NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 4 Update

Hello! Sorry, this NaNoWriMo update is coming a few days later than I said, but I was busy working on a whole other post for Monday so wink, wink. Stay tuned for that because I’m really excited about it.

Unfortunately, I did not hit my goal of 20k this past week, but I’m okay with that. I got sick on Thursday, November 25 and luckily, I got over it pretty quickly but I chose to take it easy so I didn’t write again until Monday, November 29.

However, I still got some words down, of course, so let’s just dive into this final NaNoWriMo update and then discuss my writing plans for December!

NaNoWriMo Week 4 Update

Monday, November 22: 579 words

Tuesday, November 23: Apparently I didn’t write this day

Wednesday, November 24: Or this day

Thursday, November 25: 1,045 words

Friday, November 26: No words

Monday, November 29: 1,183 words

Tuesday, November 30: 1,045 words

Words Written in Week 4: 3,852 words

Total Words Written: 17,640 words

Like I said, I wanted to hit 20k by the end of NaNoWriMo and clearly, I didn’t. Things came up and that just didn’t happen! Whether I hit 20k or not though, I still need to keep writing to finish my draft, so either way, it truly doesn’t matter.

That’s a perfect segue into my writing plans for December!

December Writing Plans

  • Write 4 days per week
  • Finish Act II

Aaand that’s it. I just want to keep up this consistent pace of writing every week and constantly add words to my manuscript. Since winter break is coming up, I will have more time since school will be over to write, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself to write more if I feel like I need to relax. (I am planning on taking a week of freelance work so I am looking forward to binging ALL the shows.)

This isn’t exactly a writing plan, but I did want to unofficially announce this before I officially announce/launch this in January…but I will be offering proofreading services again starting in 2022!

If you didn’t know, I used to offer freelance editing services. I love editing and have taken courses on it, as well as practiced with beta clients. However, during school, it just wasn’t feasible. That’s why for 2022, instead of offering all the types of editing, I will just be open to proofreading.

So, if you have a book reaching the final stages, keep me in mind! πŸ˜‰

That is all for my FINAL NaNoWriMo 2021 update and I hope you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ Let me know how your NaNoWriMo went, and what are your plans are for December in the comments below.

Talk soon!

Check out my NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 3 Update.

NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 3

Happy Monday!

How did week 2 of NaNoWriMo go for you? Did you hit all your goals? Did you miss all your goals?

The important thing is that you’re still trekking along, whether you’re ahead, on track or behind.

Before diving into this update, make sure to check out my week 2 update to hear about how week 2 went and what my goals for this week were.

NaNoWriMo Week 3 Update

Week 3 has probably been my best week this entire NaNoWriMo. I hit two out of three goals, which is good enough for me!

  • I wrote everyday Monday-Friday
  • I wrote at least 800 words per day

However, I didn’t hit 15k. But that’s okay! This week was absolutely crazy. Not just for me, but for everyone who lives in my city. This isn’t writing-related, but this week has been out of a sci-fi movie or book, so I feel like it’s applicable to share.

On Sunday night (November 14), B.C. got hit by a horrible, horrible rainstorm. It was so bad that it wiped out major highways and basically, flooded everything. I live in Victoria on Vancouver Island, and I wasn’t able to go to school on Monday because the road I take was completely underwater…literally.

Some massive semi-trucks were driving through it but they were struggling, and several other vehicles were on the side of the road flooded and broken down after trying to get through the road. My tiny little Volkswagen Beetle would have no chance.

Anyways, thankfully, things dried up by Wednesday, but that’s when the next “disaster” struck. Due to the heavy rainfalls, the Malahat (our main highway connecting us to the rest of Vancouver Island) was shut down for repairs. However, this is how we get certain items, such as gas.

Do you see where this going?

On Wednesday, I had planned to fill up my car around 11 am on my way to school because I was almost empty. My drive to school is a 10 km drive each way, so I definitely needed gas to make it home.

Around 10 am that day, I get a text from my boyfriend: “You might want to fill up your car now. There’s a gas shortage.”

What?

I didn’t really understand or believe him, but I was like okay, I have a lot to do (I had just gotten home from the gym and showered, but now it was time to get started on blog writing for my clients) but I really need gas. So, I went to the gas station, which is about a one-minute drive away from my house and tried to fill up my car. I spent $0.70 before it ran out!

I am fortunate enough to have never experienced this before and it was weird because this is something that I didn’t see coming this soon.

