Preptober Week 3 – Determining Your Goals

Happy Monday!

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching so now is the time to kick our prepping into high gear, and get some stories planned. Today we will be discussing all things goals for NaNoWriMo and how to have an overall successful and productive month!

 

Step 1: Create Big SMART Goals

I always bring up SMART goals whenever I make a blog post centred around goals because these are the type of goals you need to focus on making. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound, and by following these five words, you will create goals you can ACTUALLY achieve! When making goals, it is important to make them as directed and specific as possible and to make sure they are goals you can achieve in the time given. Some examples of my big, overall NaNoWriMo goals are:

  • Edit and re-outline character profiles, world history, and act I, II, III by October 31st – I specify what I want to edit and re-outline and also by what date = SMART goal!
  • Write 50k words by November 30th – This is a SMART goal because I determine how many words I want to write by whatever date, and I have achieved it before so I know it is attainable!

Step 2: Create Smaller SMART Goals

Now it is time to narrow our focus into the individual days of November and figure out what daily goals we can make to help lead us to success. The main goal in NaNoWriMo is to write 50k words in 30 days but in order to do that, you need to write at least 1,667 words per day. Maybe you can’t write that much a day though, and 1,667 words in a writing session is a rare, amazing occurrence. Whatever the case, you need to tailor these daily goals to your life and make them attainable so you are not letting yourself down at the end of the day and month. While 1,667 words are the average daily goal, maybe your goal needs to only be 1,000 words a day or maybe you write a lot and want your daily goal to be 2,000 words!

I also recommend if you have the time during the day, to split your NaNo writing session into two or even three sessions. For example, on the weekends (this is only what happens during Camp NaNo or NaNo, I don’t do this every weekend!) I like to write for three 30 minute sessions because, in the end, I finish the day with up to 3,000 words! That way, I still have time to get other things done but still get a lot of writing done. Figure out what works best for you in order to attain your personal daily goal so you can finish the day with the largest amount of words possible!

Step 3: Set Up a Reward System

Now that you have your big and small goals created, it is time to put in place a fun reward system! Whenever you hit a big, overall goal, like you write 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo, reward yourself with a big reward! For example, when I reach 50k I plan on giving myself a weekend free of writing where I get to watch Netflix and basically do whatever I want. November is not only busy because of NaNoWriMo, but also because school really picks up for me during this month so I know I am going to be exhausted by the time November 30th rolls around. When it comes to the smaller, daily goals, I like to give myself little rewards at the end of the week if I have written 5-7 days of that last week. Here are some smaller reward ideas!:

  • 30 mins of Netflix
  • A writing session at a coffee shop!
  • 30 mins at the gym (I know this might not be a reward exactly, but if you use some spare time to workout you will feel AMAZING. Trust me)
  • Reading time! (I don’t know about you, but finding time to read the books I want has been incredibly hard, so this will definitely be a reward for me)
  • Adventure to the bookstore

Step 4: Displaying Your Goals

It is important to have these goals AND your possible rewards displayed somewhere you will always see them. Whether that is when you first wake up or when you sit down to write, have them put up somewhere looking all pretty and exciting for you to see and be reminded of. I know you probably already wrote these goals down, but now take a clean piece of paper and make them colourful and lively; something that will catch your eye.

Okay! Those are the four steps to creating smart goals for NaNoWriMo! Now, to make sure these are truly smart and achievable goals, ask yourself if you know what your overall goals are for the month and how you are going to achieve each one. Know each step, or at least have it written out for you, and remind yourself of the deadlines and rewards for when you finish them!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and that you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below for more bookish and writing related content. Thanks 🙂

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How to Write More During NaNoWriMo

Okay, before we get into this post I just wanted to let you guys know that this blog post is a collab with descript.com! I am really excited to be collabing with them because their website works really well with what a lot of my blog posts have been about lately (prepping for NaNoWriMo) so honestly, it was the perfect time for them to approach me. Of course, I would not be collabing with them if I didn’t really think their website would be helpful to you all and it definitely is so I cannot wait to tell you all about it below! Okay, now to the actual blog post…


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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is all about trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and that is no easy task by any means. To help make it a little easier though, I will be sharing 5 tips on how to write more during the month of November and get a little closer to that 50k goal! If you have been keeping up with my blog this month, you probably noticed that I have been posting Preptober posts every Monday to help with prepping for NaNoWriMo. However, this is a little bonus, Preptober blog post because it is Wednesday, not Monday so I hope you enjoy!

