Writing Goals for 2019

So if you thought my reading goals for 2019 was excessive you’ll be in for a real treat 😈

I have some ambitious writing goals for this upcoming year, mostly because my writing habits this year were crap and I’d like to go into 2019 with a bang and actually get myself in gear. Following a bunch of writers on twitter has been really inspiring and I’ve been craving a more consistent writing routine.

I’ve broken down my goals into two different categories: blog writing and fiction writing.

Write two reviews a week

Reviews have been some of my hardest posts to write; I just don’t enjoy them! I think it’s because I wait too long to review a book and I can’t remember what happened. I also don’t think I’m very good at it, but like obviously I can’t get better if I’m not actually writing any 😑

Since I have to read about two books a week to meet my 100 books a year goal, I should be reviewing every book I read. This will definitely be a struggle and will be time consuming, but there are little no downsides to this. This will make me a better writer, blogger, and reader so like I just got to get over this fear and realize that my reviews might be a little sucky for a while.  Continue reading “Writing Goals for 2019”

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NaNoWriMo Journal #3: I literally didn’t write at all but I’m okay with that!!

Hi friends, it’s ya girl Seal back with my final NaNoWriMo update of 2018!!

But 🔥 plot twist 🔥 nothing has changed since my last update!

So quick recap: I’ve been participating or attempting to participate in NaNoWriMo since high school. Looking back, I’ve won a couple with 50k words, and even if I didn’t win I still would write a solid chunk. Usually I lose steam because November is notoriously busy for like, possibly everyone.

This year specifically, I was just really behind in deciding what I was going to write. I had too many ideas and kept going back on forth on which one I was going to stick with. Ultimately, I decided to rewrite the story I wrote last year because it’s an actual trash-fire and something I would love to keep working on.

I think my first problem was that I was never excited to rewrite this idea. It felt like “the right thing to do” as in I was making a smart choice to actively better something I’ve already created instead of adding another draft to my hard drive. Whereas if I had written something I was excited about, even without any real concrete plot of characters, maybe I would’ve last a little longer.

I actually had a moment the week before Thanksgiving where I was like “screw it!!” and starting writing about 500 words towards my fanfiction instead but clearly that didn’t last long either.

Another problem was I didn’t plan out  a n y t h i n g. I’m definitely a hardcore planner, as in I have a giant spreadsheet with multiple tabs and charts and lists and random notes and without any direction in my writing it’s really hard for me to feel good about my writing if I have no idea where it’s going. That’s not to say I have everything meticulously planned out; I still tend to come up with new plot points or cover up plot holes and surprise myself while I’m writing, but I feel more secure when I sit down to write with a plan, even if it’s not followed.

I ended up writing about 1,500 words (not even a full day’s worth of recommended word count 😅). I’m not even that upset because those 1,500 aren’t even that bad and it’s actually a pretty solid beginning and I like it wayyyyy more than the beginning I originally had written last NaNoWriMo.

I could be disappointed that I didn’t even attempt to write more for NaNoWriMo, but honestly I’m not. This was a crazy month and I could barely keep up with my normal life responsibilities, let alone write almost an entire novel.

I also think this tells me a lot about my writing habits. Hopefully in the future I’ll 1) listen to my gut and work on projects that I’m excited about because as an unpublished writer I have a luxury of having no deadlines~ and 2) spend more time planning out my story before dedicating myself to a project.

Hopefully y’all had a successful NaNoWrimo if you participated, whatever your version of success may be!

 

NaNoWriMo Journal #2: I have literally written nothing

Okay, so I’ve actually written something but it’s only ~1,500 words which means I am 3% done. I don’t even want to screenshot my stats because I’m so embarrassed.

[For some context, at the time of writing I should have ~12,000 and be 24% done.]

And what’s worse is that I honestly knew this was going to happen. I didn’t have time to plan out an outline so I dedicated myself to rewriting my camp novel, which I talked about in my first NaNoWriMo journal entry, and right before November began I was conflicted about rereading my first draft and just completely winging it again.

I decided to do a mixture of both; basically to read it to get some major plot points and wing the rest. However, by the time November actually started, was I done reading through my draft? Of course not!!!!

