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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out my Instagram for live NaNoWriMo updates!

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Author Interview with Alicia Dean

Join me for an interview with mystery, thriller, and paranormal romance author, Alicia Dean!

Happy Monday!

Today I have an exciting post and it is an author interview with mystery, thriller, and paranormal romance author, Alicia Dean! I asked Alicia a series of questions about her writing process and her books, so I hope you enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

1. How did you first fall in love with writing?

When I was a child, I loved to read. And my own stories started forming in my mind, and I knew at an early age that I wanted to be a writer.

2. Is there a book or series that has shaped your writing?

There are many books that stuck with me and shaped my writing. Over the years, there have been different influences. One of my earliest influences, other than Pippi Longstockings and Amelia Bedelia, LOL, were Harlequins, then Sweet Savage Love. Although, I oddly have never written a Historical and donโ€™t really read them now. I discovered Stephen King and Michael Connelly and my interest morphed to murder. ๐Ÿ˜€ 

3. What does your current writing process look like?

A haphazard mess. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have difficulty being creative in the evenings, so my goal is to rise earlier than normal and spend at least an hour writing. But, as of late, I havenโ€™t been able to stick to my goal. I at least try to write a minimum of 10 minutes a day, no matter what else is going on so that I at least accomplish something and stay connected to my story.

4. What do you enjoy doing when youโ€™re not writing?

Traveling, watching MLB and NFL, reading, watching TV, hanging with my kids, friends, and family.

5. What is your favourite genre to write in?

Suspense/police procedurals. Though I also enjoy paranormal.

6. Do you have a favourite book of yours that you have written? Or at least, a current favourite?

I think Without Mercy might be my all-time favorite of my own books. Though I enjoyed writing Soul Seducer a great deal too.

7. You have several books being re-released. What inspired this decision?

I self-published them originally, because, at the time I wrote them, they didnโ€™t fit in with what The Wild Rose Press was publishing. And, for some of them, they were written with a group of other authors for a specific project. Since that time, TWRP has begun accepting a wider variety of genres. I love being an author for The Wild Rose Press and I thought releasing them through TWRP would breathe new life into them.

8. Soul Seducer is the first book of yours being re-released this week on April 14. Can you give a summary of this story?

My heroine, Audra, is a nurse who has a near-death experience, which opens a portal, more or less, between her world and the world of reapers. She is able to see and communicate with grim reapers after that. One of the reapers is beyond evil and he takes people โ€˜before their timeโ€™ which is painful for the person and damns them to an eternity of torment. Another reaper, who becomes my heroineโ€™s love interest, is trying to stop him. Everyone in Audraโ€™s life is in peril, from her patients to her friends and family. 

9. Your re-releases are getting brand new covers. Out of the ones that have been revealed, do you have a favourite?

It would either be Soul Seducer or Once Upon a Gothic. But itโ€™s difficult, because I love them all.

10. Where can we find the re-releases of your books?

You can find them at Amazon:  https://amzn.to/3wNIpjg or on my website: https://aliciadean.com/books/

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Check out my last blog post: April + May TBR

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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, donโ€™t forget to let me know what your post-NaNoWriMo plans are! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย My FINAL TBR of 2020

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How to Make Money as a Writer

Ready to pursue a career in writing? Here are a few ways to make money as a writer.

How do I make money as a writer?

Is getting my book traditionally published the only way to make money?

What other writing jobs, other than an author, are there even?

If you have asked yourself any of the questions above (or all three), I am here to tell you that you do not have to get a book published to make money as a writer. To be honest, that might be the most difficult way to make money as a writer and is not a reality for everyone.

Of course, to make money from writing takes time and skill. It involves crafting an impressive portfolio of writing samples that will make companies want to hire you or literary magazines want to publish you. It takes practice to improve your writing skills and get them to a level where people can and want to read them.

Today, I am going to breakdown what types of writing you can make money from, where you can go to make money from writing, and take you through the steps.

Here is your go-to guide for how to make money as a writer.

Types of Writing Jobs Out There:

  • Article Writing
  • Blogging
  • Press Release Writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Copywriting
  • Content Writing
  • Creative Writing (Submitting to short story contests and literary magazines. Not a job exactly, but a way to make money from writing on the side with enough patience and practice.)

Some of these jobs overlap. For example, a copywriter can be a blogger and an article writer because copywriting is a form of advertising. It means to write in a way that promotes a company and encourages a client to take a particular action. This is something that can be done it multiple forms.