Lots of people had started to arrive at the gas station and I felt a little panicked. I really needed to make it to school that day and realized I was going to need to fight for gas (LOL).

Anyways, I drove a few km up the road to the next gas station…it was completely out of gas. I drove to the one across the street where a small line-up had formed, however, they had gas! I re-filled my car and lived happily ever after.

There are gas trucks filling up gas stations around Victoria, however, people chose to panic and hoard gas so even today when I am writing this (Saturday), there are still people who aren’t able to get gas to drive to work or school on Monday. Thankfully, the gas stations have limited everyone’s gas intake to only 30 litres, but this still causes some complications for people who need extra for work, like my dad does for his landscaping business.

Isn’t that crazy? This is a reminder to never hoard items, whether it’s food, gas, or toilet paper. Only take what you need!

Okay, now let’s get back into the writing stuff.

Here’s how much I wrote each day and my total word count for the week.

Monday, November 15: 1,047 words

Tuesday, November 16: 1,138 words

Wednesday, November 17: 886 words

Thursday, November 18: 1,058 words

Friday, November 19: 907 words

Total Week 3 Word Count: 5,036 words

Total Overall Word Count: 13,628 words

I’m pretty impressed with this and think that this pace of 5k words a week is manageable for me.

Week 4 Writing Goals

  • Write 1,000 words per day
  • Write Monday-Friday
  • Hit 20k

I am going to count week 4 as November 22 to the end of NaNoWriMo, so my next update will be going up on Wednesday, December 1. Therefore, I think these goals are very realistic for me. Especially since the end of November is the busiest month for students like me.

Let me know how your NaNoWriMo is going in the comments below, and I will talk to you in my next update πŸ™‚

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NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 2 Update

Surprise, surprise, I am back with an update of week 2 for NaNoWriMo 2021!

Make sure you check out my week 1 update before reading this one πŸ˜‰

Let’s just dive into this update because spoiler alert…I did not hit my goal of 10k by the end of week 2 OR my goal of having a 2k writing day.

And that’s okay!

It would have been awesome to hit 10k yesterday, but things just got too busy and it didn’t happen. Once again, that’s okay. I have to keep my head up and keep moving forwards.

Tip #1: Acknowledge “failure” and then move on

At first, I was a little bummed but I asked myself these questions: Does not hitting my goal of 10k impact my story at all? Nope. Does it ruin my story? Nope!

Then let’s just keep going. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Despite not hitting my goals, I’ve decided to still reward myself because I had a great writing week regardless. (I’ll get into the exact numbers in a minute.) I deserve a jade roller and sheet face mask whether for working on my story or because I powered through all my school work.

So, after dinner tonight, that’s exactly what I am going to buy at the store. Treat yo’self!

Now, let’s get into how much I wrote.

NaNoWriMo Week 2 Update

Monday, November 8: 1,184 words

Tuesday, November 9: 1,061 words

Wednesday, November 10: 1,051 words

Thursday, November 11: 801 words

Friday, November 12: No words

Saturday, November 13: No words

Sunday, November 14: No words

Total Week 2 Word Count: 4,097 words

Total Word Count: 8,592 words

Once again, no words were written Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so that kind of segues into my goals for week 3 of NaNoWriMo. (Oh my gosh this is going by so fast.)

Week 3 Goals

  • Write on Friday
  • Write at least 800 words every day
  • Hit 15k

Let’s see if I can hit these goals, but if I can’t, that’s okay! Repeat after me, “That’s okay.”

Okay, good. Now, that’s it from me, but how did you do this past week? How many words did you write? What is your reward for getting through the week? Let me know in the comments below πŸ™‚

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NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update

Here’s how my NaNoWriMo week 1 went!

Hello! Happy November.

This year, despite my insane schedule as I wrap up my first semester back at school, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2021. I honestly can’t help myself!

For the last couple of years, ever since I start college probably, I have not been as active as a writer as I used to be. If you’ve been here since the beginning, I used to write a lot. Like every single day and thousands of words at a time. Of course, over the years I haven’t had as much time to write, but every time I think about the years I did have the time and energy, it fills me with a warm feeling because I just love writing so much.

And I want to experience that again!

The first tip that I think is essential when it comes to NaNoWriMo, is picking a word count goal that works for you and your schedule. Rather than making this a month that you have to hit 50k, make it a month where you just encourage yourself to write more often than usual. That way, you’re still pushing yourself towards a goal for the month but you aren’t expecting something of yourself that you might not be able to do.