Descript.com

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As I mentioned above, this is a collab with descript.com. Basically, Descript is a transcribing website where you can record audio for a podcast, video, or even your NaNoWriMo project, and then insert that audio onto their website. They will transcribe your audio and allow you to physically edit the words you spoke! It is great because if you don’t have the time to sit down and physically write, you can talk out your story and transcribe when you get the chance. It is also a great way to break through writer’s block because sometimes we just need to talk things out and get those creative juices flowing to finally find the motivation to write again. If you want to learn more about how descript.com can help you overcome writer’s block, especially during NaNoWriMo, check out their super informative blog post all about it HERE. Also, if you decide to give their website a try (you get 30 mins of it free when you sign up, but it is pretty affordable if it is something you think you will use!) let me know how you liked it and what you used it for 🙂

Freewrite In the AM

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One thing I have gotten back into recently is journalling right when I wake up in the morning. I sit down with some coffee at around 6am and try to write at least a page of my thoughts, feelings, and goals for the day. Journalling is a great way to get your creativity flowing early on in the day and it sets you up for writing success later on. Instead of writing about what’s on your mind though, especially during NaNoWriMo, you could freewrite a short story or part of your NaNoWriMo project just to get you started for the day. This warms up my mind and helps me crank out 1-3k words each day!

Listen to 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang!

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Whenever I am feeling unmotivated or I just really need to sit down and get some words down for the day, I know that I can always count on the amazing podcast 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang. I have been a HUGE fan of this podcast for over 2 years now…wow, that’s a long time, and I recommend it with my whole heart. It features people of different creative backgrounds like writers, actors, and literary agents who offer really useful advice for pursuing creativity. I always finish each episode itching for my computer so definitely check it out throughout the month of November!

Plan Goals for Each Writing Session

I don’t always do this but I wish I did because it helps me immensely in determining how productive my next writing session will be. After a writing session, I like to first off, take a step back and breath because I probably had been writing for a while. Secondly, I like to take a piece of paper and a pen, and looking at my outline, see what major(ish) beats I need to hit next. These are just 1-3 major (or minor, but still important) points I need to hit in the next scene in order to make it exciting, interesting, and also easier for me to write. This way I still let my panster side run wild in the next writing session, but I have a loose map I can still follow so I don’t get lost. I recommend trying this to see if it works for you and if it doesn’t, that’s alright! If it does, that is awesome because it always helps me so, so much when I do this.

Set Aside 1-2 Hours of Self-Care Each Day

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I talk about taking breaks a lot in my writing posts but it is just something that all writers need to keep being reminded of, so here I am, mentioning it again. I’ve talked about how you can set aside one day a week for self-care, or like an hour at night every once and a while, but I am back with a slightly different tip. I am challenging you to take 1-2 hours every. Single. Night to focus on yourself. After a day of writing, working, and existing, you need time. So, take this hour or so to watch TV, read, or just lie down and exist. This is super important to do, especially during NaNoWriMo, so you don’t burn yourself out. I get a little wound up when NaNoWriMo hits, and usually spend a lot of time at my computer and my back does NOT appreciate that. So, my goal for this November (apart from writing 50k) is to take a 1-2 hour break for just me every night (probably 8-10pm) to relax.

Those are my 5 tips on how to write more during NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out Descript.com and their blog post all about how to use their website to overcome writer’s block because it is a really cool and efficient way to write this November! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post and all of my social media accounts linked below for more writing and bookish related fun. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Preptober Week 2 – Are You Planning Enough?

 

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Preptober Week 2 – Are You Planning Enough?

Happy Monday!

First of all, before we get into this Preptober post, I wanted to apologize for not having my usual, weekly reading and writing update up yesterday and having this blog post up later than usual. I’m Canadian so it was my Thanksgiving weekend (and still is) and I was visiting family and just did not have time to sit down and write a blog post, let alone pre-write blog posts for the week which is what I usually do. But that’s ok! I am back now with this brand new Preptober post that I hope you all enjoy 🙂


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Are you prepping enough?

This is a really important question when it comes to preparing for the event that is NaNoWriMo because it has time constraints and a massive goal surrounding it…and because of that, you don’t have the time to continue outlining in November because that is the time you need to spend writing your story! So, to make sure your prepping doesn’t get carried out in November, here are some tips and tricks and things to keep in mind during Preptober.

