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Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Writer Wednesday | Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp nano 2016Slowly but surely I am getting things in my life organized, part of that includes my new writer bullet journal and preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m using tarot and the hero/heroine’s journey to loosely outline my novel–the same one I started back in November for NaNoWriMo. Since November I’ve changed the first 3-4 chapters completely–I wasn’t starting at the right place. Since November, I’ve been using the 12 week self-guided course from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” to help me with my creativity and living a creative life. And, since November I’ve become much more organized.

My First 2 Bullet Journals

My First 2 Bullet Journals

Part of how I’ve become more organized was to stop trying to use pre-made planners, they just don’t work for me, and to instead roll with a system that seems as if it were made for people who are To-Do List’ers–the bullet journal system. I started bullet journaling, and then realized that for me personally, I needed something more along the lines of an omni-journal (so I could throw in my sketch-your-day/illustrate-your-life/Hobonichi style journaling in there), but I needed something separate for my writing. I have a writer’s bible, I use it to put all of my writing stuff in: an insert for the actual novel, which I use when I handwrite my novel, and an insert for what I call my writer journal, where I talk about how my writing went, how much I wrote, what I thought about it, any shiny new ideas…

Planning a novel has been quite a bit of a journey for me–a few years worth of trying to find what works for me. I’ve tried various things (Save the Cat, the Marshall Plan, the Snowflake Method, Janice Hardy’s method for Plotting your Novel, etc) and what has worked the best for me is using Tarot cards and the Hero’s Journey, which I learned from taking Arwen Lynch’s eCourse. I have a playlist on YT where I went through the course:

I had a ton of fun. And am continuing to use it so I can revamp the novel I wrote in November, except now I have a Leuchtturm 1917 Master Notebook to use as my “Writing/Writer” Bullet Journal. I needed more space than the A5 allowed for my planning. And since the journal isn’t leaving my home, except on rare occasion, I knew I’d be fine with the large size of the Master Leuchtturm. (And it is a whopper: over 200 pages of what looks like vanilla colored paper that is perfect for writing (not so much for art journaling though) and it has an Index–a win in my book.)

Now I just need to finish my storyboard, which means making copies of the tarot cards that I pulled for my outline and putting them on the storyboard; cleaning my desk off, and finishing the last bit of my outline. ๐Ÿ˜€

So here are some pictures of what I’m working on in my bullet journal for writing:

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Preparing for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo

Can you believe that it’s almost the middle of March? I can’t, yet at the same time I can believe how quickly 2016 is passing–at least the spring fever and Camp Nanowrimo fever has taken over. I wanted to finish my outline. I wanted to make it better. I wanted to be this outlining queen so that I could finish my novel. Finally finish my novel.

And yet, after a conversation with my daughter about writing I realized something important–I am not a pantser or a plotter. I’m not a gardener or an architect. I’m what people often call an astronaut (though I’m not quite sure of why exactly, or a plotster, or a loose outliner. Does it matter whether or not I pants or plot my novel? To some it seems to, and yet it’s my novel to write and I should be writing it in the best way that I am able to, in a way that brings out the best of my talent.

As much as I would love to have an elaborate, finely detailed outline so that I didn’t have to second guess myself while I’m writing, the best way for me to write is to just write.

I’ve also given a great deal of thought to what I want to do with my website/this blog. And how serious I want to get with it. It’s past time I took it more seriously. I’m committed to writing. To journaling and my art. To “branding” myself in a positive way. To bettering the quality of my videos on YT. The only things (social media) I’m not real serious about are Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Perhaps when I get a better smart phone I’ll do more stuff with Instagram. Or when I figure out some kind of app for my desktop that works well in allowing me to put pictures from my actual camera into IG. I don’t want to spend anymore time than I already do on social media, and in order to do that stuff, or at least seriously, I’d have less time to do all the stuff I already do (and I don’t always have enough time now).