Tip #1: Pick a word count that works for you

So, while I know I will not hit the 50k goal you usually strive for (and you will see why once I get into my update), my goal for this November is to write at least 500 words 6 days a week.

NaNoWriMo Update

I am a morning person, so for NaNoWriMo, I am carving some time in my morning routine to spend writing. This time started out as 7:30-8:30ish am but is now more like 7-7:45 am.

I love to write when it is dark outside so I can pop on some word sprints, turn on my mystical lo-fi music, and have a candle burning, as well as my gold fairy lights on behind me…just picture how perfect that atmosphere is for writing. It inspires me and helps me really harness my creativity.

This is my second tip for NaNoWriMo: Creating a specific atmosphere when writing. This is super helpful because it programs your brain to know that when you set up those lights or turn on that music, it is writing time.

TIP #2: Create a specific writing atmosphere

Just remember, creating your writing atmosphere can be as simple as lighting a candle or having a cup of tea at hand. Don’t overcomplicate it. If setting up your writing atmosphere isn’t something feasible you can do every day, you might want to simplify it.

But this is just something that has really helped me out.

Another thing that has contributed to my first week’s success is Campfire. Campfire is this awesome tool for writers that allows us to map out our plot, create world maps, and build out our characters in a visual way. I use the free version of Campfire to plan out my plot. It’s nice because I can just log on, glance at my plot timeline, and then know exactly where I’m at in my story.

TIP #3: Use Campfire

If you didn’t know, I have been writing this story for…maybe 4 years now. The story has changed so much since then, however, one reason I have only finished a full draft once or twice is that I don’t plot it out. For this NaNoWriMo, I really tried to prioritize plotting Act I, II, and III, but only have Act I and II completely done. So …I need to get on that! But Campfire makes it much easier.

Ok, enough rambling. Let’s dive into my first week of NaNoWriMo at a glance!

Week 1 At-a-Glance

Monday, November 1 – 1,753 words

Tuesday, November 2 – 732 words

Wednesday, November 3 – 532 words

Thursday, November 4 – 444 words

Friday, November 5 – 615 words

Saturday, November 6 – No words written

Sunday, November 7 – No words written

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 4,495

I am impressed with the amount I ended up writing last week. As you can see, I didn’t write at all on the weekend, and that’s because I felt a little tired and uninspired. I had a busy week and knew my body needed to rest, so I let it because that’s the best thing you can do for yourself. (And because of that, I had a really good writing day today!)

I would have liked to hit 5k during the first week, but oh well. I didn’t really have any expectations for week 1 (other than to write 500 words per day), but for the second week, I’ve decided to create some loose goals to help me get a bit more writing done.

WEEK 2 GOALS:

  • Have a 2k word day
  • Hit 10k
  • Participate in a live writing sprint

Anyways, that is all for my quick NaNoWriMo Week 1 update! I hope you enjoyed it, and make sure to keep an eye out for my week 2 update next week πŸ™‚

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My Post-NaNoWriMo Plans

I cannot believe December is almost halfway over and I am only now just thinking about my post-NaNoWriMo plans.

Well, at least we’re here now!

For the last NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month: an international, online writing event that takes place every year during November and encourages writers to write 50k words in 30 days), I wrote around 25,000 words for my Aztec fantasy novel. However, clearly, I did not finish in the 30 days which means I need to keep working on it.

I hope that many of you, like me, took a little bit of a break from writing after NaNoWriMo ended. Even if you did not hit that 50k word goal, you deserve a break! While I only wrote 25k, I did write a little bit (almost) every day and that is a lot of energy. I didn’t anticipate taking a break from writing, but I have only sat down to work on my project a few times since November 30 and then decided that nope, I need to take a few days off. And that’s okay! My body and mind needed a break, but now, I feel the creativity seeping back in.

It’s time to talk about my post-NaNoWriMo plans.

Since the holidays are approaching and surprise, surprise, I’m not really doing much for my 11 days off both work and school, I do want to write a decent amount by the end of December. It would be really nice to hit 40k before 2021 and because I am at 30k, I think that is manageable.

