It's Finished!

37,500- That ended up being my final NaNoWriMo word count total. So, I’m bummed, thinking of course how I could have done, should have done more. At the same time, Im proud of what I did achieve and the things I learned along the way.

Thanks to everyone who helped me, with your positive comments and encouragement and thank you so much for following my blog! Good night, see you tomorrow because I am DONE writing for today, lol!!

Day 122- NaNoWriMo Final Push

Yea! It’s the last day and I can say I’ve given it as good a try as can be expected with everything else I have had going on this month. I’ve written through illnesses and appointments, work days and some nights, a wrecked house and less-than-perfect work space, and devoted more hours to writing than I ever have. I’ve made new friends along the way, started writing on more platforms and learned how to properly write essays and tell better stories.


I’m slightly worried about the state of my arse growing wider from all  the time spent in this chair, but other than that, I think it’s gone swimmingly, all things considered. (I do try to get up and stretch occasionally) So many good things have come out of  this exercise to reach the magic word count, and I’m happy to have participated again this year. My hope is that by next year, I might even be prepared to pen an actual novel! (or the start of one anyway)

I’ve come to the realization that I probably will not make the magic number of 50,000, even though I wrote diligently every day. I’m ok with that. I got further than last year, I can tell you that. I’ve had a lot of support along the way, mostly from fellow writers and bloggers, but even my husband has reached an understanding of what I’ve tried to accomplish and I’m happy to report that he has tried to be accommodating as I make my final push, he knows how hard I’ve worked and cannot believe that I didn’t reach my goal. He has also tried to make me feel better about myself, since I’ve been down about not achieving nanaowrimo success. I’m still a winner in his eyes. 🙂

My word count up to the point where I started my last day of writing this morning (early) was 34,838, and I hope to at least crest the 40,000 mark by day’s end. Everyone knows that reads this here blog that today is my day for visiting my Dad, so the writing time will be mainly this morning. I might be able to cram a little bit more in before supper tonight, if I’m lucky.

All in all it’s been a great learning experience, I’ve started writing on more publications, developed some good daily habits, and sent off more work to paying publications than ever before. (maybe I’ll finally see a check in a month or two) Editors do take a bit of time to read one’s work, so the money doesn’t come until weeks, sometimes months, after the work has been submitted. I’ve also learned that things flow much smoother if one has a plan, so each day, I start by looking at my calendar and all of my self imposed assignments for that day, which gives me the drive to want to accomplish each daily task. Doing this exercise has also taught me that I really do love writing, and I want to continue learning how to become better at it, even if that means more classes on or off the internet. As far as my blog is concerned, I really need to spend some time making an editorial calendar for next year, with a solid plan on what subjects I will tackle each day, even though life throws you a curve every now and then and changes will sometimes have to be made.

I’ve loved participating in various blogger challenges, so if those come along, I’ll just change my plan for that day, or write a second blog entry- no harm in doing that, right?

I hope you have all enjoyed following me along in my journey and I know some of you might be as ready for it to end as I am, even though it’s been real, I now have so much other work to do as a result, I’m ready to get on with other tasks. Tasks, like my stories for The Weekly Knob have me stretching my creative muscles, and daily assignments like 100 Naked Words have me simply putting my thoughts and feelings on the page. I’m hoping my experience will get me published in more paying publications, now that I’ve conquered my fear of “putting myself out there” and writing on Medium has helped me so much in that way. Having another editor tell me he wanted to use one of my pieces for his publication was a boon to my ego and I am grateful to be writing for a third publication on Medium-The Creative Cafe. I can choose when I want to submit a piece there, which makes me relax and create when the mood strikes.

I’m taking a much needed break for some breakfast, but before I go, I’ll leave you with this: keep writing, I love reading what all of you post as much as I love writing my own. I hope some of you decide to take a stab at this exercise next year, it’s a great experience. We are all striving to make a mark, have a voice and help our fellow writers in whatever they are trying to accomplish. I’ll see you all tomorrow as we start a new month and go into the Christmas season with so much more material to write about! I can’t wait to get started, how about you? Have a great day everyone- see ya later, on the patio! 😉

 

 

Day 118-Free Days-Don't Give Up

As I realize I only have a few more days until the month comes to an end, I’m trying not to lose hope that I will make my projected word count of 50,000. I simply have not made the time necessary to write like I should have, I have allowed myself to become complacent, and have wasted countless hours doing mundane activities, like watching tv and wandering the stores with no purpose in mind.

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Some of this is my fault, but not all of it. Still, I thought that by getting up extra early most mornings and doing three daily assignments (at least), I would have been further along than I am. Not only that, I am aware that other things are not getting done as we head into the busiest time of the year, the holiday season. This adds more pressure on me, and kind of stresses me out. I will not give up, however, I will keep trying to think of things to write, and places to submit that writing to so that I finish what I set out to do.

