Monthly Archives: April 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 21: I’m a Winner!

I won Camp NaNoWriMo today with 50,489 words, according to their validator. I am SO happy and proud of myself and I’m so glad I stuck with it. This month has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, but the ups have always been so much better than the downs.

winner

So this month has been a struggle. The beginning of the month was amazing and I wrote about 26,000 words in the first seven days. Pretty damn impressive, if I do say so myself.

Here’s how my stats looked throughout the month:

statsgraph stats

My average was obviously higher at the beginning of the month considering how many times I plateaued and didn’t write for days on end, but hey, it’s cool.

Most of the time I was ahead of the game. Actually, I stayed ahead of the game even though my count caught up to me (I was still about 500 words ahead).

Today alone I wrote almost 15,000 words. Suffice it to say, my brain is exhausted. I started at 6AM this morning and after 5k words, took a nap, and then just kept going and going until I reached my goal.

My story has been progressing nicely and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m still not done, though, even though I reached my word count goal for the month. It’s crazy to think that I’m creating this story, that this story isn’t even done and it could lead to a potential two more books. I’m freaking pumped.

Though there were some rough times, I look back on them as times I just needed to rest. They were times I needed to just relax and not worry about word count goals or winning anything. When I wrote just for me, and saw that word count go up and up, I was happy.

Now that I’ve won and Camp is over for now, I’m going to keep writing my story to its completion. But now at a much more relaxed pace.

I’m very thankful for the support I’ve had so far and the support I hope to have as I continue on this journey as a writer. It’s definitely an adventure, but I wouldn’t wish for any other.

How has your writing been coming along? Have you reached your word count goal yet? How far behind/ahead are you? There’s still time to win this thing, so keep going! Keep writing!

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Camp NaNoWriMo Day 16: Finding That Groove

Sometimes all it takes is a little motivational poster to make things okay again.

writeeveryday

Well, it’s not really a poster, but I did make it in Word last night because, well, I needed to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

I’ve always been creative. Always. Ever since I could remember I’ve had a vivid imagination and began writing stories at a young age. I remember I had to do one for a school project in elementary school (I think) and I told the story of how the sun came to be in the sky (crappy drawings included). I was proud of it then. I’m sure if I read it now, though, I’d be like, “What was I writing?” But for a young kid to write something like that, it’s pretty exciting.

As I got a bit older and my friends introduced me to manga in sixth grade, that’s when the stories really started to flow (as well as my artistic abilities, too). I began writing at eleven or twelve years old a story that I based off of the manga series Tokyo Mew Mew by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi.

It was my first full length novel. Well, I never completed it, and it was in 14 size font, but it was in the old Word program from ages ago. BUT I do remember writing over 70 pages of story. I mean, that’s a lot for a twelve year old to write. I had this whole concept developed in my head, but it’s also one of those stories that’ll never see the light of day.

From that time on my parents, especially my dad, have always urged me on to write. They know how creative and capable I am, and I’m not just saying that because they’re my parents. They’ve read some of my stuff and they’re impressed that it just all comes from my head, you know?

Well, now that I’m out of college and doing these writing activities like NaNoWriMo and Camp, I realized how much I’ve missed writing.

Yes, I’ve written short stories over the years for classes, and I want to continue doing that, but for a full length novel? That’s a challenge and a commitment.

And I’ve taken that challenge.

Camp NaNo has helped me to see my potential as a writer. It’s helped me to get my groove back, to say that, “Hey, you’re a writer and you’re good at what you do. You love it. Keep going.”

And I will. Even tough there will be dry spells and days where I just can’t get any words out lest I force the shittiest words ever to come out, I’ll write.

Write everyday. Keep going. Never stop. Keep moving forward.

P.S. I am now over 35k words out of my 50k word goal for the month. My story won’t be near completion by then, and I’m happy about that, because it just shows how big this story is and how much it means to me.

I found my groove. I hope you find yours.

How’s your writing coming along? Have you come across bumps in the road or are you managing to avoid them? Let me know!

CampNaNoWriMo Day 14: This Week Sucked

Okay, there, I said it. This past week sucked in terms of my writing. I barely wrote 5,000 words over the last seven days and I am so ashamed of that.