When I think about the new year, CHAOS flashes across my mind. For the first few weeks of January, I will be in five classes until I figure out which one I want to drop. One of the classes is a one-month continuing education editing class (structural editing) that has a “work at your own pace” structure, so that won’t be too stressful at least. I am also working part-time at my current job (I’m a Communications Development Lead for Focal) and focusing a lot of time on building up my freelance business. My freelance business is actually doing pretty good right now, so I anticipate having projects at the beginning of the new year as well. If you didn’t know, I am a freelance editor, digital marketing blogger, and social media manager. Click HERE to check out my freelance website!

Anyways, back to the beginning of 2021: it’s going to be busy! But, I am determined to finish my first draft of this novel idea because I have been working on it for four years! That is crazy to me because in those four years, I haven’t even finished a first draft; I am constantly changing the story around and while I do think it was all for the best, I just want to right the damn thing. You know? So, I have been thinking about a word count goal for January and I think I want to do another 40k. This is a fantasy book which means it won’t be some short book –I’m anticipating around 100k. for a final word count.

That means, I want to finish the first draft completely by the end of February. Preferably, before the end of February, but I don’t think I will officially bring down the hammer until then. I do believe in being lenient with yourself, but sometimes, it’s time to just get it done. And this is that time. I am super passionate and excited about this project, even after four years, and it deserves to be finished!

I am a big believer in letting your story sit for a bit too, so I don’t plan on jumping into the second draft until April. Just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo! Fingers crossed I can stick to these deadlines without getting overwhelmed, but I am hopeful.

Sorry for the rambly post, but I really wanted to share my post-NaNoWriMo plans in the hope of inspiring any of you who are unsure what to do next. Especially if you didn’t hit 50k, like me!

Make sure you check out recent blog post and follow me on social media; the links are all down below. Also, don’t forget to let me know what your post-NaNoWriMo plans are! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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NaNoWriMo 2020 Strategy

My NaNoWriMo plans and the tools I’ve been using to have a successful start.

Happy day 3 of NaNoWriMo! Hopefully, your projects are all going well and if they aren’t, that’s okay too.

So far, NaNoWriMo is going really well for me! I am a few hundred words behind but considering I haven’t been in a writing routine for a long time, the fact that I am only 500 or so words behind is impressive.

What am I writing this month?

This month, I am working on the novel version of Project Mystic, an Aztec mythology-inspired story that for the last while, I have been writing the novella version. However, I decided that after three years of working on this story, it is time to write the damn thing. I am going for the 50,000 word goal but that is more like the “oh, well it would be a bonus if” type of goal. Instead, I am focusing more on writing a good chunk of words every day. And some days, that just isn’t 1,667 words.

My new writing routine

Ever since I started working full-time and doing university part-time (and running my freelance business on the side too), I thrive off routine. However, I get suffocated when there is too much routine but somehow, I’ve found a great balance. For example, if I really don’t feel like writing or reading or doing some other hobby, I will make myself do it but only for 10 or so minutes. If I am still not feeling it by that 10-minute mark then I have learned it is better not to push it. Thankfully, reading and writing have been the only things I’ve wanted to do lately!

This writing routine most likely won’t stick around for long, but hopefully it will for the rest of NaNoWriMo because I am loving it! Like I said, I am not super strict on writing 1,667 words per day, but I am trying to get a solid amount done each day. With work and school, it is hard for me to find enough time to only sit down once and bang out all my writing in 30 minutes or an hour (like I used to). Instead, I have started breaking up my writing sessions into short sprints. This is something I used to do but then it stopped working but now it is back in full swing and has been working great.

Here’s a little insight to a normal day routine:

7:00 AM – Wakeup

7:30 AM – Write!

8:00 AM – Work

12:00 PM – Lunch

12:30 PM – Write!

1:00 PM – Work

4:00 PM – Finish Work & Take a Break

5:00 PM – School Work

6:00 PM – Eat Dinner

7:00 PM – School Work

8:30 PM – Write!

9:00 PM – Relax

That is the basic idea of my day but once again, it changes day-to-day. Some days I spend time with friends, some days I do less work (because I work from home and can make my own schedule) or less school, and some days I only do two writing sessions. It all just depends and it is important to remember to be flexible!

Writing Live Streams

I have always recommended writing live streams in the past, but so far this year, I have used them religiously each time I’ve sat down to write. Maybe that is because I am really using the writing sprint method this year. Some of the 30-minute writing chunks in my daily routine are more like 10, 15, or 20 minutes sprints, depending on the situation.

