author, nanowrimo, Writing

NaNoWriMo: Finishing Up

And just like that it’s the last day of November! It’s crazy to think that just 30 days ago I embarked on an ambitious journey to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days whilst studying and having a baby!

I didn’t think I would get it done, but I managed to persevere and complete my novel! With the conflicting priorities, something had to give though. I ended up dropping my summer classes at University. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I wanted to prioritise my child’s early days and continue my true passion of writing.

It’s always hard when you stop doing something. I felt a bit like a failure, giving up on my classes rather than pushing on and finishing them. But, it’s important to prioritise what makes you happy and understanding that it’s okay to push the pause button if you need the break.

Thinking back, even if I wasn’t pursuing NaNoWriMo, it was very ambitious to continue my Psychology studies over the holiday period with a newborn. He is very demanding, and preparing for Christmas is always a long journey even without a baby!

I still feel a little bit like a failure for dropping the classes over this trimester, but I keep reminding myself that my priorities have shifted and it’s okay to take a break! There is absolutely nothing wrong with pausing things when life gets hectic. Plans change and that’s okay!

You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life.”

Matthew Quick

Now I’m going to get back to editing Infection Point so that I can finally get it sent out to publishers in the new year! I even have a new novel to edit once I’ve finished Infection Point which is incredibly exciting!

author, nanowrimo, writing

Bring on NaNoWriMo!

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Jack London

It’s the second week of NaNoWriMo! It’s been really hard getting back into the groove and writing again, especially with a newborn! I didn’t manage to write much the first few days but I’m starting to get into a good routine now.

Since I have a baby to take care of I don’t get much writing done during the day. Hubby goes to work Monday-Friday so my days are filled with taking care of our son and doing chores or reading in-between feeds and cuddles.

I spend my evenings writing, once dinner is done and the baby is in his bassinet I write on my phone or on my laptop. Usually I end up forgetting my laptop in the living room so I write on my phone. It’s definitely different than my previous way of writing, but what can you do?

I’m pretty determined to get this done and so I’m writing whenever I can, even if that means writing in bed at night while the baby is asleep.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

Richard Bach

It took me a while to think up of an idea for a novel this time around. I ended up settling on going out of my comfort zone and writing a thriller novel, rather than my usual YA style. It’s been a challenge writing it so far, but I’m keeping up with the word goals and still managing to think up of ideas.

I’m not too sure where the novel is going at the moment, but that’s part of the excitement! I will see where the story takes me throughout this month and hopefully at the end of NaNoWriMo I have a half-decent novel outside of my usual niche!

It will be interesting to see how it all goes, but I will definitely be keeping you all updated.

author, nanowrimo, Writing

Prepping For NaNoWriMo 2021

Don’t just plan to write — write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.”

PD James

It’s that time of the year again! I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, simply because of how crazy my 2021 has been (see my previous few blog posts if you have no idea what I mean).

If you’re not completely sure what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo stands for National November Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words within the month of November. It’s hard, but participating is always good motivation to write! I’ll link the website so you can check it out if you’re interested!

http://nanowrimo.org

Feel free to buddy up with me if you decide to participate in NaNoWriMo this year! I always loved seeing what my buddies are up to and their progress! My username is emmy_lb

I decided a few weeks ago that despite everything I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo again. It’s a yearly tradition for me, but I also want to spend a month writing and using my talents once again after months of not writing anything except University reports.

It’s not going to be easy. The first step is coming up with an idea and I’m already struggling with that (Mum brain is real). I have a week to prepare so I’m taking the time to focus and think of a basic concept before delving into writing next week.

I know it’ll be harder to write a novel in one month this time around. I now have a child to care for and it’s not going to be easy juggling a baby and writing 50,000 words in a month, but I’m determined to give it a good go! Even if I don’t hit the goal, I will have gotten back into writing again and that’s my main goal.

“Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.”

Esther Freud

Once NaNoWriMo is over I’ll refocus on editing Infection Point, which has been sorely neglected over the course of this year. I’m so close to having finished the final edit and I want to finish it by January! I’ll get myself motivated through writing in NaNoWriMo and spend December editing Infection Point.