Where to Start

1. To Freelance or Not to Freelance

Do you want to be a freelancer, which is someone who works for themselves and is employed by other companies either for permanent, contract, or temporary work, or do you want to write for one specific company? This is the first thing to narrow down.

When choosing freelancing, you have to understand that it is a business. That means you need to build a website, keep track of clients, send contracts and invoices, as well as make sure you get paid. If you aren’t willing to put in the work to market you and your business, I would recommend becoming a writer employed by one company.

I love freelancing. I love running my own business and marketing myself (which is why I am a digital marketing writer). However, it isn’t always smooth sailing. It involves lots of long days, lots of rejection, lots of dealing with people, and lots of research. But in the end, it’s all worth it to me!

What’s important is figuring out what fits you best. If you want to try out freelancing, give it a go! If it doesn’t work out, you have other options.

2. Determine Your Writing Niche

The second step to succeeding in the writing world is to determine your niche. But what is a niche? A niche is a specific topic that you decide to write about. For example, I am a freelance digital marketing writer. That means that now, after taking some time to discover my own niche, I only write (for clients) content that relates to digital marketing such as social media, SEO, email marketing, etc.

It is absolutely essential to determine your niche, otherwise, you will just be a meh writer in a wide range of topics. You want to hone in on one topic and really educate yourself on it so that when clients look at your portfolio, they will see that you really know your stuff.

For the literary magazines and writing contest side of things, your “niche” could be fantasy short stories or contemporary poems. The more specific you are, the better chances you have.

Here is a list of more popular niches in 2020: https://www.writingrevolt.com/profitable-freelance-writing-niches/

3. Build a Website

This is especially important for freelancers, but even if you don’t want to freelance, I think it is a good idea to have a website as a writer.

You need a nice and clean website to showcase your niche, services, portfolio, testimonials, and contact information. If a company stumbles on your website and they can’t figure out what type of writing you do, or how much you charge, there is a good chance they will click off the website. We want to avoid those missed opportunities.

Check out my website for inspiration. I am no website designer, but it certainly does the trick: http://www.zoemathers.com

4. Publish Your Writing Online

When I first put together my writing portfolio, I remember thanking myself for creating this blog when I did. For six years, I have been consistently posting blog posts on here and that gave me a strong writing foundation. Not only did it improve my writing skills immensely, especially my skills for writing for the web, but it helped me build credibility and an audience. I am a freelance content and copywriter which means when I contact a company, or am discovered by a company who is in need of a writer, they can see my years and years and hundreds and hundreds of blog posts that I have written. They are not all beautifully written, many were strewn together in less than an hour, but it shows that I can write a lot and fast. It also shows how much my writing has grown over the years. Kind of like a diary. (However, I don’t have many of my own blog posts in my writing portfolio.)

I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to build a platform where you post your writing on. Whether that is a social media account like Instagram or Facebook, or a blog, it will make jump starting your writing career a lot easier.

5. Create a Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of your best writing pieces out there. Mostly, they are samples already published online, however, if you are just starting out and don’t have a blog, they don’t have to be published.

When it comes to curating content for your portfolio, make sure you include pieces that showcase your skill, voice, and niche the best.

Want some inspiration? Check out my writing portfolio: http://www.zoemathers.com/writing-portfolio

6. Build Up a Cold Emailing List

Whether this list is full of literary magazines to submit to or companies to propose your copywriting services, build up a list of people to cold email. Cold emailing, when done right, can lead to new clients and is an essential step towards making money as a writer. I recommend building up a list of at least 50 potential clients before starting to send out emails.

Here are some tips for cold emailing:
  • Be Personable and Personalized – Be courteous; compliment their company, tell them why you admire them and want to write for them. To check if your email is personalized enough, if you read over your email and realize you could send the exact same message to the next company on your list without changing anything, it is not personalized enough.
  • Offer Up Your Ideas for the Company – Do they not have a blog on their website? Do they have a poorly written “About Us” section? Whatever it is, kindly offer up your ideas to them in a pitch. Tell them how a blog would improve their website and drive more traffic to it. And then, tell them how you would proceed to build up a blog for them.
  • Link 2 Writing Samples – Do not attach your resume or attach your writing samples. Instead, provide a link to your Google Drive where they are organized by category, topic, etc. Or, link them to where they were originally posted. You don’t need to overwhelm with samples either, so stick to two.

7. Create a CRM Spreadsheet

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Manager. Basically, it organizes your clients, or potential clients, so you can keep track of what project they hired you for, if they’ve paid you, if they contacted you first, if you sent them a cold email, etc, etc. It will be a time saver as you grow your writing career. It is also handy when submitting to contests or literary magazines. When it comes to the end of the year, the time when you want to reflect on your writing business and see how much you made, a CRM that process a lot easier. Trust me.

