing. Trust me, it helps.

Write down your word count goal of the day. I tried to write at least 2,000 words a day. Sometimes I met it, sometimes I didn’t. There were times when I exceeded it. Put your word count goal near your computer so it’s there for you to see if you’re having a rough time. When you do get to that goal, reward yourself. Go out for some ice cream or coffee with friends. Go out to a nice restaurant or to a movie. It could be something small like watching television (for me, a great motivator was letting myself watch episodes of The Walking Dead. Great show.) No matter what the reward is, just make sure you enjoy it. It’s a great motivator.

This year, I had a better writing support system than the year before. I think it’s important to have a group of people there for you as you try and tackle such an event as this. Go on Twitter and search for #NaNoWriMo and join in on the conversations there. Send messages to writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo website. Talk to your friends and family about your goals and achievements. It’s nice to have people encourage you along the way. If you can, go to a write-in in your area. Unfortunately for myself, I didn’t have any close by. Stupid rural Missouri.

My main advice is to keep writing. Whenever I felt a wall coming up, I just busted right through by not stopping my flow. No matter what, just write. Even if it doesn’t sound that great. Ignore the inner editor we all have (admit it, you have one) and don’t go back to edit what you’ve written. If you’ve written something that sounds horrible, change that font color to white so you can’t see it. I had to do that a couple of times and it really helped me move past from it. This month, it’s all about quantity and not quality. Write in November and edit in December.

As a NaNoWriMo finisher, I know there are some people struggling to get their word counts up there. Just keep in mind that it’s okay not to finish. This month isn’t about “winning”. It’s about finding out who you are as a writer and learning something new about yourself. Just know that you have a NaNoWriMo coach here cheering you on.

Words to remember this month

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First off, I’d like to apologize for my absence these past couple of weeks. After NaNoWriMo started last Tuesday, I’ve been so focused on getting a good lead that at the end of the day, I couldn’t even imagine writing blog posts haha.  So how am I doing so far with my word count? Well, for those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter (but why aren’t you? Hmm?), here’s my progress report:

As of November 12th, I have written over 50,026 words. Yes, that’s right. I’m already finished with NaNoWriMo.  If you remember my failed attempt at doing this last year, you’ll realize how much of an accomplishment that is to me. To finish this major writing even in a little over a week and a half is mind-blowing to me.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how I managed to complete NaNo so quickly this year, but for today, I just wanted to say hi and let you all know that I did it. I showed the ones who doubted me that they were wrong about me and for those who did believe in me, well, I did it. 🙂  Before I did NaNo this year, I’m not sure if I would have suggested any other writer to do it, but now I think everyone should experience it.  I learned a lot about who I am as a writer and that it is possible to write 50,000 words so soon. It is possible to get that far with enough determination and support.

For my NaNoWriMo buddies (you know who you are), I’d just like to thank you all for the awesome support and encouragement that you have given me. There were times when I would hit a small wall and want to give up because it seemed like such a huge task, but you never let me. You all picked me up and told me to keep going. I’m not sure I would have done this without all of the support I have received. So thank you for that. For those who are still working on getting to that 50k finish line, just know that I’ll be there cheering you on! You can do it.

It is awfully nice at the finish line.  Very comfy and relaxing haha. Although I wish there some cookies or something….

If you’re still working on NaNoWriMo, comment below with how you’re doing.  If you need any encouragement, well, I’m  here haha.

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We’re only a few short days away from the start of NaNoWriMo. I’ve talked to quite a few people about it who have said basically the same thing: “I’m nervous, scared, and excited.That really sums up the emotions people feel before the start of something like this. When first-timers tell me they’re scared, I try to tell them everyone gets a little nervous before NaNo, no matter how times they’ve done it. It’s sort of natural to feel something like that. It’s a lot of work to write 50,000 words in a month. It takes a lot of dedication and persistence. Those are two things I lacked last year and that’s why I didn’t finish.

If I could give any advice before this month long writing fest starts, I’d say to just relax. Take some deep breaths and clear your head before going into it. Make sure to connect with other NaNoWriMo participants so you know that you’re not alone. That’s something I didn’t do last year. I didn’t talk to anyone who was participating and I felt really alone. When I got stuck, I didn’t have anyone cheering me on. Nobody pushed me when I fell behind. So I really fell behind. Writing buddies are there to not only keep you somewhat accountable for how much you write, but also to encourage and support you. I’ve already “met” some awesome people on Twitter who are also going for it this year, so I don’t plan on making the same mistake!

Think of NaNoWriMo as more of a time where you can write the novel you’ve always wanted to write, but maybe you just didn’t have the time. Or maybe you just couldn’t get yourself to sit down and write it. November can be the time where you put yourself in a chair and start typing away until you get cramps in your fingers (trust me, it happens haha). As writers (and as people), we need to challenge ourselves so we can get better.

On another note, I will be doing a few guest posts these next couple of weeks. I’ll announce each one as they happen. The first one will be on Monday, so make sure to check out the blog, Wrimos FTW!, on that day to read more NaNoWriMo survival tips from me. 🙂  It’s a great blog for anyone who is a NaNoWriMo participant (or maybe knows someone who is one!)

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A few months ago, I wrote a post about writing supporters and mentioned that my betta fish, Telle (pronounced Telley), was one of them. The reason I said this was because he would swim around in his bowl on my desk and watch me write.

Telle fish

Sadly, Telle died. Yeah, I know fish don’t live for very long. But, this guy kept me company while I wrote. He didn’t make any noises. He wasn’t distracting at all. Telle would just swim around in his little bowl while I worked. It was kind of comforting to have that kind of company.

So, this is a tribute post to one of my faithful supporters. I’m going to miss you, Telle fish.

Yes, I know..he was just a fish…

Let’s move on to happier things, shall we!

Don’t forget this weekend is Poetry Weekend here! It starts on Friday, so make sure to stop by and read some poetry. Also, if you were feeling brave and wanted to participate, let me know and I’ll post either your poem or the link to it.

Now, we’ll move on to Writing Prompt Wednesday.

  • Imagine you have suddenly become invisible. What did you do? Where did you go? How do you suspect this has happened? Describe the events that happened after your discovery of becoming invisible.

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