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, Writing

Bring on NaNoWriMo Once Again

“First steps are always the hardest but until they are taken the notion of progress remains only a notion and not an achievement.”

Aberjhani

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.”

Lauren Oliver

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.”

Kate Quinn
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
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
author, holidays, mental health, writing

Getaways Rejuvenate Your Mind and Soul

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Ibn Battuta

I have always loved holidays and travel. I love being able to explore places and get away from my day to day routine.

Unfortunately, travel in our current COVID pandemic is an issue. With countries and even states shut down, it’s hard to get away and travel.

I am so grateful that my country has opened up in-state travel, as I was recently able to take a little holiday away from the mundane daily life.

My husband and I went on a trip to a city a few hours away from us and we spend a few days resting and relaxing. We were able to explore a little and do some fun activities, as most tourism destinations have opened up again (only for people within the country of course).

I found it really beneficial having this holiday. It helped me to calm my mind and allow my normal inspiration to flow once again.

It is so incredibly beneficial for your mental health to take breaks and take time to relax. I found it so helpful to wind down for a few days and rejuvenate my mind and soul.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Jawaharial Nehru

My creativity has jumped again and I’m able to write more and the ideas are flowing once again! It is incredibly helpful to spend some time away and be able to relax like we were able to.

It’s hard getting back into the daily grind, but I am finding it a lot easier to work and study and write again after my few days away.

I definitely can not wait until the next holiday!

“Adventure is worthwhile.”

Aesop
author, pandemic, writing

Infection Point Excerpt

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I decided that it would be nice to post just a little except from my novel. Not much, but hopefully enough to keep you wanting more! Progress is slow, but it is happening, and I am getting so much closer to having a ready-to-go novel!

It’s nice to be able to put a little bit out there and see what it’s like to the public. I know I’m quite a way off getting it published and out there, but I enjoy being able to share little snippets as I can!

I hope you enjoy reading my little snippet!

Grace stood alone, surrounded by untamed weeds and forests of trees. The red sun threw lifeless light onto the land, highlighting the grey tinge to the grass. Rubble could be seen strewn throughout the grass and echoes of what was once a road peeped through the overgrown weeds. Grace’s red hair was jaggedly cut at shoulder-length, with her fringe just above her eyes. Her brown eyes flickered as she watched the small lizards crawl across the land, determined to have the nearby spider for lunch. She lifted her gaze upwards, recognising movement within an old city ahead of her. A determined frown settled on her face as she purposefully moved forward. Usually she avoided cities like this, but she needed supplies – she had no option other than to search this city and hope that there was some form of medicine within.

iNFECTION pOINT BY EMILIE TURNER
Uncategorized

Slowly But Surely… One Step At A Time

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Steve Jobs

It is slow progress writing and editing a novel. I enjoy doing it, and I spend each time writing as it clears my mind and relaxes me, but it does take a really long time.

I’ve spent 2 years on my novel at the moment, and I expect it will be 3 years by the time I finish this edit and get it ready to send to some publishers (fingers crossed!). It’s a long, slow process, but it is incredibly rewarding.

It has been a long time, but it feels so encouraging to have come so far and be so close to finishing my novel. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have always been moving forward.

It’s not always easy to be patient when doing something you’re passionate about. In fact, it has been incredibly hard for me to remain patient. I just wanted it to be done and to send it out into the world, but I knew it wasn’t ready.

Patience has never been my strong suit, and writing a novel really tested my patience and pushed me to learn to be more patient and kinder to myself. It’s a process, and it can’t be completed overnight.

As I’m finally reaching the end of the journey, I am incredibly grateful that it did take so long. I have learnt so much the past few years and my writing has drastically improved. I’m always eager to learn more and keep pushing myself further.

I can’t wait to be finished, and I can see that end goal in sight. The writing and rewriting and major editing will be finished in my drafts, and it is an exciting prospect!

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”

Theodore Roosevelt