To be honest, my only “excuse” is that I was depressed. And since I was depressed, I didn’t feel like writing, so I read three books this past week (fastest reading time, what what?).

And I guess my other excuse was that I just wasn’t “feeling” up to writing. Like, that’s not a good reason at all.

I am a writer and I love to write. I’m reminded of that every time I continue my story or start a new one. So why was this past week so hard?

Maybe because I was on such a roll I let it get to my head and so I just thought that I should take a break and everything. I mean, there’s really nothing wrong with that at all. If you need a break, take a break. I was ahead (and still am) anyway.

The other thing that got to me was this: is my writing important enough?

Maybe it was because of the three awesome books I read this past week with such great diverse topics that it made my writing feel inferior, less important than what it is.

I mean, my writing doesn’t hit hard issues like intersex, sexual orientation, or suicide. My story that I’m writing for Camp is a romance/fantasy that’s finally in its plot point right now where the action is finally taking off (and I finally reached 30k words to get to that point).

I felt like I should be writing about those hard topics or those diverse reads. I’ve had an idea for years that I still want to bring into fruition one day.

And then just last night when I asked my husband for words of encouragement he said: “Keep writing! Keep going! You can do it! Your writing matters!”

And it’s true. My writing does matter. All writing matters.

Sure, my story may be something that’s seen sort of often in YA fantasy, but it’s got more romance, it’s got a few twists that I hope no one sees coming. And I love it.

That’s the biggest thing: I love my story.

And why shouldn’t I? It’s my creation. No one else is going to write it exactly the way I’m going to write it but me. No one can tell my story like I can. And I love it.

Yes, it may have took a lot of pushing and prodding to reach just over 30k words last night, but I managed it because I know where I want my story to go and where I hope it’ll lead.

This week may have sucked, but I’ve gotten over a decent hurdle and I’m not going to stop now. Not until it’s finished, and definitely not until I reach my goal.

How are your stories for Camp NaNo coming along? Are you fizzling out? Almost done? Actually finished? Let me know.

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 4: Feeling Like a Boss

As my first update for Camp NaNoWriMo, I must say that I am really proud of what I have accomplished so far in my writing journey.

As I stated last time, my story is bigger than I thought it originally was going to be. As I continue writing I’m discovering more and more about what I want the story to be and how I want it to unfold.

Hell, I even figured out that I want it to be a trilogy.

That said, my writing the past four days has been an epic one.

As of this moment I am currently at 16,803 words of 50,000. That’s 34% of the way to my goal. And I’m not even close to being done yet.

It feels amazing to write almost 5k words per day and to just see the story unfolding in front of my eyes. I’m learning more about my two main characters, as well as the world surrounding them, and I love it.

Though right now I’m still working out kinks and how I want certain things to flow, I do have a vague idea of major plot points, as well as some scenes I really want to work up to.

Especially the romance parts. *teehee* (I’m such a goob.)

But as of today I’m feeling like a boss. Which means, pretty much, I feel great and like I can conquer the world (muahaha!).

Now this doesn’t mean I’ll keep up my writing streak for long. I am trying to reach the next milestone every day (5k per day), so my next milestone I want to reach today is 20k words.

I’m determined, though, and I am truly loving this novel so much.

Now for today’s advice because I need it as much as any writer out there:

  • Don’t let what future reviews might say affect how you write. Do you worry about what future readers might think about your writing? I’m the sort of person that hates disappointing people, and if they’re disappointed in my work then I feel I’ve let them down. I’m already thinking of future reviews when I should be focusing on the now, on my writing, on my first draft. Don’t think about what may be; think about what you have right in front of you.
  • Reach a milestone per day and reward yourself somehow. Rewarding yourself is something that everyone loves doing. If it weren’t for rewards I’m sure a lot of us wouldn’t be doing what we love to do. I haven’t rewarded myself yet, but that’s also because I’m trying to think of something that’ll work for me. So whether that be an hour or two of Netflix after reaching your word count goal for the day, or going for a walk with a friend, or chocolate, give yourself a reward.
  • Give yourself a challenge to reach toward. I find that I’m a competitive person at times when I’m otherwise a very relaxed person (in most cases). Giving myself a challenge to strive to achieve is one such way that helps drive me to my goal. That’s why I’ve been thinking of raising my word count goal from 50k to 100k: it’s a challenge that I can strive for, and the way I’m thinking of my novel, that’s what it’ll turn into.
  • Keep cheering for yourself. There’s not shame in keeping positive in your own writing and giving yourself a pat on the back each time you reach a milestone. Others will be proud of you, too, but also try not to overdo it. Moderation is key.
  • Keep writing! Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind. It’s still early on in the month and so you just need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep writing!