Tomorrow (well today now since it’s after midnight) I’ll be working on my novel and my art journal pages (my omni-journal), as well as my morning pages (first thing), and I’ll be working on some purging of clothes and shoes. Not to mention cleaning and cooking, going to the DMV for my son’s car, and going to look at a truck with Mr. Rockstar. And then I’ll be picking up my grandson from daycare, then my son from work, and then going home to finish putting dinner together….and that’s not including the dishes, spending time with my grandson, giving him a bath…Is there really enough time to be Tweeting, to be posting pics on IG, to be putting stuff on Tumblr? I don’t think so, at least not for me.

 

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Hauntings of Guilt

The Daily Post prompt for today:ย Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?
The Guilt that Haunts Me

amwriting april 22Over the past few days I’ve felt guilty for taking a break from writing. After winning NaNoWriMo the other day, before November 30th, I took a break for a few days. A much needed break. I spent that time catching up on television shows, reading, and relaxing.

But I also felt guilty for taking that break. I wanted to write. I felt like I should be writing, but at the same time I knew I needed at least a little bit of a break. So I took the break even though I felt guilty about it. As the second day progressed, the guilty feeling began to subside a little because as I took a little bit of time for myself–especially the reading–I felt better, and more excited about my book and getting back to writing.

The time away also gave a bit of time to think about my goals for this month and for 2016. What I want to do in regards to my novel, the next novel, as well as NaNoEdMo, the NaNo camps, my writing schedule and routine, etc. As I went through my goals, short term and long term, I realized I didn’t have any reason to feel guilty–I needed at least a few days of “me time” so I could refresh my mind and my creativity.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t feel guilty tomorrow if I don’t write, because I will.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in #amwriting, Daily Prompt, guilt, Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

 

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NaNoWriMo Winner

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

I have officially won NaNoWriMo. Wooo Hooo! I’m so happy I made it, and with quite a bit to spare. ๐Ÿ˜€

Now it’s time to take a short break, a full day, from writing, and then I’ll get right back to it. ๐Ÿ˜€

 
 

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NaNoWriMo and Life Update

sick face

It’s been a rough week. I’ve been sick for the past few days, finally starting to feel better though. Writing while you’re sick is like going to work with a hangover the size of Mt. Rushmore. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I did. I didn’t get the word count I wanted, but I did manage to write at least 1000 words each day that I was sick, which is saying something. **Patting myself on the back.**writing when sick

I’ve still got my buffer for Thanksgiving, but it set me back by a day–I needed a two day buffer for the Saturday after Thanksgiving as well. Oh well, I guess I’m going to have to get on the ball then and write.

I’ve created videos the past few days and it’s been especially rough–you know you’re sick when you don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning and drink orange juice instead, or when you make a video and don’t bother to put makeup on–in my defense, I’ve been sick and it’s NaNoWriMo. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m not vain, I just figure if I’m going to bother with filming a video I could at least make myself presentable… being sick changes what you consider presentable–I was clean, had on clean pajamas, and had brushed my teeth–presentable. LOL!

The first day I was sick I tried the opposite method: Dressed up in hopes that if I didn’t wallow in being sick I might feel better–that only worked when the medication kicked in, once the medication started wearing off I was right back in pajamas.

My art journal page for Day 19 of NaNoWriMo 2015. :D

My art journal page for Day 19 of NaNoWriMo 2015. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m going to get back to writing now, I’ve got two scenes to write so I can get to the next chapter, which is a major conflict chapter and one I’m really looking forward to. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

 

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The Importance of Having a Writing Community

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareI’m participating in NaNoWriMo, if you’ve read my blog posts or seen my videos or FB or Twitter posts ย then you know, and if this is the first post you’ve read then now you do ๐Ÿ˜€ (and thank you–all of you for taking the time to read my post),and part of the reason I love NaNoWriMo is because of the writing community. Whether it’s on the NaNoWriMo website and in their forum, or on IG, Twitter, FB, WP, G+, YT, Tumbler or whatever other social media that is out there. The Writing Community has been so supportive, motivating, inspiring, welcoming, and understanding. Because of the Writing Community I’ve slowly but surely realized that I’m not alone out here (well I am, I live in a small city, big town, and we don’t have a ML for NaNo, my county isn’t even listed on the “list.” But anywho).

