3 Ways to Stay Motivated After NaNoWriMo

Hello World!

The month of November flew by! Now that NaNoWriMo is over I finally have the time to sit down and update my lovely blog. This year was the first year I was actually able to conquer my writing goals for NaNoWriMo and I have to admit, it feels amazing! It took three whole years but I am happy to announce that I am actually a winner this year and I am getting closer to finishing the first draft of my novel.

I have been working hard to find different ways to stay motivated now that the pressure of writing so much during NaNoWriMo has been lifted off me. Life has a way of interfering with progress sometimes and staying motivated can be a bit tricky but it is crucial that this first draft is completed before the end of the year! If you are in the same boat then have no fear! I have managed to discover 3 tips that can help you stay motivated and crush your writing goals!

Let’s dive in!

  1. Set Weekly Goals!

Setting up mini goals for the week can be extremely helpful! Sometimes having one giant goal can be daunting and stop your creative flow in its tracks. By breaking your giant goal into smaller goals that you can accomplish every week, you are keeping yourself from becoming overwhelmed while writing your novel!

Some examples of these mini goals are:

  • Write for 30 minutes every day.
  • Plot and write a whole chapter in a week. (You can do more than one if you want to!)
  • Flesh out your main characters.

2. Reward Yourself!

Rewards are a nice way to treat yourself as you meet your writing goals. Setting up a way to reward yourself for every writing milestone is a good way to help you stay excited and hopefully avoid the severe writer’s block that can hit after meeting a major word count goal!

  • A Good example of this is what I did for NaNoWriMo! I saved up throughout the month so that once I met my goals I was able to buy a beautiful owl purse that I had been wanting for awhile!

3.Take a Break!

This tip may sound a little odd! Trust me, taking a moment to breathe is absolutely crucial to staying motivated. Pushing yourself too hard can lead you to being burnt out and you can unfortunately lose the motivation to write. Taking a short break allows you to clear your mind and have a mini vacation from your novel. You can revisit your work after your break and be able to crush that word count goal!

I hope y’all enjoyed my post and I also hope that these tips help you along your writing journey!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Nifty NaNoWriMo Prep Ideas

Hello World!

NaNoWriMo is almost here and I am excited because I am actually going to be ready for it this year! I have been prepping and working on my novel for the past few months and I am excited to smash my word count goals this year. For those of you that don’t know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) occurs every November and serves as a way for writers to crank out 50,000 words in one month. You can participate in local write ins and other nifty events while trying to accomplish your goals and it is honestly a blast. If you want to learn more about this amazing event click here!

One of my favorite things to do for this epic event is prepping so that I can be ready to tackle the word count in November. There are several creative ways that you can approach this task and I am here to share 3 of my favorite prepping ideas!

  1. Create a Pinterest Board for your Novel Project
    • Creating a Pinterest board allows all of your inspiration and reference photos to be in one place. You can even pin some interesting writing worksheets that can help you along your NaNoWriMo prep journey! If you want to see the Pinterest board I created for my NaNo project click here!
  2. Fill in a Workbook!
    • I discovered a really nifty writing workbook last year that really helped me shape my literary world. The workbook was actually created by the team at NaNoWriMo and it is Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook ! This workbook helps you with shaping your ideas, fleshing out characters, and even developing your plot. This nifty workbook can be found on the NaNoWriMo website along with some of their other prepping books! You can also find this lovely book on Amazon!
  3. Create a Bullet Journal dedicated to NaNoWriMo!
    • Bullet Journaling is a nifty way to keep all of your ideas and goals organized in one notebook. Starting a bullet journal can be intimidating but there are several bloggers that have created useful posts on starting  a NaNoWriMo journal. My personal favorite is the very informative guide written by Boho Berry! Click here if you want to go read through her post!

Those were 3 of my favorite prepping ideas for NaNoWriMo! Feel free to try any of these wonderfdul ideas and leave a comment below if you want to share some of your Preptober ideas!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Tips to Help You Recover From a Failed Writing Partnership

 

Hello World!

 

When you have a falling out with your writing partner that is also your friend it can honestly feel like the world is ending. At least that is how I felt. It didn’t help that the friendship I was in crashed and burned as well, so there will never be any form of reconciliation. Knowing that the project that you and the other person were working on will be on a permanent hiatus can be heartbreaking.

That is why I decided to share a few of the things that helped me recover from the pain and move on. Hopefully you can use these 3 tips and be able to successfully get over that creative break up and move on to other creative projects!

Now, lets dive in!

1.  The first tip is to take a breath and grieve. The one thing I wished I knew earlier was that it is okay to be upset. Taking some time to really grasp the situation can  help you accept what happened and allow you to let go of the negative emotions that you may be feeling. After you have taken this time to grieve you can move on to the next step of your creative recovery.

2. The next step is to decide if the project the two of you were working on was something you were passionate about. Depending on how  you feel about the project you can decide if you want to put the extra effort into making the project your own.