Anyone participating in Camp NaNo this month? What’s the story you’re working on about? How far have you gotten? Let me know!

Camp NaNoWriMo Day One: Getting Started

So I’m thinking I’m going to do some posting about my process and how ¬†well my progress is going with Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’ll do weekly wrap-ups every Saturday, so expect those, but I may do a post or two during the week about something that inspired a great deal of writing, something that may have put a damper on it, writing from different perspectives, tenses, whatever comes to mind.

As for today, I wanted to talk about getting started with the whole writing process.

As many of you know I participated in NaNoWriMo back in November and wrote over 50,000 words. That’s the equivalent of writing a 200-220 page book. That’s a really great achievement, if you ask me. It was fun and enriching not only for myself, but for my inner writer. It’s been wanting to come out ever since then and take over, but I’ve kept it at bay. Well, now that Camp NaNoWriMo is here, I have no excuse to hold back anymore.

I was originally going to work on my draft of the story I wrote back in November. I still am, but for Camp I’m going to be writing a whole new story, one I’m actually really excited about.

So what I love about Camp NaNoWriMo is that it’s a much more relaxed version of NaNoWriMo in that you can set your own word count goal, starting from 10k words up to (I think) 1 million? I could be totally wrong on that, BUT the point is is that you can set your own word count goal. So it’s much more relaxed if you only feel like writing a shorter story than back in November.

Well, I had set my word count goal to 20k words. Doable, short, and I already had an idea that I fell absolutely in love with and was begging to be written.

But as I thought more and more about it, I raised my goal from 20k to 50k words. Yup, I’m going for another small novel length again.

As for my progress, I’m over 5.5k words and it’s only day one. Suffice to say, it’s been a really good writing day for me.

My story is going to be bigger than I thought it was, at least I’m hoping. I love the idea I had and I really want to expand upon the world and characters and everything this month.

Here’s the synopsis I wrote for it:

“Eighteen year old Abby knew she’d be working as a maid from when she was a little girl. Her mother had been a maid, as had her grandmother, and so she knew she’d have to continue the family line and work in the palace to continue their work. But she didn’t want to be a maid, she wanted freedom and a choice for herself, though she knew she couldn’t have it.

Maddock has been training to be part of the royal guard since he was fourteen and has since gone through the ranks to become the youngest Captain the palace has ever had. Now at twenty-two, he is one of the deadliest and coldest men on the field. He’s always wanted this life and strives to serve his kingdom.

Until one day when the threat of war from an ally comes and the two soon realize that they may need each other more than they realize.”

I’m excited about it. Really excited.

Now I’m not here to brag or anything like that, so let me give you a few piece of advice if you’re struggling with your novel:

  1. Have fun with it. This is probably the most important piece of advice I, or anyone, can give for this event. If you’re not having fun writing your new story, then change it up and add something to it that’ll help you to have fun.
  2. Start in the middle or the end, not the beginning. If you’re having a really hard time starting from the beginning of your novel, just write the scene that’s really stuck in your head rather than the scenes that will eventually lead up to that one. Even if your tone changes from beginning to middle to end, it’s okay; that’s what the editing months are for.
  3. Just write. Really, that’s the simplest way I can put it. Even if you write 100 words for that day, you’re still 100 words closer to your goal. Keep going and don’t give up.
  4. Don’t fall behind. It’s seriously really, really hard to catch up if you’ve fallen behind (I learned that the hard way back in November). Try to keep up with your goal, but don’t strain yourself.
  5. Talk to others in your cabin or on the forums. Talking to other writers can really be inspiring and raise your morale. Try it out a few times.

I know it can be intimidating to write anything sometimes, but just give it a go. You won’t succeed if you never try, so keep your head up and write on.