My 3 Day Writing Streak Badge

I was feeling a little demotivated when I discovered the NaNoWriMo site is glitching and not giving everyone their writing streak badges. I managed to earn my 2 day streak badge but the site did not give me a 3 day streak badge yesterday.

Fortunately, the wonderful people at NaNoWriMo have downloadable writing streak badges we can use and display for ourselves.

I won’t be discouraged. If I can’t get the badge on the website right now, I’ll display my badge right here.

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Let’s hope the badges are working again by the time I reach my 7 day writing streak. If not, I guess I’ll be back here to share another milestone.

If you’re looking for badges to celebrate your NaNoWriMo writing streak, you can download them here. Thanks so much to the lovely people doing their best to provide motivation and inspiration to struggling WriMos.

Last Minute NaNoWriMo Prep

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Happy NaNoEve!

It’s Halloween so there are plenty of tricks and treats to keep us distracted during the final countdown to the start of NaNoWriMo. However, it’s not a bad idea to spend a little time on last minute preparations to make the start of NaNoWriMo slightly less stressful.

This afternoon I’m making a huge pot of Japanese style curry. It’ll get my boyfriend and I through at least the beginning of the month. If I’m lucky, I might manage to make enough to add to my arsenal of frozen leftovers for later in the month as well. I have a feeling leftovers and take out are going to rule the month of November.

Later tonight I’ll probably use up some of my excited energy tidying up the apartment. It’s going to be far from sparkling, but with a little bit of extra effort I might be able to get away with letting some things slide for the first few days of the month. Those extra moments of writing really add up when I still have excess energy.

I’m also taking time today to read over what I have written of my draft so far. It’s a different kind of start to NaNoWriMo than usual, but it’s also kind of fun. I haven’t worked on this project in month so I’m going back to it with fresh eyes. Maybe I should be concerned about wanting to change what I’ve already written?

What sort of last minute preparations are you making for NaNoWriMo today?


Are we NaNoWriMo buddies yet? If not, add me!

Want to read my NaNoWriMo project scene-by-scene and get early access to my writing all year? Join my Patreon!

I finally picked a NaNoWriMo project

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I’ve been going back and forth on my options for NaNoWriMo this year for months. This month I finally settled on a single project.

I’m going to be continuing the 3rd draft of The Dreams next month. If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’re probably used to hearing this by now. This is my go-to project for most NaNo events. I’ve been making progress bit-by-bit with the draft and NaNoWriMo is a great excuse/source of motivation to focus on it again.

I feel like I need to be producing new content and a rewrite or new draft doesn’t really count as new in my mind. What do you think? Is a complete rewrite worthy of being considered new?

Now that I’ve settled on working on this 3rd draft, it should be obvious I’m rebelling again. Labeling myself a rebel used to bother me. I worried I was going against the spirit of NaNo. These days I know better.

There’s nothing wrong with doing something different for NaNoWriMo. I do think it is worthwhile to start a brand new project and reach 50k at least once during NaNo, but that doesn’t have to happen every year.

This will be my 14th year participating. I’m sure there are people that have started with a brand new draft every years 14 years in a row, but that’s not for me. I’d love to start from zero on November 1 again, but I’m writing all year and the stars need to align for that to happen. I’ve done a traditional NaNoWriMo and won. I’ve rebelled and won. At this point, I just want to write 50k every November with the energy and support of the community to motivate me.

Have you picked a project for NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear about it!

Looking for a NaNo buddy? Add me!

NaNoWriMo Buddies

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I’m trying my best to get acclimated to the new NaNoWriMo site. The worst of the glitches seem to have cleared up now. It’s still a strange new site, but the pages are actually loading now so I feel free to explore.

One thing that really hit me hard during the transition was the loss of my buddy list. There were buddies on that list I met during my first NaNoWriMo back in 2006.

I can get back the buddies that are still active but I’m pretty sure some of the older accounts are lost to me. Instead of looking back at what I’ve lost, I’m going to try to look forward.

It’s time to get some new NaNoWriMo buddies. Here’s a link to my profile. Please feel free to add me.

Some September Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2019

How is it already September? I swear we were about to start July CampNaNoWriMo a minute ago. Time really does fly when you’re trying to juggle more projects than you really should.

I’m already late to start my planning for NaNoWriMo. Usually, I at least know what I’ll be doing by August. Some years I even decided on my project during the previous year’s event. This year I’m just not sure what I want to do.