It is important to me that I reach my goal, the exercise is meant to make you increase your writing speed, which it has, and realize that you can accomplish writing a novel, or at least starting one, in 30 days. Everyone following along knows that my goal this year wasn’t to write a novel, but to write the amount of words needed. Maybe by next year, I’ll be ready to tackle writing a book, then again, maybe not. I have so much more studying to do on the subject of crafting a story, however, I’m getting lots of practice with the weekly writing assignment on Medium’s The Weekly Knob.  Every week, we are given a word prompt of some household item- this week was Umbrella. Then we have to write a short story featuring that prompt and have it be good enough to get published. Maybe a few more months of this will have me closer to becoming a storyteller.

My other daily assignment, besides this 365 day project here on the blog,  is to write anything that comes to mind for 100 Naked Words, so long as I get in the habit of writing at least 100 words a day.  So having all of these self imposed assignments is helping me slowly creep towards becoming a better, faster, more skilled writer- something that is important to me.

Spending time with loved ones is also important, and I’ve sacrificed some of that time to get this done. Clearly, I’ve wasted some time in other areas though, or I would be further along. I realize now that it will take more than early mornings and an hour here and there where I can fit it in. Still, even if I were not to make it, I have instilled some valuable habits that I will continue to keep up, so that when I finally do have clients or deadlines to meet, I will be ready and more prepared than I was before.

All that being said, I am anxious to have NaNoWriMo behind me, so I can concentrate on projects that need to get done by Christmas. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way right now. All of the writers doing the project this month are stressed out and typing like mad, racing to get to the finish line, even though it’s already been won- Nicole Wilson has her 6th win under her belt and finished the exercise, if not the novel, on Nov. 22 this year. I am envious, and proud at the same time, clearly that lady is driven and has a lot more experience than me. One cannot get better if one never tries though, so again, not giving up! (I just did the math and realized that I will have to write 5,000 words a day to finish in time!!!)

I don’t think my family and friends understand how important this is to me, but I will be proud of myself if I make it.  I’ll try not to bore you all with any more talk of it and just post my results at the end of the month. It was just fresh on my mind today, a day we spent killing time just to be together, when what I needed to do was lock myself in this room and write. Now I’m rushing again and blathering on about shoulda, coulda, woulda-so I’ll put a cork in it and get busy.  I hope you all are successful in whatever you have going this weekend, even if it is just enjoying a lazy weekend with friends and family. In four more days, maybe I can do more of that myself! Without the guilt.

( I appreciate all of my followers sticking with me and listening to my ranting and raving, I hope I’m not driving you all crazy with all of this writing talk. The race will be over soon, and we will get back to more interesting subjects than just my writing goals.)

 

 

Day 98-Free Days-How I'm Making NaNoWriMo Work For Me

If you are a writer, you’ve most likely heard that this is the month for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month.

My personal page showing my word count before today
My personal page showing my word count before today

As I’ve expressed here on my blog before, I’ve joined the challenge again this year as a Rebel, someone doing the challenge for word count only. I am also doing it to increase my speed and in the process, learn a bit more about story telling.

I’m proud of my word count so far, even though I am consumed by thoughts of what I should be doing to increase my word count all the time, to the point my dear hubby is probably annoyed with me. It is hard not to though, I have to write 50,000 words by the end of the month and this is my strategy:

  1. Using my blog
  2. Writing my daily post for 100 Naked Words on Medium
  3. Writing a story every week for submission to The Weekly Knob on  Medium
  4. Writing notes while working on a class I’m taking from Shaunta Grimes called How to Develop and Test a Story Idea
  5. Writing articles or essays for paid publications (in hopes of getting paid, lol)

Yes, it would be nice to get paid eventually for some of my writing, that is one thing I aim to accomplish after a year (or have I been writing for two?) of being on this journey. I’m learning a lot, and anything I write can be counted as part of my word total for NaNoWriMo. I’m sure that some people count everything, comments they make on other people’s posts, lists they make, whatever. Not me, just the above mentioned and anything else lengthy-even a long email.

If I’m doing it wrong, no one has pointed it out yet-and this challenge is based on an honesty policy, you don’t cheat anyone but yourself if you lie about your word count. So I’m shorting myself, if anything, by not including every single word I write. For me, it’s not about that, I want to hone my skills as a blogger, storyteller, writer of all forms and that is why I’ve taken the challenge again this year.

I was already doing the 365 day project on this here blog, so it’s a given that I would add my blog posts every day. The new writing I’m doing on Medium for various publications and the daily one, add even more. Then I discovered that I could learn some valuable lessons in storytelling from Shaunta’s class and up my word count in the process. Then, on Tuesdays-my designated writing day, I can really turn on the burners and do all of that and try to make money writing for paid publications. It all adds up, rather quickly in fact. So wish me luck and join in on the fun yourself, if you’re up to the challenge.

