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Halfway Mark for NaNoWriMo

“You fail only if you stop writing.”

Ray Bradbury

Halfway through NaNoWriMo and halfway to my word limit! I’ve managed to write around 25,000 words so far (just under I think) and I’m feeling a little proud. It’s been hard getting there but I’m glad that I pushed myself to do this.

It’s always difficult to complete NaNoWriMo. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is intense. Especially when you add in a baby and University work!

Even if I don’t finish NaNoWriMo this year I’ll still be proud that I took part in it. It hasn’t been easy to write and I’ve learnt to be flexible and write when I have the opportunity. Lately that means writing in the early mornings when I’m feeding Bubba.

I don’t mind spending time in the wee hours of the morning writing. It helps keep me awake while feeding my baby and my creative juices have always flowed better at night anyway!

I’m eager to see if I manage to finish this year, but regardless it’s nice to have a new novel in the works. I’ve liked expanding my mind away from editing Infection Point and my new novel has taken me on a writing journey I never thought I’d take.

Hopefully I can finish the book before the end of November, but we’ll see how it goes!

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!

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Back at it After a Long Break

“I’m working my way steadily back and feeling good.”

Lee Westwood

It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted a blog! Honestly, it has been a completely insane 6 months for me. Things have been crazy and time has been flying by.

I have been neck deep in Psychology studies, which have only been getting harder each semester. I still love what I’m doing, but it really does take a toll! I have to put every bit of my spare time into studying during a semester so my writing unfortunately has been suffering this year.

Not only this, but I actually became a mum recently! I had a little boy just last month and I’ve been slowly trying to finish off the semester at University while juggling a little demanding newborn.

“A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”

Eda J. LeShan

Pregnancy was rough, birth was rough and having a newborn is definitely a major learning curve. It’s been hard for the past 6 months to find motivation to do anything beyond sleep and study.

Now that my little boy is here, my head is starting to clear up a little from the pregnancy brain fog and despite the constant state of sleep deprivation, I’m starting to feel my spark of inspiration come back. I want to start writing again and getting back into it!

“You fail only if you stop writing.”

Ray Bradbury

NaNoWriMo starts in November and I’m gearing up to take part in it, as I do each year. I’m going to use November to get back into my writing train and push myself to write again. I want to get back into it and what better time to throw myself into writing than NaNoWriMo!?

It’ll be harder this year with a baby to contend with, but I’m motivated to get through it and smash it out! I want to keep pursuing my passions and with the pregnancy fatigue and brain fog lifting I’m confident that I’ll be able to participate and complete NaNoWriMo 2021!

I’m writing blog posts again and I’ll get cracking back into writing. I’m looking forward to the end of 2021 and heading into 2022. I’ve got my baby and my writing and I’m excited to see where the rest of the year leads!

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

Alice Walker
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Review Time – Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.

Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

I picked this novel up at a bookstore ages ago and when I finally got around to reading it, I loved it! Essentially, Throne of Glass centres around Calaena Sardothein, who is an assassin. The novel follows her as she is forced into a contest to compete to be the Crown Prince’s champion. It is a fascinating novel that follows her story as she overcomes her struggles and grows stronger each chapter.

My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.

Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

Calaena is thrown into competition against men from all over the empire – assassins, warriors and thieves. She is promised freedom after 4 years of service (if she wins) and this drives her forwards, since she was brought out of the prison camps specifically to compete.

I really enjoyed reading Throne of Glass and I can’t wait to delve into the follow-up novels! The novel quickly takes a turn away from the anticipated storyline when Calaena has to solve mysteries surrounding her fellow competitors and mystery starts to encompass the story.

The fact that the main character is a female assassin was so appealing to me (I’m a sucker for badass females) and Throne of Glass had me hooked early on. It’s a fun read and I enjoyed delving into this world and getting lost in the novel.

Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them.

Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass is definitely more on the younger side of young adult literature – it’s not sophisticated but it is easy to understand and a thrilling read. Although Calaena can be a little annoying (she borders on Mary Sue territory sometimes), she grew on me and I found myself enjoying the novel more each chapter.

I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy thrilling fantasy novels! It is the first of 8 in the series, so it does take some dedication to invest in the rest if you read this one. I’m willing to make that investment to find out what happens to my favourite characters!

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, pandemic, writing, Writing

Reading Is My Happy Place

“Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

E.B. White

I love a good book. I love being able to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with a book. It really is my happy place.

There are so many amazing books out there, and I make a habit of reading for at least an hour a day (as much as possible). I love being able to immerse myself into these characters and leave my own worries behind.

It’s fun being able to immerse yourself into a different world. I love being able to put myself into the character’s shoes and walk through their trials and triumphs with them.

Each novel is unique and writing styles vary drastically. It’s so important to keep reading different books and seeing different styles of writing and immersing yourself into different worlds.

It helps me to remain focused on my own writing style and my own character development. It’s fun being able to use different books as inspiration in my own writing and being able to utilise different techniques in writing.

Primarily, I just love being able to get away for an hour or so and indulge in a good book. I love the serenity it brings me and the joy. There is something truly special about curling up with a book and leaving your own world behind.

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

Benjamin Franklin
author, pandemic, writing

How My Study Influences My Writing

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

I am one of those few people who enjoy studying. I haven’t had a bad time during my years studying and I do enjoy learning and growing through my study.

I have found throughout my years studying, I have learnt so many valuable skills. I have learnt more about human interaction and how to write appropriately.

I learnt that fancy words often aren’t better than simple words and I learnt how to appropriately structure a sentence.

Studying definitely isn’t for everybody, but I do enjoy expanding my mind and learning more things.

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

My psychology degree is incredibly influential towards my writing. Not only do I enjoy the degree, but I am learning a lot about human behaviour and mental illnesses that I can use in my writing.

I love being able to introduce psychological elements into my writing. I’ve become more interested in psychological thrillers and I’m even considering writing one when my current novel is complete.

Studying is definitely a fun world for me and it influences my writing so much. I won’t be studying my whole life, but I’m enjoying the short time I am studying and using as much knowledge as I can in my writing.

“There is no substitute for hard work.”

Thomas Edison
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Inspiring Book Covers

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

Nelson Mandela

I have done a lot of reading during this pandemic, and I’ve been re-reading books I love and investing in new books I have come to love. The pandemic has been rough for my anxiety, but reading has helped keep me calm and focused.

I love looking at beautiful book covers and seeing how they related to the book. Not only this, but these covers give me inspiration for my own writing and my own novels.

I recently bought Throne of Glass by Sarah J Mass and boy did I get engulfed in the series. Not only this, but the book cover I got for this novel (and the rest in the series) influenced my novel and inspired me to change my character’s attire.

The main character in these novels is a female assassin, and her character and the attire depicted in the cover art helped inspire me to shift things in my own main character. Her attire was something that heavily influenced me. The darker colours, the cloak and the leather inspired my clothing choices for my main character.

It helps to see cover art like this, and different clothing options, to put things into perspective for your own character. You want their clothing to be practical and make sense, and in my case, be badass.

I love being able to draw inspiration from cover art like Throne of Glass and be able to use this to move forward with my characters and how they would look within their world.

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

Farraj Gray