If you want a CRM template, subscribe to my freelancing newsletter HERE. My newsletter went out today (Nov 30) so if you sign up now, you can still get the template I included in this month’s newsletter! If it is past that date already, feel free to subscribe anyways and leave in the notes section of the sign up form that you would like access to my CRM spreadsheet! ๐Ÿ™‚

Places to Find Writing-Related Work

Now that you have your niche picked out, a website built, and a curated selection of writing samples, it is time to figure out where the heck to submit your work or find clients.

Below, I have listed a few freelance job boards to help kickstart your process of making money as a writer.

A lot of the websites listed below are best for beginner writers, or those of you who want to build up your portfolio. Some of them, you can find well paying gigs, but on websites like Fiverr, you will start out not making too much per word. However, this is how I started and it really helped me learn how much my services cost and what my writing was worth.

Fiverr

Upwork

Freelancer

FlexJobs

Pro Blogger Jobs

Guru

We Work Remotely

LinkedIn (Much more credible and better for finding a full-time, non-freelancing job)

Now you have all the tools to get started! Remember, you won’t find success right away, and that’s okay. Some months for me are super busy with contract work and it is great, however, there are slower months too. Much slower months. That is the life of a writer, especially a freelance writer.


I hope this was helpful, and if you are in search of more writing and/or freelance-related content, consider checking out the links below! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!

Donโ€™t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for readingย ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย Updated Freelance Website!

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4 Resources for Writers

A list of resources that every writer must check out.

As a writer, it is nice to have a handful of resources to turn to when you are need of some writing tips, motivation, or places to submit your work.

To help you out, I’ve curated a list of my most favourite resources. These are the ones I always go back to and keep bookmarked on my laptop!

Here are 4 resources for writers.

1. Freelancing with Zoe Newsletter

If you didn’t know, I have a freelance editing and writing website! On my website, not only do I offer a bunch of different services, but I also have a newsletter you can sign up to. My newsletter comes out at the end of every month and is filled with tips for freelancers or wanna-be-freelancers. That includes business, writing, and editing advice so if that sounds interesting to you, sign-up for my newsletter by going to my website HERE!

2. CBC Short Story Prize Newsletter

This is another great newsletter filled with writing tips. It is from the CBC Literary Prize which annually, hosts a non-fiction, poetry, and fiction writing contest. I like this newsletter a lot because it offers a lot of insight from past winners on the steps they made to create a story that could win the contest. I find this not only inspiring, but really helpful when it comes to my own writing.

3. The Write Life

For the last year or so, this has been a go-to resource for me because whenever I had a question, I would Google it and a post by The Write Life always came up. They have a vast variety of advice and tips on blogging, freelancing, publishing, marketing, and more. Basically anything a writer needs, especially one with the goal of becoming a published one. If you need ideas for places to submit to, The Write Life has a lot of great recommendations you should check out (this is how I found them)! Especially for people in the US.

4. No Write Way

No Write Way is an Instagram Live series by author, V.E. Schwab that eventually, gets posted onto her YouTube channel for us to watch whenever we please. It is a series where she brings on other wonderful authors and interviews them about their writing journey. Common questions answered are how did you get into writing? What is your process like? What book of yours would you hope to outlive you and why? It is super inspiring for aspiring writers and you will walk away feeling motivated and educated on the craft of writing!


Those are my go-to writing resources that I highly recommend you all go check out. If you have any other resources that you always go back to, please drop them in the comments below!

Need a writer or editor? Check out my freelancing website HERE!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย September Goals

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3 Tips for Writing Romance

Happy Friday!

Today, I want to share my 3 essential tips for writing romance.

Writing a romance your readers will fall in love with is no easy task. Often, authors opt for insta-love but unless it is done well, it is the slow-burn, hate-to-love, etc tropes that really grab at readers’ hearts.

Before we jump into my tips, I wanted to remind you that 2 weeks ago, I launched my freelance editing and writing website! If you need copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, blog writing, social media content creation OR copywriting, check it out HERE. I’d love to work with you.

Now, let’s get into today’s post because it has been a while since I posted!

Here are 3 tips for writing romance your readers will love.

1. Know Your Characters Individually Before You Know Them Together

This goes for any relationship, real or fictional, but you must know yourself before you can be with someone else. When writing romance, you need to have a grasp on who your characters are. What do they like? What are they afraid of? What do they want? What is their family like? If you don’t, they will be two-dimensional people in a two-dimensional relationship. That makes for a boring plot line and dynamic altogether.