I wonder how many of you are doing the challenge, in secret, or in public- I don’t hear of as many bloggers, as I do people who write in other areas on other platforms. If you are, tell me about it in the comments as well as sharing your thoughts on my strategy. Do you hole yourself up in a room for hours or days at a time? Are you also driving your family nuts with what you call “this writing thing” as I am? Do you feel verified as a writer? I want to know. I sometimes feel like my family and friends don’t understand the passion I feel, or how important it is to me to make it as a writer. It isn’t a hobby to me. It’s becoming a true love.

 

Day 94-Meeting New Blogger Buddies

Wow, Nov 2 and our high here in the DFW metroplex will be 87! I’m sure that will change with the thunderstorms slowly moving in overnight. Not that I’m complaining about warm weather, I am a summer girl-a water baby-hey, I’m a Pisces after all!

Just an illustration of the possible weather change
Just an illustration of the possible weather change

I had a record day yesterday with my writing, accomplishing all the goals I set for myself and surpassing the word count I thought was possible! Yea! I started my day with the blog, moved on to a post for my daily writing assignment on 100 Naked Words, and then did an essay for a magazine that I hope will get published (and pay me). By the time I was through, I had racked up a word count of 2,645 and that went in my NaNoWriMo total for the day. Not bad I thought for the first day, if I could keep up that pace, I would be well on my way to the goal of 50,000 words for the month. Thing is, I had all day (with breaks of course) and I don’t have that luxury every day. Girl’s gotta work ya know, and there’s all the other stuff in the middle, but hey, that’s part of the challenge! You have to learn to fit it all in, make it work somehow, lots of other writers have a heck of a lot busier schedule than me. Later on, in the evening, I started composing my story for my post in The Weekly Knob, and that added some more to my word count, add in a couple of emails, and by 10pm it was up to 3,045! Woop!

Official Site NaNoWriMo.org
Official Site
NaNoWriMo.org

So, I didn’t get much feedback on the post from yesterday, thanks to those who did though. 🙂 Since one of the comments was how she liked to see the pictures of my family or project updates with accompanying photos, I thought I’d share a pic of our temporary spot our dish ware is living in until we finish (gotta start first, lol) the cabinets.

My dishes in their temporary location
My dishes in their temporary location

My hubby has been too tired after work to mess with the kitchen, hopefully, he won’t feel too bad this weekend following Thursday’s surgery, and we can go shopping for some. (cabinets, that is)! Yes, the dishes, glasses and cutlery had to go somewhere out of the way, so Dave built a temporary shelving unit in the dining room to house them for now. Luckily, I’m very adaptable to change and have already got used to their new location.

If you have some extra time on your hands and want to check out my little story from yesterday I posted on Medium/100 Naked Words called Fighting The Monsters, please do, it’s good for a chuckle. Also, while perusing other folk’s blogs last night, I came across one that had my crying from laughing so hard-that girl is cra cra!!! Her name is Suze and she blogs over at Obsolete Childhood– just read her intro page and you will be begging for more! I read two more posts in and had to stop for fear I’d wake my husband with all my tears and giggles. Then, check out her friend Cyranny for more amusement of a different sort, she posted a pic on Cyranny’s Cove in response to an award question that had me laughing so hard, I was shaking the bed and tears were flowing down my face! Go-check them both out, make some new friends and enjoy laughing for awhile, it sure beats crying or worrying about this upcoming election. (Though, it is a circus in it’s own right. ;)) Happy reading!

Day 93- Help Me Help You-Writing With A Purpose

How my dogs can tell time is a mystery to me, yet, there was Whiskey, licking me in the face at exactly 7am this morning-the time I try to be up on my off day, the day I have earmarked for writing. To which I rolled over, glanced at my IPad, saw the time and leaped out of bed, because, of course I have that and a million other things to do on my “off” day.

I needed to take my “new” car in to the dealership, since there were existing issues from the moment we got it. The good news is, my husband purchased on a lease agreement, therefore, the dealership was prompt with service and a loaner-I simply took it in, and drove out with my exact replica loaner vehicle! No muss or fuss, I didn’t even have to sign any paperwork. He even had the radio tuned to my favorite sirius/xm station-Octane! What a super guy!!

Next on the list of course, is all of my writing assignments, which I have decided I need to figure out the best way to allocate time for. But first, there was laundry to start, dogs to feed, wait-I haven’t even fed myself, but there was coffee! Yes, that was first out of the starting gate! Anyway, I have taken on quite a bit more than I ever have, so now I need to create a schedule of sorts, to be able to fit it all in. I started with the simple list, what they are and how often they need to be written. Now, I have to set a schedule to get them all done.