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There is something I want to do before November. I need to finish writing Inbetween by then. This story has gone on for long enough and it’s taken me years to write. I’m at the point where I’m ready to wrap it up and tuck it into a drawer for a while. Once I have some distance, I’m sure my fond feelings for it will come back, but right now thinking about it just leaves me exhausted.

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When one project is wrapping up, I usually have another waiting to jump up and take its place. This time I have two projects waiting in the wings.

My rewrite of The Dreams has been on the back burner the past few months while I try to drag Inbetween to the finish line. Draft 3 of The Dreams will be the next story posted here after Inbetween, but I will be taking a hiatus from posting serial chapters here until I have the full draft written. This is mostly an attempt to get back a bit of my sanity since I’ve caught up to my writing too many times with Inbetween and I don’t need to perpetuate that kind of stress in the future.

I’ve been itching to get started on my next new serial as well. It’s about witches and as the seasons change I find myself more and more eager to write something magical, spooky and more than a little bit witchy. I have a lot of planning I want to do for this serial before I can start writing. The characters and setting need to be thoroughly planned out and understood before I can begin writing since I will be using tarot to help form the plot. I need to understand the nuances of my characters and their environment to properly interpret the cards.

Both of these projects are easily contenders for NaNoWriMo this year. Doing both sounds ideal, but I know how I work. I’d get nowhere fast with both of them if I tried. I need to pick one and stick with it until the end of the month.

But which one is the right fit for NaNoWriMo?

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I’m not ready to decide yet. Maybe I’ll know next week. Maybe I’ll decide once I write the final chapter of Inbetween. I might even do something I’ve never done before and let me mood decide at 11:59 pm on October 31.

Whatever happens, I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts as NaNoWriMo approaches so stay tuned!

Thinking About CampNaNoWriMo

Maybe it was the spring-like weather we had here yesterday, or maybe it’s just that time again, but I’m thinking about CampNaNoWriMo.

It seems too soon, but April is only a month and a half away. If I don’t come up with a plan soon, I’ll run out of time.

This year I have a bit of a dilemma. Usually I have one or two projects that need my attention during Camp months. I try to pick one and focus on it. Currently I have three.

I’m so close to finishing Inbetween. April might be the perfect month to wrap up the first draft. At this point I’m almost positive I’ll have enough story left to carry me through a reasonable Camp goal.

The Dreams still needs its 3rd draft completed. About half the 3rd draft (100k) is written at this point. I want to get it done this year. It’s another contender for my April CampNaNoWriMo project.

I’m also getting impatient to start my next project. I don’t want to start writing the first draft until I finish Inbetween, but CampNaNoWriMo is flexible enough to allow me to work on planning and outlining instead. The next story has no title at the moment, but it’s going to feature dragons and witches and the story will be guided by tarot readings. It’s going to be so much fun!

Based on the size of the paragraphs above, I think you can see which project I’m currently most excited about. New things are always exciting. It might be more responsible to work toward finishing one of my works in progress.

Is it better to be responsible and work toward completing projects that I’ve been passionate about for years? Or should I work on something shiny and new to hopefully get a word count boost for Camp from the natural high of a new project?

Fortunately, I have some time to consider my options. Camp doesn’t start until April 1, after all. Have you started thinking about April CampNaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is Almost Here!

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This will be my forth main NaNoWriMo event while maintaining this blog. Every year I’ve tried to approach my blog updates during November a little differently. I’m changing things up again this year.

Inbetween will be on hiatus for the month of November

I haven’t put a serial on hiatus for NaNoWriMo since 2015 and back then I was just getting started. In 2016 and 2017 I was afraid to take a whole month off. I wanted to keep up the momentum.

This year I think a hiatus is the best thing to me and my writing. Last year I juggled keeping up with Inbetween while trying to work on The Dreams for NaNoWriMo. It just about burned me out and I was stressed out trying to keep up with my weekly posts for months after the event was over.

Honestly, I thought about trying to do it again.

I like to push myself. I like being consistent. It seems like there are a lot of pros to succeeding and only one really big, ugly con.

Over the last few days I’ve convinced the stubborn, ambitious part of myself that I’ll be happier and healthier if I give myself permission to take a break.

That’s the hardest part. There’s no one else to give me permission to take this break. I can ask friends and patrons for their opinion, but the final decision is mine alone. I’m not good at giving myself permission to deviate from my original goals.