Here is a basic character questionnaire that you should ask each of your characters in order to vividly paint them on the page.

2. Figure Out How They Fit Into Each Other’s Lives Organically

A lot of the time, a romance in a novel feels unnatural and forced. It is as if the author wrote two characters, decided their audience would probably want some romance, and then pushed the two main characters together because hey, they were right there anyways.

When it is done correctly, it works really well, but if it feels too forced and convenient, you are going to lose your audience. Here are some ideas for how your characters can organically fit into each other’s lives.

  • Their pasts are intertwined (maybe their families are close or are enemies, maybe they are childhood friends, etc)
  • They both want the same thing
  • One of them has something the other wants
  • One of them saves the other

3. If the Romance is a Subplot, Treat It Like a Subplot

Unless you are writing a romance novel, the romance should not be the main attraction. I hate when I am reading a fantasy and the romance overtakes the world, the magic system, the other characters, etc. If the romance is just one aspect of many within the novel, it should stay that way. Of course, it can have its moments in the spotlight, but it should not overshadow the rest of the story.


Those are 3 simple but essential tips to apply to your story when writing romance. If you have any other tips, please feel free to leave them down in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my freelance website and subscribe to the monthly newsletter for more tips, tricks, updates, and freebies on writing and the business of writing. You can check that all out HERE.

Also, make sure you read my last blog post and check out my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: My Freelance Business Launch

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5 Tips for Writing a Novel

Writing a novel isn’t easy, but here are 5 tips to help you out

Happy Monday!

Writing a novel is hard, which is why I have put together 5 tips that will make writing a novel just a little more easier.

Of course, there are the basics that go into writing a novel such as outlining before writing. Outlining includes creating 3D characters, mapping out the world your story takes in, knowing your plot points, etc. However, I will be covering novel writing aspects that you might not think about as often.

Here are my 5 tips for writing a novel.

1. Dedicate a Time & Place for It

This is a basic tip, but it is one of the most important tips out there. If you do not dedicate a specific time and place for writing. In order to write a novel within a reasonable amount of time, you must carve out a certain time to write it and be consistent with following it. For me, my mornings are for writing. That is when I sit down and know it is writing time. I do not sit down only one morning in the week either, every morning where I do not have to work, I use that time for writing.

It is also helpful to have a writing space, or even a few. These are spaces where you sit down and feel inspired to write. Having these spots trains your brain to know that when you sit down there, it is writing time! For me, this is just my desk but I have a nice setup going there with my candle, laptop, and lo-fi music.

2. Know EVERYTHING About Your World

While you do not need to know everything about your plot, it is essential to know everything about your world and characters. You do not need to share everything about your world or characters with the readers (at least, not right away or even ever), but it is important for YOU to know that information. Even if it never gets included in your book!

However, here are 3 things your reader MUST know:

  • Where are the places your story takes place? Describe them for your reader; make it vivid and descriptive
  • How does your world work? Who is in charge? What type of government is it?
  • What are the rules of your world? (This is especially important for fantasy novels)

3. Think of What You Want (or Wanted) to Read and Write It

Think back to when you were younger, or to whenever you pick up a book. What are the things you were hoping for within it? What did the book not have that you wanted? These are things you should think about and write down and then, when you are outlining your plot, include them.

This is why I read lots of books that are similar to my own during the outlining phase. It helps to warmup my mind and prep me for creating a plot that will hold my own attention first, which is crucial when writing a novel!

4. Welcome Surprises and Twists Within Your Story

It is important to follow an outline, but sometimes your story has a mind of its own. These are the times when we have to let our story go where it needs. Often, this makes the story more exciting too. The times where my plot has deviated from the outline created a more thrilling story overall. Those are scenes that felt more natural and less plotted out compared to the scenes I did map out. However, both are important!

Of course, your outline is there for a reason, but if you want to add in a new scene because it feels right, don’t shy away from it!

5. Hold Yourself Accountable, but Don’t Be Too Harsh!

It is nice to have a few friends who can hold you accountable for you writing goals, but I think it is also important for you to hold yourself accountable. Like anything in life, we cannot always rely on others. However, that is not an opening to be harsh on yourself! Be flexible and realistic with yourself, just like you would for a friend that YOU are holding accountable.


Those are 5 tips for writing a novel and I hope they were helpful. If you have any more, leave them below in the comments so we can help each other out!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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