3. This step can be extremely time-consuming but it is crucial that you change every aspect of the story. You have to get rid of everything that you and your old writing partner worked on so that they can’t come after you legally. By doing this you also make the story your own and rework everything into something that you can be proud of. This step also helps you cleanse your creative brain of the old story and allow you to devote yourself to a new project.

     Here are a few things that you should remember to change when you are at  this step:

~ Any plot developments you developed together

~ Character personalities, appearances, and back stories

 ~ Anything created while you were world building

Those were 3 tips that helped me along my creativity recovery. I still can’t believe that it has taken me so long to finally move on from what happened but I guess that is how life works. Friendships end and you can be left picking up the pieces but everything happens for a reason. Sure, that project could have been awesome but now you have the opportunity to create a story that you are passionate about and allow your creativity to blossom.

I wrote this post because, in all honesty, I wished I had something like this when my creative break-up was fresh. The pain that accompanies any break is hard but you will survive.

Here is a quote to close out this post:

 

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”

Ernie Harwell

 

I hope y’all found this post helpful and I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day

 

~Caitlin

 

 

 Tips for Conquering Your Word Count Goals!

Hello World!

Today I am going to share some of my tips for staying on track and slaying word count goals. Setting a word count goal is easy but staying on track and actually meeting that goal is a whole different ball game. There have been several times where I panicked because writing a full length fantasy novel means conquering a monster sized word count goal. Don’t fret though! I am about to share some of my favorite things that have helped me along my personal writing journey! Hopefully these tactics will help you smash your word count and finish that novel!

                              Let’s Dive In!

  • First thing you should do if you are feeling overwhelmed is breathe. It is okay to step away for a bit and refocus so that you can approach your writing with a clear head. 
  • Instead of thinking of the word count as one giant goal you can break it down. Create mini goals so that you don’t feel the  pressure of meeting the massive goal. This tip is extremely helpful and it will boost your confidence whenever you smash your mini goals and realize you also beat the massive word count.
  • Accept the fact you are human! It is okay to not meet a huge word count in a short amount of time. Writing is an art form and requires a lot time and energy. Life also has tendency to pull you away from your work and it is ok to push the deadline so that you don’t freak yourself out.
  • Be positive! Being negative about not being on track to meet the word count is not going to help anyone. You can do this! There are ways to catch up so don’t let falling behind bring you down. 
  • Schedule a writing day! Bust out your calender and pick a day that will be dedicated to writing! You can catch up a bit during this day and you will feel amazing afterwards.

That concludes my list of tips! Hopefully y’all can apply these tips to your life and realize that you can do this! Remember that you are already doing something incredible and you should not let your word count goal keep you from finishing that novel!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Ideas

Hello World!

Today I am going to talk to you about book ideas! Recently, I have been in somewhat of a writing slump. But today I woke up full to the brim with ideas and inspiration. Ideas can be powerful when it comes to writing. They are elusive but when they manage to peek out from their hiding spot, they can really rock your world. I honestly felt lost  without my writing inspiration. After spending the last few days reading, sewing, and doing other creative activities it finally hit me! My creativity and beautiful bookish ideas have returned and I feel elated. The best feeling you can have is the feeling of being inspired, it breathes life into you and can honestly make you feel like a superhero. When inspiration strikes and an idea appears you need to grab it and run! Pull out your notebook and write as much as you can down so you can explore it more and possibly develop it into a fantastic novel!

Here are some helpful tips when it comes to ideas:

  1. Carry around a little notebook to contain all of your idea acorns! You bust this little notebook out once an idea appears and scribble it down so it doesn’t float away~
  2. You don’t have to use all of your idea acorns at once! It is perfectly fine to put some ideas on the back burner for future projects if you want to focus on one idea in particular ~
  3. Keep a dream journal! I have had some pretty interesting dreams that could become potential books. Keeping your dreams written down helps you remember them so you can possibly turn them into novels (and  laugh at how strange  dreams can be)~
  4. Be ready to go with the idea flow.  Once an idea demands your attention you should ride it out to see where that little acorn takes you~
  5. Be curious! The world can be quite the mystical place sometimes. Inspiration can be found in nature, history, mythology, and so much more~
  6.  Exploring can do so much for your idea acorns! Just a simple walk in the park can make some interesting ideas  flourish~

Book ideas can be somewhat intense, they will linger in your mind and beg for you to become curious and explore the world that is blossoming in your head. Never fear! You can handle these amazing ideas and hopefully one day you will publish a book full of your wonderful ideas and inspire other future writers~
That is all for today’s post! I hope this  helps you with your ideas  a little bit! 

Happy Writing and Have a Wonderfully Literary Day! 

~Caitlin~

A Few Things for World Building

Hello There!

Creating a world for your novel can seem like quite the daunting task. A world has so many different parts that need to work together in order to help breathe life into the novel. I am going to list certain things you need to keep in mind when it comes to world building and these are all things that I used when creating the world used in Worlds Apart. I will also being thinking about these important items while creating a world for this pirate idea that is currently stuck in my head. I hope this post will be helpful to you as you create that brilliant literary world of yours! 