Sit Down and PLAN

Sit down with your notebook right now (well, after you finish reading this post!) and plan out your characters, world, history, plot, and the overall synopsis of your story. Just sit down and go through all of that, making as much progress as you can in each section. Those are 5 things that you MUST have in-depth, detailed planning for otherwise, you will still be planning in NaNoWriMo.

I recommend having at least 2 pages of information for each character, like AT THE VERY LEAST. This will include their age, race, family, likes/dislikes, personality, past, etc, etc. When you plan out the world and the history, I recommend planning it out like it is a book that is going to be read in schools across the world. However, remember that you are always, always going to know more than your readers, so if you have a lot of info about your world and its history, don’t freak out about trying to fit that all into your story…no, no, a lot of that is just for you so you can write the best story ever. With your plot, this is where you can tweak things depending on the type of writer you are. If you are a plotter, you are going to have pages of plot and like, every scene plotted and connected to others. If you are more of a pantser like me (although, I have been forcing myself to plan a lot for this project), then you are going to want to just have enough to get you through your story. I recommend having a good idea of the beginning, middle and end, and how all those parts are going to connect. These are all super important things to plan, and you need to make sure you plan all of this otherwise you might get disappointed when November 30th comes around and your still several thousand words short on your project.

Ask Questions

Okay, when you finish planning and plotting (and this does take time, like at least a whole month sometimes!), you need to figure out if you actually know what you are writing. Yeah sure, you can sit down and fill a notebook with info but that doesn’t always mean that you are ready to write your story. That is why we answer some questions about our project just to make sure. Here are some questions I ask myself:

  • If someone asked me what my project was about, what would I say? How would I describe it? Do I have a good synopsis that someone who has no knowledge of my story would understand?
  • How would the characters in my world react to some of the things happening in MY world? Or things that happened in my world a long time ago? What part would they have in it, or would they not have any part in it at all?
  • Do I know my ending? Do I know how I am going to get there? (P.S. I don’t always know my ending, but I have noticed over the years that it really does help to have an overall idea on what that ending is…it makes for a better story and also makes it easier for you to write and edit.)
  • If I had to teach a history lesson of this world I created, what would be the 5 major events I would focus on? These are the 5 major events that people in the future could not ignore or forget. How do these events affect this world now? 
  • If my characters were all together and witnessed someone in need (someone fell down, dropped their groceries, etc, etc), how would they respond? Who would help? Who would pretend they didn’t see it and carry on with their day? Who would just watch? 

These are just SOME question ideas you can ask yourself and of course, tailor to your own story. I recommend asking anywhere from 10-15 questions because they will really test your knowledge on your world and characters to make sure you are ready for NaNoWriMo. If you have trouble answering one or two questions, maybe head back to your outline and go over what you wrote, adding whatever needs to be added so you can answer these questions!

Make a Story Bible

What is a story bible? Why do I need one? These are both very valid questions that guess what? I am going to be answering right now! So, a story bible is a handy little notebook, a piece of paper, the backside of a napkin or really whatever, that has some basic info on your story that is ready for you to access whenever. It can have the first and last names of characters, the five major historical events that affect your world, or just really anything that is necessary to your story and will be needed lots. For example, my WIP deals with lots of mythology so I have the names of some immediate gods and also character names in my little, handy notebook. It is great to turn to while writing instead of having to dig through all your notes to find whatever it is you need. It saves time and stress so make one and fill it with whatever you need.

There it is! My three major tips to make sure you are planning enough for NaNoWriMo and are chugging along on the path of success. I really hope you found this all helpful and for even more tips, check out my last Preptober blog post here where I give a quick overview on how to get ready for NaNoWriMo this year. I link a lot of great worksheets for building characters, world-building, and creating your plot so check those out! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post and social media accounts which are always linked below for more writing and reading related fun. Thanks!

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Preptober Week 1 – Getting Started

Happy October!

October is one of my favourite months because it is rainy, spooky, and also the month before NaNoWriMo, Preptober! I will be spending Preptober working on re-outlining my WIP to write technically draft 3, but since I didn’t fully finish writing draft 2, I’m going to call it draft 2.5. But anyway, in today’s post I will be talking about determining your NaNoWriMo project and getting ready for a month of prepping. I hope it’s helpful and let’s just get into it!