I’m going to be honest, I’ve had no free time. (Just now, I wrote this in five minute spurts at work oops!!) I feel all I do is complain about how stressed I am at work, and then I had a job interview this week and my parents are out of town for the week so I’m 100% responsible for our puppy (which is like what I would imagine having a toddler is like) and by the time I get home from work I like to take her for a 30-45 minute walk because she’s WILD and I need to tire her out, but then I’m starving so I have to make dinner and then clean up from dinner and then honestly I’ve fallen asleep on the couch at least three times this week because I just don’t have the mental capacity to do anything else. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Journal #2: I have literally written nothing”

NaNoWriMo Journal #1: Preptober

NaNoWriMo is ultimately upon us and guess who hasn’t done any prep work?????

It’s not that I don’t have any ideas; it’s that I have too many ideas. And I’m honestly excited about all of them and see the pros/cons to writing each story.

Between basically no free time to sit down and think and then my usual indecisiveness, it’s looking like this is going to be a flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants NaNoWriMo!

I posted a poll to my personal twitter to help me narrow down which idea I was going to follow through with, and the result were just too close for comfort.

So ultimately my camp story I wrote for last year’s NaNo won, and in my gut I was not excited about it. I’ve had a couple of days to mull it over but I think it boiled down to I was more excited to write something new.

However, I don’t necessary think writing this story is a bad idea. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Journal #1: Preptober”

5k A Day May! Rules and Goals

Hey y’all I realize this post should’ve went up like, before May started but better late than never am I right!!!!!!

Anyway, in a period of intense eagerness to actually write and get stuff done, I’ve decided I will work on something every day for the month of May. Not only will I write, but I will also write A LOT!

I’ve titled this 5k a Day May and feel free to join me! I’ve been using the hashtag #5kaDayMay over on Twitter~~

Basically my rules are brief:

  • Write 5k every day.

That’s literally it.

It doesn’t have to be 5k all at once. It doesn’t have to be 5k consecutive words. It doesn’t have to be 5k all in the same story. It doesn’t even have to be 5k fictional words!!!! I’m counting my blog writing because I’m wordy as hell and feel like I write way more than I need to in my posts!

(As you can tell with the exclamation points I’m really excited.) Continue reading “5k A Day May! Rules and Goals”

20 Questions for Character Development

You’ve all heard them before: “what’s your characters biggest fear?” “what color are their eyes?” “when’s their birthday?” “do they have any pets?” “what sets them apart when they talk?” “what’s their sign?” “if they could be any animal, what would they be?”

Listen. I’m bored.

Characters are my absolute FAVORITE part of writing. I love getting to know my characters. I love seeing them grow like little seedlings. I love morphing them into people.

In 4th grade, we did a fiction writing unit where we had to come up with a short story in our writer’s notebooks. Before the short story, we had to assemble a character by listing their traits on the left side of the notebook and drawing a picture on the right side.

This moment was so critical to my life that honestly I still remember it clearly (I think I might still have the notebook somewhere).

After I did the character study for my main character, I continued on to do all of my secondary characters, not required by my teacher. I was obsessed.

Since then, I’ve made lists of question after question for my characters. I’ve sculpted list upon list of all the “important” things I need to know before starting a story.

And guess what? None of it really matters!!!!

Continue reading “20 Questions for Character Development”

Writer’s Diary #01: Beginning to Revise My NaNoWriMo Draft

I did something scary yesterday for the first time: I finished reading over my manuscript from NaNoWriMo.

This was the first time I’ve printed out a longer story I’ve written to edit it; usually I’m able to edit and revise on the soft copy. However, my NaNoWriMo novel ended up being about 140 unstructured pages of a ginormous mess!

I went into NaNo with literally only some characters names and an inciting incident. I spent most of the month feeling like I was writing just writing to fulfill the 50k word count goal. Since I was still in the early stages of drafting (and brainstorming), much of it was fleshing out the world and characters.