Some writing live streams I have been loving are Davaisha’s (grapefry) and Natalia Leigh, Brooke Passmore (bytheBrooke), and Mandi Lynn‘s group streams.

Other Writing Tools

Another writing tool I have been LOVING is a writing prompt book called Coffee Break Writing by John Gillard. I got it for super cheap at the bookstore and is filled with 100 prompts. So far, I’ve done this every morning for the last two weeks or so. It is a great exercise before my morning writing session to do because a lot of time, I write a piece for each prompt that is based of my NaNoWriMo project. I highly recommend it!



How has NaNoWriMo gone for you? Let me know in the comments below, and also share a snippet of your story if you’d like. I wish you all the best of luck for the first official week of NaNoWriMo!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for readingΒ πŸ™‚

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7 Tips for Conquering Camp NaNoWriMo

Your in-depth guide to achieving your goals and winning Camp NaNoWriMo

Happy Friday!

Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, which is why I will be sharing 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo this July.

What I like about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get to set your own goal. Instead of a word goal, you can have a page goal or even an hour-related goal. It allows you to really tailor it to what you can honestly achieve. Don’t feel forced to try and reach the 50,000 words in one month goal. Do 20,000 or even less if you want!

Even with a flexible goal, it can be hard to make the time to write. Especially with everything going on in the world right now. I recommend using your writing time as you hour or two in the day to escape. While it is essential to be present during some of the crises we face today, it is important to know when to take a breather. Channel all the anxiety, fear, and anger you are feeling into your writing and enjoy your absence from our crazy world for a little bit.

Read on to explore the other 7 tips I have for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo.

1. Spend Time Creating an Outline

Having a guide to what you are supposed to write, and where you are supposed to take your story is one of the main things you MUST do in order to win Camp NaNoWriMo. Even if you are like me and consider yourself a pantser, try and write out the main points of your story and characters in some tangible form. That way, if you don’t feel like writing or don’t know where to start, you will be able to turn to that outline and feel comforted that at least past you knew where the story must go.

If you don’t enjoy outlining, carve out an hour each day for a week or so to spend on your outline. Include an Act I, II, and III with at least 5 major events that occur in each one. Spend time thinking about your characters too. Who are they, what do they like, what are they afraid of? (Check out below for some key questions to ask your characters!) You can make outlining fun too. Put on some music or a podcast and break out your stash of coloured pens and highlighters. I love colour coding when outlining because when you look at your outline during a writing session, it will be easier to find what you are looking for.

2. Install Writing Triggers

Writing triggers are great for getting your mind and body in the writing zone. A writing trigger can be anything from a certain beverage you only drink when it is writing time, or a playlist that you curated specifically for writing. They ensure that when you drink them or smell them or hear them, you will feel obligated to write and hopefully, have a good writing session.

My writing trigger is any lo-fi music, but I do enjoy the Chilled Cow the most. Usually I will just plop my headphones and listen to the Spotify playlist, but sometimes I will play the YouTube videos. They are relaxing and a nice background noise to ensure my mind doesn’t wander because this is the biggest problem I face when writing!

3. Complete a Trial Week of Writing

Before July, take a week the month before to test out your writing schedule. This will show you if it will actually work in your day-to-day life, or if you need to choose a different time of day. Make sure you spend 7 consecutive days testing out your writing schedule. Don’t skip a day or two in between! If you realize your schedule isn’t working, you will save yourself SO much time instead of discovering this when you are actually supposed to be writing. This trial week also serves as a great writing warm-up!

How to Find a Writing Time That Works for YOU:

  • Ask yourself, “When do I have the most free time?” because this might be when you need to be writing!
  • Decide if you are more of a morning or night person. This will tell you when you are most creative and productive.
  • Ask yourself, “Do I work better in writing sprints or straight working sessions?” because this will ensure you get the MOST out of your writing time.

4. Aim Lower…You’ll Achieve More

As backwards as this sounds, it is true. If you sit down knowing you need to write like 1,200 words, you might feel a bit intimidated. If you tell yourself that yes, 1,200 words would be nice but for now, I will just try to hit 1,000 words, there is a good chance you will be able to surpass that. This is because once you hit that 1,000 words mark, you will realize another 200 isn’t too bad. You are already warmed up and the creative juices are flowing, so what’s another 10 or 20 minutes?