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Quick Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Project:

  • What genre is it?
  • Who is telling the story?
  • What are the major plot points in this story that you NEED to hit?
  • Who is it for? Young adults, middle grade, adults?
  • How would you describe it in one sentence?
  • Why are you writing this story? For yourself, for someone else, just because?
  • When are you going to try and write? Early mornings, late at night?
  • What are 3 things that you do to motivate yourself to write? Go for a walk, read a book, watch some AuthorTube?
  • What are you going to use to write this story? A notebook and pen, your laptop, a typewriter?

Step 1: Meet Your Characters

Who are they? What do they do? Who are their friends, their enemies, their lovers, their family? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their fears? Their passions? What do they hate? If they could change one thing about themselves, what would that be? There are so many questions to ask them and on Tomi Adeyemi’s website (author of Children of Blood and Bone), she has a great selection of character sheets for you to print off so click HERE for them!

Step 2: Create Your World

Whether you are creating a magical world or writing a story in our world, you still need to build it. If you are creating a brand new one, draw maps, write up the world’s history like its battles, leaders, etc. Know who the leader of it is and how the political system works and such. If you are using our world, how do your characters and plot fit into it? Where does it take place? What year? What month? Here is a link to someone’s blog post I found for some more ideas of what to consider in your world if you need some more ideas!

Step 3: Build Your Plot

Now that you have your characters and world, build your plot around them. How do they interact with the plot? What sort of plot would make sense with these characters and world? I would recommend having like 9 main plot points that you need to hit throughout your story, and then connect them with the strings (subplots) to keep your story at a good pace and still interesting! Again, Tomi Adeyemi has some amazing posts regarding plot so for more ideas and insight, click HERE. Just scroll down until you see the PLOT related posts but as I was linking this, I realized that she also has a FREE plot course! That is amazing so if you are interested, click HERE.

Step 4: Keep Organized

You have this information so make sure you keep it all organized! Separate characters from world building from the plot but keep it in a place where you can easily access it whenever you need. I recommend a physical notebook over keeping things on your laptop, but whatever is easier and works best for you, do that! If you prefer staying organized on your computer, I do have some recommendations that I’ve used and liked in the past: Scrivener, Evernote, Word, Google Docs.

Step 5: Create a (Loose) Schedule

One thing I stand by is to try and stick to a schedule during the first week of NaNoWriMo. If it doesn’t work out, then whatever, just write when you can, but if it does stick then you will get so much more done! You will get in the habit of writing at certain times and when that time comes, you will actually feel like writing. Or at least feel like you should be writing. For example, recently I have been getting up a little earlier on weekdays and writing a bit. Sometimes only for 30 mins but sometimes even more than that. It allows me to start my day off being productive and makes sure I get some words in each day. I also write in the later afternoon after I get home from school and relaxed a bit, but before dinner time. These are the times that have recently been working for me but sometimes change. And that’s okay! I recommend spending October trying to figure out a potential writing schedule because if it works, NaNoWriMo will be sooo much easier.

More Fun Things to Get You Ready for NaNoWriMo:

Videos: Preptober|Planning Your Novel for NaNoWriMo – Kristen Martin

NaNoWriMo Prep|Survival Kit – Natalia Leigh

Blog Posts: NaNoWriMo Prep #1, #2, #3, #4 – by ME!

That is all I have for this week’s Preptober post and I hope you enjoyed and found it helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts all linked below. Thanks 🙂

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All About NaNoWriMo

The month of November is fast approaching as well as October, two very important months for writers. While I have talked about it quite a bit on my blog, I thought it would be helpful to make a post where I put all the information you need to know about NaNoWriMo and Preptober is for you to learn about it.

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So, What IS NaNoWriMo and Preptober?

First off, Preptober is a time during the month of October where writers plot and outline the story they will be writing in November for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month” and is an online based event where you try to write a first draft (50,000 words) in one month. You can make an account at nanowrimo.org where you can create your project, meet writing buddies, and also see if there are any local, NaNoWriMo events near you. It is a time for writers across the world to come together and get their stories on the page.

Do You Have to Write 50,000 Words in 30 Days?

While that is the ultimate goal, it is completely alright if you don’t achieve that. The point of NaNoWriMo is to motivate you to write more than you would if you didn’t participate, and even if that is only 100 words, that is still a success. Don’t let that daunting word count goal keep you from joining because it is still a lot of fun!

