It Begins: NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s the first of November 2016. Writers around the globe are beginning to get (over) caffeinated and write rough first drafts of blooming new novels. NaNoWriMo has begun. Continue reading

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Why It’s Ok If NaNo Isn’t Working Right Now

I haven’t started writing my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel. Scary, right?! Bad? Evil? …daft? Uh, probably definitely the last one. But, hey, that’s why I’m writing this blog post!

Basically, don’t worry if you haven’t started. Firstly, it’s only Day 3 and that means you have about 26 (ok for me it’s too late to write so it’ll be day 4 soon) left to get all of your writing done. Secondly, the weekend is coming up (ok so it’s only Tuesday but it’s still coming up!). And thirdly, if you need some time to recharge your batteries (or, uh, initially charge your batteries) so be it.

If you haven’t started writing, as I obviously haven’t, here’re some top tips…

  1. Don’t try to catch up if it’ll burn yourself out. It’ll be a bit of a disaster, I think.
  2. Make sure you’re all planned and collected. If you have to get more writing done than you usually would, you might as well know what you’re doing.
  3. Have some time. Tell your friends, family and SO that you’re doing all sorts to catch up. Hopefully they’ll understand and bring you suitable caffeine products.

Good luck with NaNoWriMo, whether you’re already 10k in, are only a little done or haven’t started yet. I’m sure you’ll do great whatever.

Is NaNoWriMo “Write” For You?

is nano right for youIt’s coming up, people. You can’t put it off any longer… Yes, it’s the big o’ National Novel Writing Month. First offs, what is it? Well, it’s where a bunch of crazy people (or, some few hundred thousand writers from across the globe) get together to try to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Okay, I’m just gonna keep it as a bunch of crazy people.

NaNoWriMo isn’t right for everyone. I’m a student with a lot of work, and just about convinced my mum to let me do the Young Writers’ Program (YWP). Some people might just have become parents, or got a new job (like my mum! Congrats, mum). So… how do you know NaNoWriMo is or isn’t right for you?

  • Do you cope well – or, at least, well-ish (aka you don’t cry/get overly stressed/stop doing something else like eating) – with stress?
  • Are you able to write at the moment? Aka – no other, more important commitments like exams or family commitments?
  • Can you write? Like, you’re able to somehow get words on some sort of page, either by typing, hand writing or spoken word for example?
  • Do you think you can do this?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, I’d probably have a bit of a think before you try and conquer NaNoWriMo. I had my first 50,000 “win” last year, and, let me tell you, it was hard. I was mega proud when I’d done it, but it wasn’t easy. This year, I’m not aiming for the big 5-0, but a more realistic goal of 30,000 on the YWP. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, what with my other commitments, but I’m giving it a try because I know it’s also unlikely to stress me out if I don’t get it done.

If you answered “yes” to any/all of those questions, I’d still give NaNoWriMo a thought before you sign up. It’s difficult. Like, really difficult.

Now I’m sure that negativity has got you all nice and happy, so let’s throw in some more rainbows to lighten the mood (no, seriously, this bit is positive): NaNoWriMo is a great experience. It really is. You can do things you never thought you could, and you’ll have so much more confidence if you won or not, because, you know what? You tried.

Why am I writing this article then, you ask, if I’m just saying go for it anyway? Because, for some people, right now isn’t the time. And, if it isn’t, that is ok. There are always the camps, or next year, or, you know what, you don’t need NaNoWriMo to write! Say you can write 20,000 words in a month – over the course of six, that’s at least one novel!

NaNoWriMo is daunting and scary, but if you’re able and want to do it, I say give it a shot. It might mean you are a little more tired, or spend a little more of your spare time not reading but frantically writing, but hey-ho. It’s all fun and games.

Feel free to comment on anything or email me if you ever need any advice and/or encouraging writerly words for NaNoWriMo and/or any other endeavours.

And good luck if/when you sign up.

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I use this picture every year…

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 (JULY)

  

 CAMP NANOWRIMO IS AROUND THE CORNER! *screams with a mixture of delight and fear*

Camp NaNoWriMo is a branch of NaNoWriMo and takes place in April and July. I post about it every year, but this year I’m super excited because I’m doing something totally new.

I posted about this on my personal blog a while back, but I thought I’d bring it up again. I’m doing a series of short stories, not related, full of different genres to test out what I like, what I’m good at, and what I should just definitely stay away from.