5. Reward Yourself

I discuss having a reward system often because it is so important and a huge contributing factor to your success during Camp NaNoWriMo. You need to curate your reward system according to you. For example, some people enjoy experiencing some small rewards after every writing session like a special coffee from the coffee shop or a TV episode. On the other hand, others will enjoy larger rewards after a successful week like going to see a movie or taking an afternoon off.

Rewarding yourself will encourage you to keep writing. It will show you that all your hard work does pay off, thus making you want to keep doing it! Make sure you set limits to your rewards and also guidelines. If you want to have a big reward at the end of each week, how many words minimum do you have to write? Or in your daily sessions, how many words do you have to write? You must know this before you reward yourself, otherwise you will be tossing out rewards left and right, or none at all!

6. Join a Writer’s Group

The great thing about social media is that you have a community right at your fingertips. This is incredibly helpful amidst all of this COVID-19 chaos. Whether you join a group of likeminded writers who are also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo on Twitter or Instagram, having others who will hold you accountable to your goals will help you conquer Camp NaNo.

Check in with each other at the end of each day and discuss if you achieved your goal for that day or if you didn’t and why. These people can help you work through your struggles and offer you advice because most likely, whatever you are feeling regarding writing, someone else in your group has experienced it too. That is the great thing about forming a community. You will feel less alone in this lonely passion and having those connections will encourage you to write even more!

7. Remember that Camp NaNo is Fun!

Remember that the only person truly holding you accountable is yourself. Don’t hold yourself to insane standards, but also do not let yourself slide too much within your goals. Achieve what you can, work hard, but enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, Camp NaNoWriMo is an event where you set your own goals and spend time doing what you love: writing!

Ask yourself: “If I don’t hit my Camp NaNo goal, what will happen?”

Nothing! It just means you have more of your story to write, but guess what? You (probably) have lots of time left to do that in next month and the month after that!

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Those are my 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed. If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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NaNoWriMo…But in May!

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Happy Wednesday!

NaNoWriMo, but in May is my way of making up for not writing at all during Camp NaNoWriMo this past month. I decided to give it an official name in the hopes it will motivate me to actually writing during May. Hence, Mayorimo.

Before I jump into what I am writing, my goals, and overall writing plan, I wanted to acknowledge that yes, this is my first Wednesday blog post! If you missed my last blog post (My May 2020 Writing Goals, which you can check out HERE), I announced that I will be posting three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since I finished school last week, I have more time to brainstorm and write content for my blog and I am very excited to do so!

Now, onto my goals, plans, and writing ideas for Mayorimo aka NaNoWriMo in May.

What Am I Writing?

Glad you asked! I am adding to my Aztec novella I wrote back in March. Currently, it sits at around 20,000 words and I really want to expand it into a novel. There is so much in this world and story to explore, and I know the story will benefit from a longer length. In the past few days, I have been brainstorming new plot points and characters to add to the story and it is reminding me why I love this story.

What Are My Goals?

I knew before I planned to do Mayorimo that I did not want to write 50,000 words in one month. During March, I spread myself thin trying to write and edit 17,000 words in like two weeks while juggling school. This resulted in creative burnout for ALL of April and only now, am I finally craving to write for my story. I do not want to be irresponsible and repeat the process that resulted in my burnout, so, I settled on a more attainable goal.

Every day, I want to aim to write 1,000 words. I chose this because I know if I sit down to write, I can easily write this many. And if I miss a day, it will not be too hard to catch up. That means by the end of May, I am hoping to have added 31,000 words to my story. This puts my manuscript at 51,000 words but I have a feeling it will need to be a liiitle longer than that since it is fantasy.

Reward System = NO Burnout

I also decided to try something new during this upcoming writing-filled month: a rewards system. I have preached before in past blog posts about the importance of rewarding yourself with breaks, treats, etc when writing a lot, but lately, I have not been following that. This time, I wanted to change that and reward myself with 30 free minutes after every single writing session.

At first, I debated rewarding myself at the end of the week. However, I hate not being “productive” for long periods of time so taking a day off from writing to do whatever is not appealing to me. It drives me crazy, especially during a pandemic when I am stuck at home all day. If I could go out and be with friends, that is a different story and in that case, I want to be anything BUT productive. However, whenever I try to take Saturday off from Coursera work or writing, I itch to do anything but relax and read or watch TV. I realized I benefit from taking small breaks every day and infusing them with things I enjoy.