Perks of NaNoWriMo?

Well, apart from getting some productive writing done, there are sponsor offers that NaNoWriMo offers to the participants and winners of NaNoWriMo. Even if you don’t write 50k, some goodies are still offered to you. Here are some past examples of sponsor offers: a certain percentage for both participants and winners off of Scrivener, money off of online writing community subscriptions, and much more!

Like I said before, it is also a great way to meet writing friends whether that is online or in-person which is always great. There is even a NaNoWriMo YouTube account where they post writing tip videos and virtual write-ins all year round that comes in handy during November when you need to get some writing done! Lastly, on Twitter, NaNoWriMo has a word sprint account where during Camp NaNoWriMo (writing even that takes place during April and July every year and is the same thing as NaNoWriMo except you create your own goal) and NaNoWriMo, they host writing sprints that are incredibly helpful in getting words on the page.

Tips for NaNoWriMo?

  • Use October wisely to prep yourself for a full month of writing. Plan out everything possible and more so you don’t waste any time adding to your outline in November!
  • Figure out how you write best before November. Do you write better in short or long sessions? Morning or night? With tea or without tea?
  • Make yourself a “writing motivation pack” full of things that wrangle you free of writer’s block. For example, I watch AuthorTube videos when I need some inspiration and listen to fantasy playlists to get me in the mood for my project.
  • Keep up with my blog posts during October and November where I share tips and tricks for the two months!

That is all I have to share about Preptober and NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed! In October AND November, I will be posting weekly posts all about preparing for NaNoWriMo and staying motivated while writing, so keep your eyes opened for those. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as all my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Things I Learned From Writing the 1st Draft

 

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Things I Learned From Draft One

Writing the first draft of this specific project taught me a LOT, and I wanted to share those things in a blog post because while some lessons might be the same, many will also be different.

1. Outlining is a LONG, Hard Process

I always knew outlining was a process obviously, and I knew it took time and motivation, however I realized spending about a month and a half of taking some time each day to work on it, was not enough. I am still adding and changing things to my outline for draft two. I am still having to research things to fill the holes that I should have filled in my outline, but haven’t. Make sure you determine your world, its rules, everyday life, your characters goals and motivation, magic system (if there is one) and anything else you can think of. My problem is that I will outline and then think I researched and wrote out every important thing for my story, but then realize I was missing so many key points later on. I recommend searching outlining tips or outlining worksheets online to help you gather all the main and minor ideas you need to have.

2. Just Because Your First Draft Sucks, Doesn’t Mean It’s Bad

Yeah, your first draft 100% sucks. Words are being thrown left and right, some with meaning some without, but that is okay. Just because you feel as if you word vomited about seventy thousand words onto a document, doesn’t mean the essence of the story is bad. Nobody is a great first writer, trust me. The books we read required dozens and dozens of revisions and edits from not only the author but their editor too. You can’t expect to pump out a clean first draft in one go because that it is the craft of writing. Every time you work on it, it gets a bit cleaner, and slowly, you polish it enough to see that the story hidden behind all those words was never that bad in the first place.

3. Read The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

Honestly, this book has been my savior when it comes to trying to finish outlining my story for draft three. It has everything you ever need to know and more, and will help you see storytelling in a different way. You take away so many valuable tips, tricks, and ideas from this book, and I cannot recommend it enough. I wouldn’t recommend investing in many writing craft books, but this is one of them! Little tip though, I would recommend not using it for first drafts but just knowing you will be using it for future draft will take some stress off, trust me.

4. Focusing on Hours Spent Writing Is More Beneficial Than “Words Written”

I promise you that this is SUPER important. You will get so much more done if you aim to spend an hour or maybe even two hours writing each day, instead of focusing on that pesty little word count tracker at the bottom of your page. I do three thirty minute sprints throughout the morning each day, and all I focus on is writing for that entire thirty minutes, or even writing a bit past. There has only been one or two times I have not reached 1000 words each half hour writing sprint, but other than that, this method has worked wonders for me.

5. Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo Are Excellent Times to Start Your First Draft

Seriously though, if you happen to be close to Camp NaNoWriMo (an online writing event where you try to write as much as you can in one month – takes place April + July of every year) or NaNoWriMo (an online writing event where you try to write 50,000 words in one month – every Novemeber), then I highly recommend signing up and participating. NaNoWriMo motivates you because for once, it is not only you working on a project, but thousands of people across the world. Every one is trying to get all the words down, and it is really motivating to see how much progress you will make by the end of it! I have participated in Camp NaNo and NaNo quite a few times, and started my first draft for my WIP during Camp NaNo back in April. I reached my 50,000 words and kept going!

Those are five things I learned from draft one, and I hope you enjoyed! Currently, we are on day three of the Biannual Bibliothon, so make sure to check out ALL the blog posts I have done for it so far!

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

Biannual Bibliothon: Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Favourite Vacation Spots

Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Favourite Summer Books!

 

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My Writing Routine – Summer Edition

This week my writing routine, and just daily routine overall has drastically changed. I am so happy that I found a writing/daily routine that works AMAZING for me, because I am getting so much done e every single day (even if I have only had this routine for a week).

Since it is summer, I decided a change of routine would be good for me, especially since summers are very different for me as opposed to the school year. Basically I just have a LOT more free time. Anyways, here is my new and improved writing routine, and I hope it inspires you to maybe change up your own or give you some ideas on how to make yours even better.

6AM – WAKE UP

After giving myself the first week of summer to sleep in and catch up on all the sleep I missed during school, and trust me, there were a lot. I decided to start waking up pretty early so I would have lots of extra time to wake up, and still not waste too many hours in the day. So at 6AM my alarm goes off, but I still need at least 30 minutes to truly wake up and screw around on my phone before finally leaving my bed.

6:30AM – FOOD

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Hopefully by this time I am out of bed and usually STARVING, so I eat. I also help make my brother’s breakfast and lunch because he does a lot of summer camps during the summer, and both of my parents work long hours so even they are usually gone by this time. Of course I also have some coffee or tea to help wake me up because would I TRULY be a writer without some sort of caffeine inside of me?

9AM – WRITING SPRINT #1

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Fast forward about two and a half hours and I finally sit down to write. Even at 9AM I am still kind of tired but also ready to get some words on the page. I work best in 30 minute sprints and I made it my Camp NaNoWriMo goal to spend 1.5 hours writing every day, so I split that time up into three writing sprints! I usually average about 1,000 words each sprint and sometimes I participate in the Camp NaNoWriMo Twitter word sprints or I just participate in my own. Recently I have been listening to this playlist on Spotify called “Fantasy Chill” before and during my writing sprints, and that has really helped get me in the mood.

9:30AM – BREAK

10AM – SCHOOL WORK

Yes, yes I am on summer vacation which means school is over. However, I like to do an online class during the summer so I have an emptier time table during the year, leaving me more time to work on my own personal things like writing. This year I am taking Psychology 12 so I will usually dedicate an hour or so to working on it. Again, I work best in 30 minute sprints whether that is writing or work related, so I do a 30 minute sprint of homework…usually while watching TV or listening to music.

10:30AM – BREAK

11AM – WRITING SPRINT #2

I try to get most of my writing done in the morning, so I spaced them out just to do so. I still had an hour and a half break from my project though, meaning it is harder for me to get burnt out. But once again I sit back down at my desk, open my document and write for another 30 minutes, tacking another 1,000 or so words onto my manuscript.

11:30AM – LUNCH

Since I wake up at 6AM, there is more time to be hungry so I have an earlier lunch. I give myself a pretty lengthy lunch break because it still is summer and I want to have time to do other things then writing, reading, and homework, right? Either I will go on a walk somewhere, hang out with my friends, or just relax and maybe read. Whatever I feel like that day.

1PM – WRITING SPRINT #3

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Time for my last writing sprint of the day! It is really satisfying to see that I get about 3,000 words written everyday before 2PM, and that still leaves me the rest of the day to do whatever. I write for my last 30 minute sprint and then go onto the Camp NaNoWriMo homepage and log in my words for the day as well as chat with some of my cabin mates!

1:30PM – BREAK

2PM – SCHOOL WORK

But no, I am not entirely work free for the rest of the day since I need to do one last sprint of homework. Despite the short(ish) length of time of 30 minutes, I still get quite a bit done, setting myself up nicely for the next day.

 

By now the routine portion of my day is pretty much done. I have gotten the most pressing stuff out of the way and have the rest of the day free. This has really been working well for me since I do not have a job or anything, and I have enjoyed taking advantage of my sudden abundance of free time!