This will be the start of working toward some new goals. I have every intention of returning to my posting routine in December, but I need some time to get The Dreams off the ground and I’m the only one who can give me that time.

I’m looking forward to dedicating a month to writing. I hope you’ll be ready and waiting for more of Inbetween in December.

Two Weeks Until NaNoWriMo: NaNoPrep Gets Real

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NaNoWriMo is only two weeks away. If you’re a planner, you’ve probably been hard at work on character sketches and your outline. If you’re more of a pantser, your methods are a bit more of a mystery to me, but I’m sure you’ve been busy preparing as well.

I’m going to keep preparing The Dreams for a huge influx of new words over the next two weeks but during these final weeks my focus shifts to preparing to take care of myself while being incredibly busy.

NaNoWriMo takes place during a busy time of year and adding writing a novel to the equation can throw even an experienced WriMo’s life off balance. Over the last twelve years, I’ve learned that I need to make a plan to make life livable while dedicating more hours each day to writing during November.

Today I thought I’d share some of the ways I prepare during the second half of October to survive NaNoWriMo.

Buy Snacks

Halloween candy goes on sale November 1, but it’s not wise to rely on discount candy to get you through a whole month of writing (not to mention the good candy rarely stays on the shelves past Halloween). Healthy snacks are probably even more important than cheap, fun-sized sweets and I can buy them ahead of time without worrying that I’m missing out on a deal later.

Plan Meals

Making and freezing meals ahead of time is usually recommended for NaNoWriMo. I’d love to do this, but I have very limited freezer space. Instead, I stock up on supplies for crockpot meals and semi-homemade food that I can prepare in 15 minutes or less. I also try to squirrel away some extra money for pizza days when I’m too overwhelmed to bother.

Clean

I’m lucky enough not to host Thanksgiving so if my apartment gets a little grubby during November I don’t have to worry about guests noticing it. I try to get everything tidied up at the end of October so it won’t get too bad if I decide to cut corners in November.

Get Plenty of Rest/Eat Healthy

Getting sick at the start of November is almost certain to derail plans for a NaNoWriMo win. It’s impossible to guarantee I won’t catch a cold around November 1, but I can do my best to keep my immune system in decent shape before the chaos begins. I try not to push myself too hard in the second half of October so I’m well rested for at least a couple days at the start of November.


Do you do anything to prepare for NaNoWriMo outside of planning your novel? I’d love to know so I can add it to my own preparation plans.

I’m Using Anger to Fuel my Writing this Year

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Being angry about the state of the world and feeling powerless to change it is exhausting.

Doing nothing is not an option, but there are only a few things in this world I think I’m genuinely good at doing. At least when I’m writing I can take what I’m feeling and weave it into a fictional world where my characters have the power to change their world. It makes me feel better and I hope it will help others escape to a world capable of real change too.

The Dreams at its core has always been a story about my anxieties and fears. Some of them are more grounded in the reality of my life experience than others, but over the last year or two more and more of the aspects of that story have been real worries for me. I feel less and less safe in this world as attitudes in my backward hometown become more toxic, or rather the people that have always had hurtful attitudes become bolder.

I had planned on writing The Dreams for this year’s NaNoWriMo since the end of last NaNo, but now I need to write this story again.

I’m terrified and angry and so, so tired of feeling powerless.

This is the story I can dump all of these feelings and shape them into something coherent. Writing is always therapeutic, but not every story is made to store certain feelings.

I’m not good at talking about myself or experiences that have made me who I am. I’ve never been comfortable talking about things I experienced that aren’t neutral or positive because, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been told I’m too sensitive or I have an overactive imagination when I try to share what frightens and angers me personally. I can’t remember a time I was comfortable writing about myself or my life experiences on anything but the most superficial level. Writing autobiographies in elementary school left me a sobbing, panicked mess. I remember trying to explain what was wrong by telling my mom that my life was private. What I meant was that even little-me understood that my truth was not considered acceptable as nonfiction. On the other hand, fiction is the perfect place for me to express myself without being shut down for being overly sensitive or exaggerating. For me, The Dreams is a place where I can store the darkest, most painful things I’m feeling about the way this country treats women and actually process them.

Inbetween can’t help me there. It’s just not the right story for those emotions. I have to hold back my anger while working on Inbetween or I’ll end up burning the story with my rage.

It has to be The Dreams when it comes to this kind of anger.

I’ll work through it and I’ll come out the other side a stronger person.