The other thing that has been on my mind is, how I can make my blog better for my audience/followers, and that means, how can I be of service to you? I need to know what you want to read about, or what problems I can solve- in other words- I feel like my blog needs more purpose. I’ve been trying to market myself as an expert on alternative health, yet my blog has become more of a place to simply hang out with you guys, share my day, post my updates on our renovations, tell you about my family, and every once in a while, I’ve stuck in tidbits here and there about my Paleo lifestyle. The question is, what do you all want to see more of, or, what is there that I can write about that would interest you more? I don’t want to be another blogger that writes about writing-they are everywhere. I read stuff from lots of them, which is where I get my inspiration, and instructions on how and what to write. I have to admit though, this also creates confusion and chaos in my mind, what is my purpose?

Like I wrote in my piece for 100 Naked Words on Medium last night, I started out wanting a way to make money when I began my career as a writer over a year ago. The fact that I have not made a penny is not lost on me. My writing has improved, as well as the speed that I write, and those are huge improvements on accomplishing my goal, however, my true aim is to help people, which is why I picked the niche I did. Truth is, I am not sure I have been doing that, so now, I need to hear from you all. Another thing I’ve discovered since starting my journey as a writer is that I like the creative side of writing and that is why I’ve taken on more assignments. I want to learn more about the storytelling aspect of writing, this can also be a huge help if I ever really get into copywriting, which is what my goal was in the first place. (and to help people in the process)

To wrap all this up, I will ask you all to help me help you. Wish me luck in attaining my goal to fulfill my daily writing assignments, as well as my weekly ones, and please, tell me what I can do to be of service to you. If you want information, I can write more posts relating to my paleo lifestyle or something else you want to know more about. If you want entertainment, I could write about the music I am so passionate about, or my favorite TV shows I am convinced I can’t miss, lol. I could write about crafts, plants, whatever-the list is endless, but what do y’all want to read more about?  Yes, the goal right now is to write for 365 days consecutively, but I feel like I should be doing all that and more. When I write articles for magazines in the hopes of earning money, I write to inform, educate and hopefully help someone live a healthier life. When I write for publications like Medium, it is more of a creative outlet, a place to hone my storytelling skills. If I take on the NaNoWriMo challenge, it is a place to achieve the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. Yes, that’s a lot of writing, however, if I ever hope to make a living from my writing, I need to be able to meet deadlines, so all of this writing is practice for me. Ok, I realize I am rambling now. Your turn, tell me what you want to see, and I will do my best to make it happen. I value my relationship with you and don’t want to lose you, so feel free to comment below with your suggestions, advice, and words of wisdom! I’m off to finally eat some breakfast, which will probably be something fast and easy like an omelet-in-a-mug, since my kitchen is in shambles! See you all tomorrow on the patio 😉

Day 87- Some Thoughts on Writing

Earlier today, I reblogged a good post about writing from A Momma’s View who listed her various reasons for why she writes. Honestly, I can’t think of much more to add to that except to say that she hit the nail on the head with the part about connecting with all of you guys. If it wasn’t for that, for support and your feedback, I probably would have given up on the whole blogging thing. Sure, I’d keep writing because I like it, it gives me a place to put my thoughts, express my feelings and share my life, but I would not have as cool a place to do that without y’all. So, thanks for being a part of my life!

Now, I’m not making any money yet, but that doesn’t stop me from trying or keep me from writing. I’m even considering the biggie NaNoWriMo like I did last year, as a rebel anyway. I wasn’t trying to write a novel like everyone else, I was participating as a rebel (someone who just wants to write for the practice and to try to meet the word count by the deadline). Like I mentioned on my post on Medium  today, if I did it again it would be the same way because, really the only book I’ve ever considered writing is my own life story and who wants to read that, lol?!! So, I guess if I did it I would journal or maybe practice my story telling to get to the required word count of 50,000 by Nov 29.

Official Site  NaNoWriMo.org
Official Site
NaNoWriMo.org

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and encourages writers to come together, write your novel, network and get support doing it. Just go to the website for all the details.

Still, it dawned on me, who has time for this during the busiest time of the year, the holidays??? I guess it depends on just how driven you are, still, I barely get the writing that I do now done with all my other responsibilities, not sure how I’m gonna fit it in when you add in all the holiday prep there is to do, personal obligations and so on. I kinda wish it was held in the spring or something but maybe that’s part of the challenge. Making time to write. Period. Now, I do have to confess that ALL writing counts during this challenge (as a rebel) so if I blog, it counts. If I post something on Medium, it counts, journaling, counts. So maybe I CAN do this. I’m sure if I decide to commit, you’ll know, because I’ll talk about it non-stop (just kidding) 😉 Pray for me, send me good vibes, whatever you want to do to help inspire me to do this.

Thoughts, ideas and questions are welcome and, maybe I’ve inspired you guys as well! We all love to write, maybe we can support one another in this massive effort. The time to sign up is now!