I’m an introverted extrovert.ย I was born on the cusp of Cancer (my

My Desk... Where I spend most of my time.

My Desk… Where I spend most of my time.

sun sign) and Leo (my rising sign) , so I’m a bit of both, along with a bit of Aquarius, which is my moon sign. If you’re not into astrology, that’s okay–broken down into layman’s terms… I’m an extrovert when I’m comfortable with people, my true self, and physically my outward characteristics are more Leo, but on the inside, or when I’m not comfortable with people, I’m an introvert, a bit of a loner, and the person who sits back in the corner and watches, but if I’m at home (in my comfort zone) I’m out front, bold, sassy, and a talker.

Picture 14It’s easier to be bold, sassy, and talkative when you’re comfortable with people. I spend so much of my writing life alone that having a place where I can socialize, learn, and share is refreshing, as well as both motivating and comforting–as in ย comfortable. It feels like a writerly niche.

Me During NaNoWriMo... Running on Coffee

Me During NaNoWriMo… Running on Coffee

Maybe it’s just that when I’m writing, I feel the most at home, as at home as I feel when I’m creating art, when I’m with my husband who is truly my best friend, or with my daughter is also my best friend, or when I’m busy working on DIY projects for our home. Though I prefer to be the one taking pictures–the whole behind the camera thing, since last year’s NaNoWriMo I’ve been vlogging, which means me in front of the camera. I couldn’t have done that if the writing community wasn’t so encouraging and supportive. Let’s face it, when you’re talking about someone who is an introverted extrovert with ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression the last thing you really want to do is make videos. I fidget, I stutter, I talk really fast or really slow, I lose focus and ramble, change subjects rapidly and then back to the original subject, sometimes without pausing.

I wrote my first novelSome people think that NaNoWriMo is all about quantity over quality, which is not a good thing if what you really want is to write a novel that will be publishable, but the first draft is not usually publishable even if you’re writing it on your own without NaNoWriMo. I tend to use description, notes to myself when I get stuck about what I want to do with the scene, character, setting, plot, etc, which increases my word count. I also tend to be long-winded anyway, which is helpful for NaNoWriMo but not helpful when it comes to editing. I’m writing because I have a story to tell, one that I would want to read, and I’m an avid reader of various genres.

Writing isn't about making moneyOne day I hope to have my book published, so I’m not killing myself worrying about my wordcount, but I am trying to make sure that what I do have is at least a decent first draft, BUT mostly I’m writing for me, because I love telling a story, because that story has been bugging me on and off for years wanting to be told.

I’m including a video I did in response to someone who 1. Doesn’t participate in NaNoWriMo 2. Believes that NaNoWriMo encourages bad writing habits, but I also did the response video because I believe that NaNoWriMo has helped a ton of writer’s start writing again, write their novels, whether they ever get published or not, and I’m a huge fan of their Young Writer’s Program. I hope you’ll watch. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Day 6 of NaNoWriMo… avoiding burn out

It’s been a crazy week and it’s only day 6 of NaNoWriMo. This NaNo is different than the previous one’s.

Perhaps it is because this time around I’ve done things differently. From how I planned out my novel (using the hero’s journey and tarot/Arwen Lynch’s eCourse), to re-doing a novel I started a previous NaNo, to having my own website, to having been on YT creating videos for a little over a year now… Yes, it’s different. But it’s not just those things–it’s me.

I’ve changed. My writing process has changed, my writing space/room has changed, I have a new laptop (though still the same old desktop).

Those changes have helped me become a better writer because I’m slowly but surely figuring out my writing process. Perfecting it, if you will. Not that it will ever be perfect, but I can get my writing process to a point where it works for me 99% of the time. At least that’s what I’m aiming for.

 
 

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