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my updated writing routine, and don’t forget to check out my last blog post which is always linked below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Goals – July + August

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Camp NaNoWriMo Checklist!

Camp NaNoWriMo is just over two days away, and since our minds are racing at top speed trying to tie up our outlines, it is easy to forget other last minute things that NEED to get done before sitting down to write. Here is your ultimate Camp NaNoWriMo checklist and I hope it helps!

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  • Finish Your Outline! – This is an obvious one, but it is the most important one. Even if you are a panster, have some sort of idea of how you are getting from point A to point B so you won’t waste writing time trying to think about what happens next.
  • CLEAN Your Writing Space(s) – On June 30 take however long it takes to completely clean and organize the places you like to write. I will be clearing my desk, organizing all the scattered papers and pens in my drawers, and leaving out my outline so I can easily refer to it while writing! If you write in multiple places, make sure they are all tidy so you don’t waste precious writing time trying to clean them up. This goes for your home in general! It is hard to write surrounded by mess so take the day to deep clean because you won’t want to spend time doing so when you should be writing.
  • Gather Your Writing Snacks/Drinks – Again, the day before, buy all of your writing snacks and drinks so that they are ready for you as the clock strikes midnight…or whenever you decide to start writing on July 1st! For me, I will be making sure I have a lot of green tea and coffee because apart from water, that is all I drink!
  • Gather Up Your Motivation – By this I mean to figure out what motivates you to write, whether that is a certain book, writing related YouTube videos, or even listening to a writing podcast. Whatever it is that replenishes your creativity and motivation to write, have it at your fingertips for whenever you find yourself needing it. For me, I will be making a YouTube playlist of certain vlogs and videos that inspire me to write!
  • Follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter – This is an account that is active during Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo that offers writing sprints for you to partake in. They range anywhere from maybe 15 minutes to an entire hour, and are usually happening at any point in the day for you to jump in. I am always very productive during these writing sprints, and I really recommend giving them a try!

There is your Camp NaNoWriMo checklist so make sure you get everything on this list done! Comment below what project(s) you will be working on during July, and what your goals are as well, because I would love to know 🙂

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and follow me on social media for more writing and bookish related posts!

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Guide to a Productive Month

I cannot believe the next session of Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner which means it is time to prep! Here is a quick guide to how to have the best Camp NaNoWriMo possible, and how to get the most out of it.

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Prep Your Writing for Each Week

At the end of each week, sit down and plan out what you are going to write for the next week. It can be a detailed or loose outline, but this is just a way for you to be more productive during the week. Knowing where you need to get to, and the steps you need to take to get there will make it a lot easier to write all the words. If you just wing it each day, you might get some writing done, but definitely not as much as you would if you know how to approach each day.

Focus on Maximizing Time Spent Writing Rather than Your Word Count

This is something I have recently realized and I am so, so glad I did. All these years I have been focused on getting the most words down possible each day, which meant some days I would only write anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour. I should have focused more on the amount of time I spend writing each day and you should too! Now instead of going into each day aiming for 2,000 words (which most days I don’t even hit), I focus more on trying to write for one whole hour each day, even if I somehow surpass 2,000 words. When I do this, I get a lot more writing done, and it takes more of the pressure off each day!

Develop Writing Triggers

It is the perfect time to start developing writing triggers to help you get into the mood for writing since Camp NaNoWriMo is still 12 days away. If you aren’t sure about what writing triggers are exactly, then here are some examples!

  • Drinks – Make a certain type of drink that you don’t have any other time except when you are writing…whether that is a different type of  flavored coffee, fruit infused water, or whatever you want but ONLY have it when it is writing time.
  • Candles – Find a scent that reminds you of your story and light it whenever you are writing. Maybe for a fantasy story you have a candle that smells like the forest, or for a contemporary you have one that smells sweet. Whatever reminds you of your story the most, use that!
  • Music – Making a writing playlist is a lot of fun (but don’t spend the time you should be writing making it), or a lot of authors have their playlists linked on their websites so you can check those out as well. Personally, I listen to the Hamilton Mixtape because it even has a song called “Wrote My Way Out” which always makes me want to write.