Normally I blabber on a bit about why you should do NaNoWriMo and why NaNoWriMo is beneficial to you but I’m kind of hoping you can see this from my extreme enthusiasm.

So, although you might not want to, just do me a favour and at least check out the website, give it a try and make sure you join a cabin! (And, if you really don’t want to, try and write something in July, yeah?)

(Find me on NaNoWriMo – MidnightBeast1098!)

And my NaNoWriMo posts will be making a reappearance from the week after next too! 😀

Wow, I DID IT! [And So Did You!]

GUYS!

LOOK WHAT I DID!

NaNoWriMo-2014-Winner-Certificate.pdf1-page-001

Wow. I’m so happy!

Although the past 30 days have been sometimes depressing with crippling self-doubt, sometimes enjoyable when I adored my characters and their story, I finally did it. I wrote 50035 words in a month, and am nearly finished with my first ever novel. I’m so proud of myself and my characters, and so grateful to my awesome friends for cheer-leading me on even when I just wanted to give up. Now just to finish it… (According to my plan, it’s only 5 chapters to go, but also according to my plan I should be on chapter 15, not 17, so who knows!)

And that’s my story. For the rest of you… 😉

It’s over. Phew. Breathe. Relax.

Give yourself a pat on the back, a biscuit from the tin and a break from your whining characters. They can wait until the morrow when you pick yourself up from the euphoria of surviving 30 days.

Don’t panic if you didn’t hit your word count. You’ve done something most people only dream of: you’ve started writing a novel. Sure, now all you have to do is finish it. If you don’t hit 50k during this month, don’t be down hearted. Maybe take a few breaths and have a little scream, but make sure you carry on writing. Do your characters care that you didn’t make it? No, of course not! They’re just pleased that you’ve finally got around to writing their story after years of saying you would and then never actually doing it. You’ll finish it eventually.

And if you do hit your word count? Yayy! Cookies for all! Treat yourself to something good (I had my first ever roll of Tootsie Rolls, which was incredible because I live in the UK!), have a little dance. You’ve done incredibly.

And then… sit back down and keep on typing! There’s words to be written, characters to be killed, perhaps sex to be had, antagonists to be destroyed, love to fall for and hope to bring.

Most of all? Keep writing!

I believe in you. 1229838_646781908728779_744216109_n

Hi Diddly Ho

Hello everyone!

Me

I am so close to hitting 30k in NaNoWriMo! (Currently, 694 words to be exact.) So, I’m just about to skip off to Explorers (yay!) but I will get it before the day is over…or I’ll get up early and do it tomorrow.

I am still in awe of Becoming Jane and I can’t think of anything else basically. It’s rather distracting.

Congrats to James McAvoy who won a Scottish BAFTA for best actor on the 16th! And to David Tennant who also won an award. 🙂 I really miss Scotland, but friend issues… gah. Maybe I’ll just go and hide in a hut by a loch…actually, that sounds divine. Anyway, this is a writing blog, not a personal blog. Ahem. Sorry.

I’m starting to do a little warm up before each writing session, so I might try to do a bit of an article each time, because at the moment I’m churning out fanfictions like nobody’s business with no idea of what to do with them. Question: do you guys warm up before writing?

The Blog

Tuesday, Friday and hopefully Sunday post as per usual!

If you have any post requests, feel free to leave them, because they’re always helpful to someone who has no idea each week of what to write about….and I’ve already written about that so I can’t do it again. Oops.

Have a great week guys! Lots of writing, laughter and love I hope. 🙂 

have a hug to start your week 🙂

Happy Monday

Hello!

Me

NaNoWriMo is currently going swimmingly (touch wood). As it stands, I’m at 17,799 words, and finally getting into the juicy bits of my novel. 😀

Did anyone watch the Doctor Who finale? Opinions? I thought it could have been better, although the Brigadier was so cute. ❤

It took 3 months and 6 days, but I finally finished Pride and Prejudice! Go me.

AND I finished season 1 of Agents of SHIELD, so I’m finally onto Season 2! 😀 No spoilers.

Finally, I watched Mulan for the first time, so I’m now a happy bunny.

The Blog

Did you see what I did on Sunday? Yes, I posted a book review for the first time in weeks! Hopefully, there’ll be another one soon.

Probably no WWC. How about an extract from my NaNoWriMo novel?

And that’s about it… Toodles!

Have a nice week, guys! 