So, after every successful writing session (where I write at least 1,000 words), I can take 30 full minutes to read, watch YouTube, play a video game, or catch up on a TV show. Sometimes, I won’t be able to right after, but as long as it is before the evening when I do typically relax more (because I think it defeats the purpose if I take my break when I am already relaxing!) I will call that a success.

My Tips for a Successful Writing Session

  • Find Your Creative Time

Having no school or places I need to be (except work on Sundays) has reminded me I am a morning writer. This is probably why I did not get as much writing done during the school year I think (other than me making excuses) because I had classes starting at 8:30 am sometimes. Spending 9 am – 12 pm on weekdays to work on creative projects has really shown me how productive I can be in only three hours.

  • Create a Writing Trigger

By trigger, I mean find something that you listen to, drink, or smell whenever it is time to write. For example, my writing and editing trigger is lo-fi music. When I hear it, I just feel the urge to write and be productive. That is when I realized it is my writing trigger. It is helpful to have one because it really helps set the mood to write, especially when you do not feel like it.

  • Plan Out What You Are Going to Write

Plan out at least three plot points (they can be as small as your character speaking to another character) you want to write during that writing session before you sit down to write. Even if you have it in your outline, write down the three main plot points you are writing that day on a queue card or sticky note. That way, you are focused on what to write and not distracted by the rest of your story.


Those are my plans and goals for Mayorimo, and also some tips to ensure a successful writing session! Let me know what projects you are working on during May because I’d love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media which is all linked down below.

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Last Blog Post:Β May 2020 Writing Goals

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How I Edit My Stories

Happy Friday!

In honour of Camp NaNoWriMo (which I am failing!), I thought it would be fun to share my editing process. I always like reading about how other people write and edit, and I thought it would also be a great way to inspire you to finally sit down and work on your current WIP.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

STEP ONE: What Type of Edits Am I Doing?

This is where I like to start off on; asking myself what type of editing my story requires. If you are unaware, the three main types of editing are substantive editing (content editing), copy editing (grammar, sentence structure, etc), and proofreading (formatting errors like a missing period, sentence indentation, etc…small things). Usually, each round of edits I do contains the first two types. I will look for content mistakes as well as grammar mistakes because I find it hard to not change a misspelled word or delete a repeated word if I see one. Proofreading is always left for last though.

Some people like to focus on one at a time, and even recommend doing substantive edits first and then copy edits. I found that for me, I have a hard time ignoring the copy edits so I just do both at the same time. I will say, doing both at once does mean you have to comb through the manuscript a few extra times (sometimes), but I have not had a problem doing that with speed and efficiency. Like writing, it is important to figure out what process works best for you.

STEP TWO: Remind Yourself, or Determine Your Word Goal

As an someone who overwrites, I always write with a goal in mind but sometimes (or most of the time), I easily surpass it. Over the years, I’ve found it easier to just keep writing and worry about that later though. When I finish writing the story, I will figure out what word count I need it to be and that will be another task in the editing process.

An excellent example of this is when I was writing my Aztec story in March. My word goal was 17,000 because it was for a writing contest and that was the maximum word count. However, my final draft was 22,000 words! That is 5,000 words over the limit but yes, I did manage to cut it down to 16,999 words. That is why I recommend not worrying about your word count while writing. Just write. Even if it seems daunting, you really can get your story to wear it needs to be. When reading your story over and over, and editing it over and over, you understand what needs to be in it and what does not. So, go into editing with a word goal in mind.

STEP THREE: Set Daily or Weekly Editing Goals and a Final Deadline

I like to set a page count goal per day when it comes to editing. Although, maybe your goal is to edit for two hours every day. Figure out what works best for you, and what allows you to get your editing done in a productive and timely manner. It is then important to set a deadline. This can help you figure out what your daily or weekly goal too, if you are unsure of how much you need to get done each day/week.

Right now, I am freelance editing and working on a 220 pages manuscript. I was given a month deadline which is coming up this Sunday, but I was able to finish two rounds of edits a couple days early because I stuck to my daily goals. For the first round, my goal was to edit eight pages per day, six times a week. When it came to the second round, I wanted to edit faster so I switched my goal to 15 pages per day, five times a week. It has worked really well and as of yesterday, I was able to finish them. This allowed me to give one final skim through to make sure I did not miss anything, and not feel rushed when submitting my client the edits.

STEP FOUR: Time to Edit!

Once I figure out my plan for editing, I get right into it. I like to edit with lo-fi music playing, whether that is in my headphones or on my computer screen with the ChilledCow videos playing (if you know, you know).