Important things to remember while world building:

  • Don’t over complicate things! It is important that your world is not too complicated because it could confuse the readers. Plus, too many rules and tiny complications can really mess your continuity up in the long run. Some things could accidentally be forgotten and that could lead to some plot holes that could have been avoided. 
  • Religion! This is probably one of my favorite items to work on. Gods, Godesses, magic, and powerful figures that characters worship are an important part of the world itself. Creating these different belief systems can really give depth to your world and help differentiate the characters by their belief or lack of beliefs.
  • Maps! Creating a map should probably be one of the first things you do when you begin to build your world. It helps you visualize your world and map out your hero’s journey through out the novel or series. 
  • Politics! Politics are very important, especially if your are writing a dystopian or fantasy novel. Evil monarchs and  corrupt governments need to be explained in your world bible so you can understand just how much turmoil is present in the novel.  Be careful not too over complicate things in this area because when all the action is unfolding you don’t want it to get too confusing.
  • Magic! Magic is something you need to think long and hard about when you are building. How it is used, who uses it, can objects contain it, and the presence of magical creatures should be addressed when it comes to magic in your world! This can also work really well with religious beliefs as well.

Those are the main things that I think about when I am world building and I hope that you found this post helpful!

I wish you luck on your literary journey!

~Caitlin

Fighting Writer’s Block

Hello There!

I am writing about how to combat writer’s block! I fell behind on my writing recently because of writer’s block but I was able to defeat the monster! Now I am going to share some tips and tricks that I used to combat writer’s block so you don’t fall behind during your writing journey!

Here are three tricks I used:

  • Reading a book! Reading can help clear your mind and relax a bit if you are frustrated.
  • Work on something else! Working on a short story can help you channel your creative energy and maybe even help you come up with new ideas.
  • Call a friend! Calling and talking to a friend about where you are stuck can help because having someone with a different view can help you come up with different solutions and defeat the monster.

Those are the three tricks that I used while I was fighting my writer’s block! I hope you are able to apply them to your own writing journey !

I wish you luck on your literary journey!

~Caitlin

Meeting that Wordcount~

Hello There!

NaNoWriMo recommends writing 1,667 words a day to meet your goals at the end of the month. Personally, I have tendency to write 3-4,000 words in one sitting on certain days. I have a hard time following a definite writing schedule but I know that if I at least try to write for at least 2 hours every day I can try to break my little habit. Meeting the word count can seem daunting but if you just ignore it and write you can easily surpass the goal.

Some other things I do to help me reach my word count goal are:

  • Set reminders on my phone so it is always on my mind.
  • Put on my writing playlist so that I can get in my writing groove.
  • Have snacks and water nearby so I don’t have to get up too often.
  • Take breaks when I am frustrated so I don’t get too burnt out and give myself a mini break.
  • Put on a show that I know by heart so I can focus easier (for when I don’t want to listen to my playlist).

Some of those seem rather dorky but I need them becaus I can easily become distracted. Those are the methods that I am currently using for my writing and I hope y’all give them a try!

Feel free to share what trick you do to meet your word count in the comment section below!

I wish you luck on your literary journey!

~Caitlin

Balancing Writing and School

Hello There!

Today I will be sharing how I have been balancing my college course work with my writing life. 

   I am currently in my senior year of college and I am also working on my fantasy novel so having a way to balance the course load while writing is key to keep me from getting too stressed out. I personally keep a schedule so I can remember my assignments for the classes and their due dates. The urge to write can hit you suddenly but I can not stress enough how important it is to go to class. Do not skip class for a writing urge, all it takes is one missed day to fall behind in your college courses. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to focus but at least show up and jot down your writing in a notebook while listening to the lecture so you don’t fall behind while also writing important things for your novel.

Here is a peak into my  schedule for the days that I spend at home:

  • Wake up and  take my ADD medication while eating breakfast~
  • Do homework ~
  • Write for blog~
  • Work on Novel~

I find  this simple schedule helps me work on assignments and my writing! School can be overwhelming sometimes but it is important to know that you can do the homework and work on your novel! This balance is key to keep your from stressing and becoming discouraged. It has taken me quite some time to master this balance but I think that I have finally reached the point where I can handle school and writing. The balance can be quite tricky to master because it is different for everyone but once you find it you will be able to accomplish so much. Whether it is making a schedule, creating to do lists, or dedicating certain days for either school or writing you can find your own way to balance. This could also be applied to balancing work and writing as well!

I hope you found this post helpful and I wish you luck on your literary journey,

~Caitlin

Research~

Hello there!

Research is crucial when it comes to writing a novel, especially a fantasy novel. Doing research can really help you create a more complex story. For my novel I have a dedicated Pinterest Board filled with all the article and information for language, magical creatures, and potential settings. One of my main characters is Irtish so doing research is helping me create an authentic person that can also contribute to the storyline. 

When researching, I love using Pinterest! I could easily spend hours browsing through article on there and pinning useful boards. I also love to go to the library or bookstore and get some useful books that can be useful to my novel. Research can sound scary but it is honestly not that bad. Doing research can easily help you along your literary journey so I suggest you take the plunge into the knowledge that you can find when you do your research!