I’m looking forward to getting back into writing again. It’s been way too long neglecting one of my favourite activities and I can’t wait to get back into my created worlds again. Keep an eye on my blog for weekly updates through November of my NaNoWriMo progress!

author, nanowrimo, Writing

Finishing Up NaNoWriMo

“Be yourself. Let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

John Jakes

I am done! What an amazing feeling to be done! 50,000+ words written in one month and I have the first draft of my new novel completed!

I hit 50,000 words on the 28th of November, and the last two days were spent finishing the entire novel as it is. I ended up with about 65,000 words, but the novel is done, and I did it in just one month!

It’s not the neatest at the moment, and there are quite a few errors throughout, but it is done. The novel is completed, apart from editing, and it is such a great feeling!

I am officially a NaNoWriMo 2020 writer and winner! Absolutely love this feeling, and it is so amazing to feel this way each year when NaNo comes rolling around!

I am really relieved that I finished the novel. It was time-consuming and exhausting, but I finished it! I was determined to get it done, and I spent many hours writing in order to make this dream a reality.

“Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.”

Neil Gaiman

You do have to do whatever you can to finish a novel. Especially when you’re writing it in just one month. It takes a lot of dedication and focus to do this, but it is so incredibly worth it!

I have a fantastic first draft of a novel now, and I can’t wait to get into editing it in the coming months!

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads…May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

Ray Bradbury
author, nanowrimo, Writing

The Final Stretch

“Worldbuilding can be a lot of work. I try to see where things are linked together—and also to keep mundane details in mind. Just those, put together, give you a kind of rudimentary skeleton to start hanging things on.”

Ann Leckie

I am so close to the end! It’s within sight, within reach, and it is so incredibly exciting! I’m at 41,000 words and have 6 days left – definitely a feasible goal to write 9000 words in 6 days!

It’s been a hard process, but it’s so worth it. I feel so proud of myself for coming this far, and I’m sure that I will feel even prouder when it is complete!

I always struggle a little during NaNoWriMo. It’s hard to believe that it is possible to smash out 50,000 words in once month, but it definitely is possible!

I am usually able to get the 50,000 words done each month, but I do still wonder if it will happen each and every time I enter NaNoWriMo.

I am on that home stretch now and it is such a relieving feeling. Some days I struggle to write, but I do what needs to be done during NaNoWriMo – I just write anyway.

“If you can’t think of what to write, tough luck; write anyway.”

Philip Pullman

It may not always be my best work during those moments, but I do get ideas out and get some writing done. It may not all be useable when I go back and edit the novel, but at least it’s there and at least I tried!

It’s just one month out of the year dedicated towards NaNo and it is a worthwhile year. It was during a NaNoWriMo that I first wrote Infection Point, and I’m sure this NaNo and others to come will also help me flesh out a new novel that will eventually be realised to the public.

One step at a time is all it takes and this time next week, I will have my next novel draft completed, which is one of the best feelings!

“Writing permits me to be more than I am. Writing permits me to experience life as any number of strange creations”

Alice Walker
author, nanowrimo

Getting Into the Nano Groove

“Figure out what scenes make your story your story, and go from there. Use them as mile markers and find your way between them.”

Victoria Schwab

2 weeks down, week 3 come at me! Only a week and a half to go of smashing out this novel! It’s quite tricky getting all the words down and being able to be somewhat coherent.

I’m trying to just keep writing and writing, but it definitely is a stressful time! I am trying to enjoy the experience, but, just like every November, I am feeling the pressure of getting 50,000 words done in one month.

I do find some comfort in the fact that the novel is going to be very rough, and very unedited. It’s easier to write when you’re not overthinking things or going back to fix mistakes all the time.

I’ve just had to remain as calm as possible and write as much as I can. It’s stressful, but it is also really fun.

I hit 29,000 words last night and I am incredibly close to 30,000. I have another 20,000 words to hit within the next 13 days and I’m pretty confident that I’m going to hit that goal!

It’s been fun fleshing out new characters and creating a new world, especially considering how consumed I’ve been with Infection Point and my Uni studies.

“Stay faithful to the stories in your head.”