Coming Up to the Finishing Line…

*sings joyously* 3 days to go! Or…maybe that isn’t so joyously, in some cases. Are you behind? (As this is a queued post, I am really hoping I’ve finished.)

Even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo this July, this post still applies to you. Do you have a deadline – perhaps an assignment – and you’re, well, not going to make it?

Listen up, people! I’ve got news for you: you can make it. I don’t care if you have an hour and an essay. You can do it. Wanna know how?

Keep calm. Being stressed isn’t going to help. If anything, it’ll make your hands shake so much you won’t be able to type/pick up a pen. And it’ll frazzle your mind, leaving you lost for ideas.

Think logically. If you’re like me, logic avoids you at every possible moment. You prefer to go from A – Z, then back up to Q before finally returning to B. Maybe, though, this time you have to go A – B – C. Think about what you want to write. If you’re finishing NaNo, how do you want it to end? If you’re writing an essay, what do you want to write about in your introduction? How are you going to link your conclusion back to it?

Time yourself. If you have an hour to do it, set yourself a goal of 45 minutes. People do extremely well under pressure.

Just remember, though:

If you don’t make it, it’s okay. I mean, if it’s an exam, obviously it’s not okay but you will have done your best (and I know people who have got full marks without even finishing their work – me being one). And your best is all that anybody can ask for (I know people say that all the time, but honestly, it’s true). If you don’t make it in NaNoWriMo, it’s not the end of the world. There’s no obligation to stop writing. If you’ve written this month – or any month – that’s still a great achievement. Not everyone can do it, honestly!

So whatever you’ve written this month, well done. You’ve done fabulously, darling. 🙂

And if you hit your NaNoWriMo goal, have a cookie and a pat on the back. Well done, you insane person, you!

Questions, thoughts, comments? Shoot! 😀 

Keep On Writin’

It’s easy – too easy – to look at your manuscript and think, ‘No.’ Especially when you’re trying to fit a ridiculous amount of words into one month in order to defeat this thing called NaNoWriMo (or you just really don’t wanna).

Losing motivation is a terrible thing. When you open up your work, you do anything to procrastinate – even tidying your room… (that’s when you know things are really bad).

All you gotta do is keep on trying. That thing ain’t gonna write itself (however much you beg and plead).

Here’s 3 ways to keep motivated:

  1. Look for an end goal. Be it editing and then querying. Maybe you’re getting it published. Send it to friends and family (or post it online) so you have readers willing you on. Or if none of these things appeal, maybe you can say you’ll treat yourself to a new book, or a day trip. Making the end goal (for example: a word count, finishing this chapter, etc) enticing with an end treat, means you’ll find yourself wanting to write – and therefore you will write – because you want that present at the end!
  2. Make an inspiration box. Look through it when you find your motivation for a story beginning to slip. Maybe it has things that remind you of your characters, or your book, or just little notes from friends and family speeding you on – maybe it’s a box full of rejection letters! Alternatively, you can have a document on your laptop full of pictures etc.
  3. Just write. You’ll force yourself into writing, so you will write – those words will just flow out, eventually. Sure, it’ll be like pushing an elephant uphill whilst they’re digging their toes in and you have an anchor pulling you back to earth, but that’s only at the beginning (promise!). Once you get going, you’ll be fine, and you’ll feel much better for it.

For those Camp-NaNo-ers out there, you have 9 days left (not including today). You can do it, no matter what – I believe in you!

If you really want some more motivation, try listening to this song – Keep on Movin’ (those fingers on the keyboard) and you’ll be fine!

C’est La Vie!

Happy Monday everyone! (Or not so happy as the case may be. I hope you’re happy, though, there’s plenty to smile about in this world: such as kittens, or chips.)

Me 

Guess where I’m going this week?

Betcha have no idea, eh?

Yes, I’m going to France! Paris for a couple of days, then two weeks in a little hamlet. Nice.

However, that means I may not be around as much, so I’m going to schedule posts for the next two weeks (so I am having a day of writing them tomorrow!).

I’m back in two weeks, so I’ll be back to writing the articles on time (or, as the case may be, like with this one, late) soon. 🙂

I’ve also got 5k left to go for Camp NaNoWriMo and two days to do it in. Bring it on, is all I can say!

I WILL complete this camp…I WILL complete this camp…

The Blog

Nope, nothing changing here.

Have a nice week, folks! 🙂