I wrote the scenes out of order, sometimes going back up to an earlier scene and writing from there, or inserting a scene before or in between other scenes I’d written if it felt like it fit.  Continue reading “Writer’s Diary #01: Beginning to Revise My NaNoWriMo Draft”

Reading and Writing Resolutions for 2018

New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays. I love the energy that surrounds the frenzy of promising ourselves to be better (even if we lack the motivation to pursue it–it’s the thought that counts). It’s probably the same reason why I love the start of a new school year or new month, and and odd reason why I like Mondays as well.

This year I have a lot of ambitious goals, inside and outside of my literary life. They’re not ambitious in the sense that they’re lofty or unattainable–on the contrary I definitely can pull them off. I just have a track record of being lazy and unmotivated.

Ever since I finished finish NaNoWriMo with a whooping 37 page sprint on the last day to meet the 50k goal, I’ve felt an enormous sense of anticipation–I’m eager to sit down and try that again.

The problem with December is that I just barely had the time. My grandparents were visiting in the beginning of the month, I had a camping trip with my Girl Scout troop, my uncle and cousins were staying for a week, and then the month ended with my boyfriend here for the holidays. In between I was getting back into my yoga studio (and barely making it to enough classes to pay off the membership fee), holiday shopping, traveling around for work, and just keeping up with my daily life and what I already pushed aside in November.

It’s hard to make writing a priority, especially when I already have so little hours left of the day with a full-time job. I look back on how I managed to write so much in high school on top of AP classes and extracurriculars and read a book every few days and I honestly can’t fathom how I did that.

Moving into 2018, I’m eager to make writing a priority and less of a hobby. My full-time job is not necessarily something I’d like to pursue for the rest of my life, and eventually I’d love writing to turn my full-time job. I’m moving into the mindset where prioritizing my writing will mean treating it like a full-time job, and engaging myself in other hobbies to take the place of writing.

Continue reading “Reading and Writing Resolutions for 2018”

NaNoWriMo Prep #2: Help Me I’m Lost ft. Link Round-Up

So originally I had a whole blog post planned out about what steps we should be taking now in order to gear up for NaNoWriMo (a continuation of my first post here) but I realized that I haven’t done any prep work myself! I’m not in the mood to be hypocritical today. 👋✌️

Instead of doling out instructions and advice I’d figure I’m just going to ramble on about NaNoWriMo and I’m hoping some people can give me some instruction and advice. I’ve been scouring the Internet (aka Pinterest) looking up some really great writing advice articles blog posts videos etc and there are definitely some great ideas out there but there’s a point where taking in too much information just isn’t helpful.

All right, so, here’s what I’m struggling with:

1. Everything.

Tee hee. This isn’t a lie. Or a joke. My nano idea is large and messy and sloppy and I don’t even know where to begin to start fleshing it out. I feel like I’m about to tackle cleaning out my attic. It’s filled with winter clothes and holiday decorations and fancy china and old vinyl records and some camping gear and toys from my youth but how to you to decide what section to clean first! What if I get so caught up looking through old baby photos that I loose track of time! Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Prep #2: Help Me I’m Lost ft. Link Round-Up”

NaNoWriMo Prep #1: 5 Steps to Planning Your Writing Vacation

Well, it’s almost October, which means it’s almost November, which means NaNoWriMo season is upon us.

I’ve been struggling with NaNoWriMo for the past two years but I’ve decided that this will be my 👏 year 👏 and I will finally win this stupid thing.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which has been taking place since 1999 every November. It’s sponsored by a non-profit organization that runs NaNoWriMo, as well as Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer. NaNoWriMo encourages writers to write an entire 50,000 word novel in a month by providing support, resources, and a great community.

In the NaNo community, writers are often divided in three categories:

  • Plotters: writers who need to meticulously plan out their characters, world, and plot before the even begin to write
  • Pantsers: writers who like to “fly by the seat of their pants” and start writing with a vague idea and see where it goes
  • Plantsers: writers who are a mix of both

Participating in NaNoWriMo is kind of like taking a vacation. If your vacations are usually oodles of mental exercises that eventually lead to tears of exhaustion. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Prep #1: 5 Steps to Planning Your Writing Vacation”