Paula Hawkins

I’m confident that I’ll hit 50,000 by November 30 and I am looking forward to going through this new novel soon and editing it. I will definitely update you guys on my new project once it has a bit more meat added!

Infection Point will still be my priority after November, and I’m eager to finish editing it and getting it ready for publishing! Once it is fine-tuned, I will definitely update you all on what this new novel is all about!

For now, I will just keep pressing on a write as much as I can during this month! It’s time to smash out 50,000 words for this novel!

“I think Steve King said ‘read, read, read and write, write, write.’ I would also add ‘keep your butt in that chair.'”

Karen Marie Moning
author, nanowrimo, Writing

10 Tips To A Successful University Semester

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

As I head into the last few weeks of this University semester, I wanted to throw a blog together with my top tips that help me get through the semester successfully

1. Attend your classes (even if they’re online videos)

It can really suck attending classes, and sometimes the lecturer is the most boring person alive. However, classes are very important to attend. Useful questions are asked and confusing concepts are clarified during classes. It can be hard finding the motivation to attend, especially when your classes are online, but it is incredibly beneficial.

2. Find a quiet spot to study

“Wisdom grows in quiet places.”

Austin O’Malley

This is an essential factor for me. I can’t study when it’s noisy or busy around me. I need a nice, quiet spot to focus my mind and get me into the zone to study. I didn’t think noise or actions around me would be so distracting, but boy they are. A quiet zone is peaceful and perfect study space!

3. Finish assessments early

It sounds kind of lame, but finishing assessments early is amazing. Not only do you feel productive, but you also have time to go over those assessments again and revise them. Most people have experienced an all-nighter, I certainly have, but it is incredibly beneficial to spend extra time editing and revising days before an assessment is due.

4. Planning

For me, planning is soothing. I enjoy being able to plan out my day, week and month in advance. It helps me keep track of what I’m doing and when I need to have things done by. It is really helpful to plan out your days or weeks in advance so that you know what you need to do in the week and when you have time to study. It also helps to keep track of assessments and know what is due and when.

5. Take notes, and then re-write said notes

This is something that really works for me in my psychology degree. I take physical notes during classes and then I re-write those notes onto my computer after the classes. I find it’s a good way to revise topics and imprint these concepts into my mind. It helps remind me of what I learnt in the class and I can look up things I didn’t understand while writing out those notes.

6. Take breaks

Breaks are super duper important for productivity! It’s useless to spend hours staring at books or computer screens and continuing to study the same thing over and over. You need to take breaks to rest your mind and your eyes in order to remain productive.

7. Get plenty of sleep

Orange Cat Sleeping on White Bed

On that previous note, sleep is so incredibly important during University! Your body and brain needs sleep to rejuvenate and refresh. You need to get good sleep in order to keep your brain functioning and able to understand new concepts. You also need sleep in order to remain healthy and able to study and attend classes. Lack of sleep leads to lower immune systems and, put bluntly, disaster!

8. Try not to procrastinate

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”

Pablo Picasso

It sounds stupid to say, but sometimes it needs to be said. Procrastination is a useless venture and, I admit, it is a hard habit to overcome. It’s quite easy to become distracted with other things and out off your work until the last minute. It is so important to catch yourself when you’re doing these things and force yourself to go study or do your assessment. Procrastination gets you nowhere, you need to focus and try to remain focused until the semester is over!

9. Take care of your mental health

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”

Glenn Close

I am 100% a major mental health advocate (must be something to do with the psych degree). It is so important to take care of your mental health, especially during a University semester. Uni can be so stressful and hard that your mental health might decline, which is very common. It’s important to eat well, exercise and see a professional if you feel your mindset slipping. It is hard to get through Uni, but even harder with mental illness weighing you down. Make sure you take time for yourself and know your limits!

10. Coffee, coffee, coffee!

Cup of Coffee on Saucer

For me, coffee is life. I love my coffee, it is the breath of life into me each day. But, my main point in this is to find things you enjoy. Find joy in your University life and enjoy each moment spent on campus or doing online classes. It is a long haul, but University is a short stint in your life and you definitely need to enjoy it! For me, I find my joy in having multiple cups of coffee from my favourite cafes on campus. Brings joy to me!

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”

John Maxwell