I like to get all my writing related tasks done in the morning. Before, I gave myself from 9-12 but since I am not currently writing anything new (I always decide to take a break during Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo, as I always manage to do), I have switched it to 10-12. Since I am also working with a client right now, that is my top priority so I like to work on that first thing. It takes me anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to get my editing done for the day. It’s nice to have a schedule because then you aren’t spending your whole day editing! As a writer and overall creative person, you have other projects to devote time to. Having a schedule and a goal allows you to work on them.

STEP FIVE: The Final Round

Proofreading is essential and I feel like a lot of people wave it off after they finish four rounds of substantive and copy edits. However, I have caught so many mistakes while proofreading even though I had just gone over it four times before. I like to do at least one round of proofreading, but I do try to do two if I have the time. It’s is incredibly important and should not be overlooked!

If a project is short, like the one I am working on, I like to do two to three rounds of edits. However, if it is longer, I like to tack on an extra round or two. If it is already a polished manuscript though, sometimes it needs less editing because I barely found anything the first time. If it is not polished, sometimes it will need more work and care. It all depends on the project!

 

Those are all the steps I take in my editing process and I hope you found it interesting and helpful. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts because yes, I am finally posting to my Instagram again!

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

Happy Friday!

This week zipped by because of how chaotic and absolutely insane it was. Not only were there assignments and projects and readings for school I had to tackle, but as the entire world knows, the COVID-19 virus has escalated intensely in the last few days. Where I live, there are only 3 known cases at the moment, but my school is still considering shutting down for a few weeks. My fingers are crossed that this doesn’t happen because we have less than a month of classes left and I would really like to finish them. That, and get marks for all the assignments and projects I have poured HOURS into! Of course, if that is the safest option for everyone then I understand but hopefully, it does not come to that.

Anyways, amongst the chaos, I have somehow found time to write so today, I wanted to share this rambly, chit-chatty post all about my writing progress and plans for the coming month.

Currently, I am writing a short story/novella based on my Aztec mythology idea and decided earlier this week that I was going to scrap what I had already written of it (around 3,000 words) and start fresh. Usually, I would highly advise you NOT to do this, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for your project and this was one of those rare cases. I have not written too much for the new draft, but I have clocked in around 1,300 words which is better than nothing. Another plus is that I have really enjoyed writing this story and it does not feel like a drag to work on it anymore. That was my main problem with this story before. Every time I had to force myself to work on it and I never had any clear sight of where I wanted to take it. Naturally, I am a pantser so sitting down with only a rough idea in mind is how I typically write my stories, but I had no motivation or inspiration with where this story was going to start. So, long story short, I changed my idea a bit and plan on finishing my first draft (which should be around 17,000 words) sometime next week…preferably mid-week but we shall see.

Some other projects currently on the go for me is a project for one of my classes. I decided to create a zine which is a collection of various pieces of your own work. This is for my fine arts class and for it, I am writing poems and flash fiction pieces that will tell one story throughout the entire zine. At the moment, I am trying to make it so it switches between poem and flash fiction, but overall, I will just have to see what works best for the story and flow of it. I am also including some art pieces which is kind of new for me. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and I am not being modest when saying I am not the most talented drawer…but I think it will be an interesting addition to the zine. Also, a necessary one because you need art for the front cover at the least! This is due by April 3rd so I have some time but I would rather start now than leave it to the last minute. So far, I have a flash fiction piece and a poem that I am still working on. I’ve also been practicing the types of drawings I want to include. The theme is very whimsical and mystical so it has been a lot of fun so far!

Leaping into the future just a bit, I have decided to re-think my Camp NaNoWriMo plans a little more. After starting this little zine project, I thought it might be fun to work on a short story collection rather than one novel or novella project. For years, I have been working on this Aztec story, and of course, in between, I have devoted time to other projects, but this zine idea has really inspired me to take a break from that world this coming month. For now, I am thinking of just including short stories into this totally separate project from my fine arts one, but I might include other forms of written pieces as well. Basically, I am giving myself creative freedom for April which could either be a brilliant or self-destructive idea.

 

There you have it! Those are my current projects and future plans for writing and I hope you enjoyed. Let me know below what you currently have on the go, as well as if you are participating in Camp NaNo this year because I would love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and also my social media accounts which are all linked down below!

Thanks for reading and stay healthy πŸ™‚

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