Let Yourself Take Days Off

It is really important to make sure you don’t burn yourself out so I recommend taking one entire day off each week. For me, I like to take Sundays off to spend those days relaxing and taking care of myself and you should too! It doesn’t have to be Sunday, choose whatever day works best for you, and spend the day replenishing your creativity and resting your mind. Here are some ideas of what you can do on your days off writing:

  • Reading
  • Self-care day
  • Watching movies
  • Working out
  • Journalling
  • Cleaning your work space

Find a New Work Space Each Week

Switch up the places you write each week to keep things fresh and inspiring. It can be a different place in your house or it can be somewhere outside of your house like the library, a coffee shop, or somewhere outside like a park. I don’t like writing in the same spot each writing session, and am always moving into different spots because it definitely stumps my creativity.

Those are five ways to have the most productive Camp NaNoWriMo, and I hope you enjoyed and found them helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and social media accounts which are all linked down below.

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After Camp NaNoWriMo: Now What?

It is about a week after Camp NaNoWriMo and now you are probably wondering what comes next. After an entire month of (trying) to write everyday, you are left with a bunch of words that string together a story. Depending on you and your project, your next step might be totally different from someone else, but here are a few ideas on what you can do next!

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What to Do Next: If You Don’t Have a Finished Product

If you are like me, you are only halfway through your project (maybe a bit less or more) and that means there are still words to be written. If that’s the case, here are some ideas on what to do next:

  • Keep Writing – This is what I will be doing, because I got about 40,000 words of my first draft written but a lot more to go. So I will be treating May just like another month of Camp NaNoWriMo. Depending on your writing schedule, try and write a certain amount of words every day or even a few times a week. Whatever works with your schedule.
  • Take a Break – Maybe you really burned yourself out during April and need a break to replenish that creative well. If that is the case, then do it! Take a few days, a week, or even a couple weeks off. However long it will take for you to get back in the writing groove and write some awesome words. Here are some quick ways to replenish your creative well:
    • Watch Movies + TV
    • READ
    • Journal
    • Exercise

What to Do Next: If You Are Feeling Uninspired With Your Project

This happens a lot. After devoting an entire month to a project, you might end up hating it a bit. Just remember that is completely okay and I am here with some quick tips on what you should do if this is the case:

  • Take a Break – Like I mentioned above, sometimes you just need to find your writing groove again. Spend some time away from your project and build up that love again while repairing yourself after a hard month of vigorous writing.
  • Revisit the Main Idea – Take a look at what your overall goal for the story was, because sometimes you can get carried away while writing and your story will become an entirely different thing. For better or worse. Maybe revisiting your main idea will spark that love and motivation for the project again, and you will be off on another writing journey.
  • Scrap It – MAKE SURE YOU ONLY DO THIS AFTER TRYING EVERY OTHER TIP, because only then will you be 100% if it is something you don’t want to spend anymore time on. Sometimes a story just isn’t for you to write and it can take a while to figure that out. Don’t beat yourself up if this is the case, and don’t feel like you wasted your time either. I can guarantee you came out as a better writer, even if you aren’t continuing on with the project.

What to Do Next: If You Have a Finished Draft

If you managed to finish an entire draft in a month, congratulations to you! That takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears but I hope it was worth it in the end. Here are some things you can do next:

  • Take a Break – Yep, basically after working on any project consider taking a break. I went into enough detail already about taking breaks so do I really need to go over it again? No.
  • Start Another Draft – Maybe you only finished draft one, or draft three but still think your story could use another go. If that is the case, get writing! Work on creating a more concrete and all-around better story that you love, and that you can only create by writing it a ridiculous amount of times.
  • Edit – So maybe this was your final draft and you are ready to do some editing. Fun times right? Mmm, maybe, but not usually. Picking apart your story is hard, so maybe after going through it a few times consider getting a friend, a critique partner, or even a professional to look at it.
  • Submit to Contests/Fellowships/Literary Magazines – Personally, I like to submit short stories and whatnot to contests and other places. If you have a polished project, whether it is a novel or short story, consider sending it somewhere. Even if you don’t place or get it published, you can usually score some good feedback!
  • Querying – I am no expert at querying because I have never finished a novel that I was proud of, let alone good enough to query to agents, but maybe this is your next step. If that is the case, that is really exciting! Since I know nothing about querying, consider checking doing some research whether that is through google, books, AuthorTubers, etc.

That is all for this blog post and I hope it was somewhat helpful. Don’t forget to keep writing, oh, and also check out some of my previous blog post and follow me on social media 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

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