“Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room.”
I am so excited! Christmas Day is in just 3 days and I cannot wait! I absolutely love the Christmas season and I am beyond excited that it is so close! I can’t wait to give presents to people and see their faces when they get those presents. I love being able to give and show the people I care about how much I love.
It’s such a magical, happy time of year and I’m excited to get into all the Christmas festivities.
I haven’t been writing much at all this month, just because I’ve been so busy with Christmas things and incredible amount of shifts I’ve been getting this month. It’s always ‘go, go, go’ when it hits mid-November until about mid-January.
I like to take some time out during the craziness though. It’s important to reflect on the things that matter and really enjoy time spent with family. I’m lucky enough to have Christmas Day off which means I can spend the whole day with family.
“Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.”
I love being able to see my family and celebrate this season. It’s an important holiday, especially as a Christian. It’s the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that’s always magical. It’s important for me to reflect on the birth of Jesus and Christmas’ meaning for me.
Additionally, I love the family time. It’s so beautiful to spend time with family and that we are all able to take the time away from work and spend time together, celebrating together and giving and having a good time.
I cannot wait for Christmas Day to hit! And on that note – Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone!
“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.”
“Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin—inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.”
John J. Geddes
I love this time of year. I love spending time with family and enjoying Christmas together. It really is a magical time of year.
I’ve well and truly put up all my Christmas decorations and I’m 90% done with presents! I love being able to give to people and being able to see their faces and feel their joy when they open their presents.
It’s a time of joy, and a time of giving. It’s beautiful, but it is also incredibly busy. My work picks up around the holidays so I’m currently getting a lot of shifts. It’s nice, but it also means that I’m very on the go.
“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
Ruth Carter Stapleton
It’s hard to find time to sit out during the chaos and get some writing done. I find it important not to beat myself up during this time – not writing is fine over the holiday season!
I don’t panic too much right now – I used to kick myself down so much when I wasn’t writing during these holiday times. I’ve thankfully learnt that it is okay, it’s a very busy time and I’m bound to spend less time writing.
I am trying to sit out and get a little writing done where I can, but I’m not forcing it on myself and I know that it’s going to be hard over this season. I figure, once we’re through the holiday season I will be able to get cracking full-time into my writing once again!
But for now, I’m going to enjoy the Christmas season and not stress about writing heaps!
“Christmas now surrounds us, Happiness is everywhere. Our hands are busy with many tasks as carols fill the air.”
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”
I have had my fair share of mental health struggles. It has such a stigma, but there really shouldn’t be anything wrong with admitting you are struggling.
I have spent time on antidepressants and for a while I was seeing a psychologist every week. It’s sort of what spurred me towards studying to be a psychologist, although it wasn’t the only reason.
Mental health is not something to be ashamed of. So many people struggle with various mental health disorders and it needs to be less stigmatised. There is nothing wrong with you getting help or acknowledging something isn’t quite right.
I have experienced a few mental health disorders, and I do still struggle with a few. It’s a long battle to overcome your own mind, and it takes a lot of time.
“Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there’s nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.”
I have days when I’m good and days when I’m bad. It’s completely normal to feel this way. Ups and downs are normal and having days when you don’t want to leave your bed is also completely normal. As long as you don’t let it control you, it is okay.
It’s okay to struggle, and it’s okay to feel proud for doing small things other people find easy. Days are more challenging when you have a mental illness, and you just need to take it one step at a time. Take self-care steps and take time for yourself and your own health.
“Sometimes self-care is exercise and eating right. Sometimes it’s spending time with loved ones or taking a nap. And sometimes it’s watching an entire season of TV in one weekend while you lounge around in your pyjamas. Whatever soothes your soul.”
Mental illness is no joke and it is very real for so many people. It needs to be spoken about more, and small victories should be celebrated. You went down 5mg on your medication, celebrate! You have social anxiety and made it to a friend’s party, celebrate! You managed to get out of bed and brush your teeth, celebrate!
The small things are major victories when mental illness is at work, and those small things are so important when you are in those dark places. Hold onto those small victories and be proud of each step you manage to take, because they are something to be proud of!
“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”
“Be yourself. Let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.”
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”
“Figure out what scenes make your story your story, and go from there. Use them as mile markers and find your way between them.”
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.”
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.'”
“First steps are always the hardest but until they are taken the notion of progress remains only a notion and not an achievement.”
It’s that time of year once again! NaNoWrimo has started and it is currently the second week of smashing out 50,000 words this month! It’s definitely a month that takes serious dedication, but I am already loving it!
I planned out what I was going to write about a week in advance (I’m not one for winging it) and I was ready to go by the start date!
We’re a week in and I’ve already completed about 19,000 words, which I think is so amazing. I have a brand-new novel coming together and it is entirely due to NaNoWriMo.
I tend to lose some motivation in the second half of the year, mostly due to University studies and having to focus on exams, studying and completing assignments.
It is refreshing to go into November and be able to write again! I had 3 exams to complete between the 3-9 November, but I was still able to write around studying and my last exam was yesterday, which means I can get fully cracking on my writing!
“Don’t worry about what you’re writing or whether it’s good or even whether it makes sense.”
I just write and write and write and don’t double check my spelling or grammar during this month. Editing is for December; November is just for writing and finishing that novel!
NaNo being in November is such a great way for me to get over the studying hump and get straight back into some writing. It is so helpful for me and I love being able to smash out a new novel each year!
Now, I gotta get back to writing to meet my deadlines!
“Keep writing, even when you feel it sucks. And read absolutely everything you can get your hands on.”
“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.”
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.
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
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”
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.”
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!
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.”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.