Camp NaNoWriMo Prep – Last Minute Writing Checklist

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I haven’t done many (or any, I can’t remember) Camp NaNoWriMo prep posts, and since it is the LAST Monday of the month before we are in April (aka Camp NaNoWriMo, I thought it would be good to squeeze at least one in. Today, I decided to put together a checklist of all the things you should get done this week before Camp NaNoWriMo. I know I’ve fallen a little behind on my prep, so I will 100% be going through this list to make sure I am ready to go for the month of April. Anyways, I hope you enjoy and find it helpful!

  • Join a cabin – Cabin assignments were made yesterday so I would hop onto joining a cabin ASAP. Cabins are a great way to meet other writers and motivate each other to keep writing during this busy and slightly stressful month. Sometimes cabin experiences are better than others, but overall, my cabin experience has always been fantastic! You can turn to your cabinmates for advice and a lot of them are pretty experienced and eager to help out.
  • Gather Up All Your Writing Inspiration – By this, I mean make a playlist of all the writing vlogs that inspire you on YouTube, pick out a few books that make you want to write, or create the perfect playlist that forces your butt into your writing chair. Whatever gets you motivated, gather that all up and make it accessible to you for April!
  • Fuel Your Creative Well – This is so important as we approach April because you do not want to start Camp NaNoWriMo with your creative well dried up and depleted of ideas. This means you should be reading as much as you can in this last week, as well as watching all the good movies and TV shows! Take a break from writing and planning too, and you will start Camp NaNoWriMo feeling refreshed and ready to write.
  • Take a Break from Your Outline – If you are starting a new project or new projects like me, then you have probably been working on your outline(s) for a while. This is your last chance to take a step back from them before April starts, so I recommend letting them sit for a few days and then a day or two before Camp NaNoWriMo actually starts, look them over again and see if you want to change anything. Not only will this give you a breather from your work, but you also might return to your outline and realize something needs to be changed.
  • Clean Up Your Writing Space – Wherever you are writing, make sure it is cleared off and clean so you aren’t wasting writing time during April to “just tidy up a bit”. I do this all the time, and while I do get down business afterward, I am wasting precious writing time by doing this “little” clean up. Get it done now!

There is my checklist for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I hope some of you found it helpful! Let me know if you are participating this year in camp because I would love to know! Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below for more writing and reading related content. Thanks for reading 🙂

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My Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 Plans!

Happy Monday!

I wanted to start this week off with a productive blog post so that is why I am going to share with you all what I plan to get done during the first round of Camp NaNoWriMo this year in April! Let me know if you are participating and what your goals are in the comments below because I would love to know! If you have no idea what Camp NaNoWriMo is, then read this blog post HERE where I explain all of it! Anyways, onto the blog post.

This year, I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo a liiitle differently. Basically, instead of working on one single novel idea, I’m working on about 5 different essays and stories. April and so forth is the beginning of lots and lots of scholarship deadlines so I will be using Camp NaNo to get those essays and stories written AND edited completely. Here are my specific writing projects:

  1. Ayn Rand Essay Scholarship Contest – For this scholarship contest, I have to write an 800-1,600 word essay on Ayn Rand’s book, The Fountainhead, on one of their 3 given topics. The deadline for this is April 25th so this will be my first priority during Camp NaNo!
  2. Grandfather’s Clock – This is a short story I’ve been working on for years, and while I just wrote 6 whole drafts of it in the last month, I am going to write another draft or 2, edit that and add it to my portfolio for a scholarship. The drafts always fall between 2,000-2,500 words so I am sure this one will be around there too.
  3. Another Scholarship Essay – I am very excited to write this scholarship essay because it has a travel-themed prompt, being “If you could live anywhere outside North America, where would you go and what would you do there?”. My answer is writing related because it is going to be Edinburgh, Scotland, a very writerly place. The maximum word count is only 500 words so it should not take me long to write at all.
  4. The Night Market Short Story – I have been writing and writing this short story since FOREVER because it NEVER turns out how I want it to, but I think I’ve solved my plot and pacing problem. So, I am very excited to give it another go this April. I am guessing this story will be around 5,000 words…somewhere on the longer side because it does have fantasy elements and those always take longer to develop.
  5. Project Mystic – I guess I am kind of going to be working on my novel project, but I only plan on writing like 10-15,000 words for it. Whatever amount I manage to write during whatever time I have left because the projects above will be coming first. I am very excited to pick this project back up though! It’s been a while.

Overall, I plan on writing around 20,000 words this Camp NaNoWriMo, but I have a feeling I will write a lot more than that. Don’t hold me to that though. Who knows what April will hold! If more scholarship essays come up, I will obviously add those to my project list and that means Project Mystic will get pushed back. However, I will be working on my passion project the first moment I can, whether that is at the end of April, beginning of May or sometime in the summer. My graduation is fast approaching and all the fun but stressful things that come with that, so it is really a touch and go process. Anyways, I am very excited to work on all my projects this Camp NaNoWriMo, and I hope all of you who are participating are excited as well!

Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as all my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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creative writing assignment.

Happy Wednesday!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share a creative writing assignment I wrote for English because I thought the prompt was really interesting and fun! Basically, we had to write a short paragraph (200 words or less) on something we would want a teacher to teach us. Let me know what YOU think I want to learn from a teacher from reading my assignment, and then comment below your idea so we can put the clarity of my writing to the test! Ha, anyways, I hope you enjoy 🙂

The pen is said to be mightier than the sword. So, why do these words I bleed onto the page drip between the cracks of a sharpened voice? You can clutch my words against your chest, crumple them in your fist, and use them to blot your tears. Yet, so often chosen are the spoken words whirling around. Why? Spoken words can fly free amongst the birds, but eventually, the sun’s merciless breath will melt the wax fastening them together. With wide eyes we then watch them plummet into the sea, confidence their hamartia. Remind me why I keep writing despite this. Why I empty my soul and let it pour into the pen gripped right here between my fingers. Will I have it in me to try again? To pick up this pen and write? Remind me that my words can last centuries, like the ones scrawled in the books I devour because spoken words are too wild to tame inside a book. So, teach me how not to let my words get lost in the shouts and rustling of paper. Help me to ensure that my words will live on forever, safe in the hands of those seeking strength.

Yep, that’s it! Short and sweet, right? Anyways, I need to get back to reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, a MASSIVE philosophical book I’m reading for an amazing scholarship opportunity. Let me know if you’ve read this because I am only a few pages in but have discussions churning inside me. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading & Writing Goals – March + April 2019

 

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Reading & Writing Goals – March + April 2019

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I did not start the new year off on a strong note…the only goal I achieved within the first two months of the year was to apply to two scholarships. So yeah, we are going to try and pick up the pace these next two months. April is Camp NaNoWriMo which means during March, I will be prepping like mad (and also writing) so stuff will definitely get done. Anyways, here are my goals!

  • Write + Edit Fantasy Story – This is a story I’m writing for a contest, but I’ve also been working on this story for a while now. This is my push to just finish writing it, and also polish it up as much as I can. The maximum word count is 17,000 so I definitely got my work cut out for me!
  • Plan Out Camp NaNoWriMo Stories – I’m aiming to write about four short stories/essays for upcoming scholarships and contests during Camp NaNoWriMo. This also includes editing and polishing them up because a lot of them are due on the very last day of April!
  • Read 10 Books – Once again, I’ve changed my reading goal. At the beginning of the year, it was 70 (5 books less than last years goal), but I saw how I was already struggling to keep on track so I lowered my goal to 60. Now I only need to read 5 books a month and I’ve been keeping up with that pretty well so far.
  • Post 12 Blog Posts – Since I’ve cut down on how many blog posts I post every month, I’m hoping it will make it easier to achieve the other goals that I listed above. I like posting “creative” content only twice a week rather than three times and then posting my update on Sunday. It definitely helps minimize any stress I feel surrounding it.

I feel like I’m forgetting some goals but this covers the overall idea of things I want to achieve this month. I hope you enjoyed reading all my goals, and make sure you comment down below all the goals you plan on achieving in the next month or two because I’d love to know! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Writer Self-Care Tips

Self-care is SO important whether you are a writer or just a human, so today I am going to give some tips, ideas and reminders on how to make the most of your self-care sessions.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is what it sounds like. It is time devoted to you and you only, when you replenish your energy and as a writer, your creative well also.

Self-Care Activities: 

  • Take a bubble bath + read
  • Movie night in bed
  • Yoga
  • Bake!
  • Go for a walk
  • Go to the gym
  • Colour in a colouring book
  • Watch writing vlogs
  • Research new hobbies
  • Make lists!
    • bucket lists
    • goals and aspirations
    • books to read
    • movies to watch
  • Journal! (thoughts, feelings, ideas, short stories, etc)

Self-Care Tips:

  • Set Aside ONE whole day whenever you can to focus on your self-care
  • Have an hour or so in the evenings also dedicated to self-care (everyday or as many days possible)
  • Candles, candles, candles
  • Soft, relaxing music (none of this hardcore metallica…unless that relaxes you)
  • Healthy foods (lots of recipes on Pinterest)
  • Lots of fresh air
  • Get off your phone!

Risks of Not Caring For Yourself:

  • Creative burnout
  • Physical/mental burnout
  • Stress
  • Always feeling tired!
  • Prone to metal breakdowns (not fun)

It is so, so important to care for you body and mind! When you are a writer, you want to just work, work, and work to make your story better and to get more words on the page. It can be hard to allow yourself to take a few hours off, let alone an entire day, without feeling guilty, but it is crucial to your creative process. I like to take Sundays (mostly) off and on Sundays I try to stay away from writing my current WIP, limit my time on my phone, take baths, do lots of reading, and plan for the week to come. These are the ways I care for my mind and body, and make sure I start the next week off energized and ready to go!

Anyways, that is all for this post and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any other self-care activities or tips, then definitely comment them down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 3

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! 

Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

 

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Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

Happy Sunday!

Since I usually doing reading + writing updates on Sunday, I thought I would wrap up day 2 of the Biannual Bibliothon and the second week of Camp NaNoWriMo all in one post! Before I get into this update, I did want to say that I will not have any Biannual Bibliothon challenge blog posts going up for the next two or three days (not 100% sure which ones I already wrote). I just lost track of time! However, the days I don’t post a challenge post I will still post a regular blog post in its place because I always have a few ready to go. Anyways, let’s get into this most likely lengthy update!

 

BIANNUAL BIBLIOTHON DAY 2 UPDATE:

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I am very happy to report that I am still on track with finishing seven books by the end of the Biannual Bibliothon because I finished my second book for the readathon today! Today I picked up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and to be honest, it was a struggle getting this one done. Lately, I have not really been in the “old school” dystopian mood, which is the genre of this book, so it took a little extra willpower to finish it. Also, it was on the longer(ish) side of being about 488 pages which is really long if I am not loving the story. But I did finish it, and I am very happy to have this book done and read before the movie comes out which hits theaters August 3rd. I am disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, but I didn’t dislike…I am just okay with it. The concept was very similar to all the other dystopians I read, but I do not blame the author at ALL because this book came out in 2012 and dystopian was very “in” back then. Overall, I would give The Darkest Minds a 3/5 stars, and while I don’t have any plans to pick up the rest of the trilogy…series? Whatever it is, who knows?

CAMP NANOWRIMO WEEK 2 UPDATE:

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This is a very successful update because I also managed to write about 15,600 words this past week! This brings me up to a total of about 32,000/50,000 words for the second draft of my WIP, which I am calling Project Mystic, and I am ECSTATIC about my progress. Everyday I have been getting about one and a half hours of writing done, meaning I’ve been writing about 2,000-3,000 words written everyday. This is awesome because not only am I writing this a lot faster than I thought, but because it means I get to FULLY take Sundays off which is really nice for my brain. I do love writing of course, but we all need a break every once and a while. If I continue blasting out the words I will most likely reach my Camp NaNo goal by the end of next week…however I am nowhere near done draft 2. I am hoping it will only take until the middle of August to finish, but who knows?

Anyways, to quickly wrap this up, I started and finished ONE book today and wrote over 15,000 words for this second week of Camp NaNo which I am SO happy about. That is all for today though, I hope your reading/writing is going well, and I will see you tomorrow with some more content!

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

This week has been one of my most productive weeks by far, more writing wise than reading, but I still got a good amount of reading done! After finishing Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier earlier this week, I was suddenly hit with a strong desire to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because I was in the mood for a dark and mystical story. I actually read The Raven Boys about a year ago, but I don’t think I was in the right mindset to read it because for some strange reason, I didn’t enjoy it that much and remember next to nothing about the story! However, I finished it earlier today and can easily say that I LOVED it, and am so excited to jump into the next book The Dream Thieves. Since the Biannual Bibliothon (a week long readathon) starts next Saturday, July 14th, I am going to try and finish the ENTIRE series before then to warm myself up for another week of lots, and lots of reading. If I don’t though, hopefully I manage to read the first three books, and the other one I can just squeeze into my Biannual Bibliothon TBR, which is coming soon!

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This was the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo and for this month I am working on my second draft of my current YA fantasy WIP. I did not write on day one of Camp NaNo, nor did I write yesterday, but I already have 15,000 words written so I can afford the breaks. I am about a day ahead but since I plan on doing lots of writing today, I will hopefully be about 6,000 words ahead by the end of the day! If you want to look more into my writing routine for this summer and how I get so many words each day, I did an entire blog post on it so check that out in the links below!

That is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed!

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Reading + Writing Update!

This was my first week off of school, and overall I was really happy with all the reading and writing related things I managed to get done. I had been listening to The Selection series for a few weeks now, and finally finished the audiobook for the third book, The One by Kiera Cass. These are books I have visited countless times and always love the light hearted, fun story they tell, so I was sad to finish them for yet another time! And yes, I know there are five books in the series but the last two…well, not a huge fan. Anyways, I have also been working my way through Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier, and was really hoping to finish it by July 1st, but I ended up still having about 40 pages to read. Oh well. Since I should be able to finish that later today, I plan on reading Save the Date by Morgan Matson. I have heard amazing things about this summer contemporary so I borrowed it in ebook format from my library, and am really excited to get to it soon! I am a huge fan of contemporary and Morgan Matson so I know I won’t be disappoint.

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Today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo! I am so, so excited to jump into a month focusing on writing my second draft for my current WIP, and I hope all of you are too. Of course today HAS to be an insanely busy day so the writing will have to wait until later tonight, but I am still determined to wedge my 1.5 hours in before the day is done. For us Canadians it is Canada Day, and while I don’t go crazy while celebrating, I am going out for a few hours with my friends and then family is coming…so yeah, a little hectic but I am making a priority to start this Camp NaNoWriMo off right. Remember to not let the stress of Camp NaNoWriMo get to you though because YOU get to create your own goals, and your goals can be changed and shifted to your schedule. Just take a deep breath and keep writing.

That is all for this weekly writing and reading update, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts, which are all linked below!

Last Blog Post: Camp NaNoWriMo Checklist!

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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.

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

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