You and Me & Chasing Little G


Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Your Writing Desk

Sabra GilbertComment

Only a week and a half until NaNoWriMo begins! I'm super excited about it! October is a month of prepping. I've been writing blog posts, cleaning my apartment, and planning more details of my novel.

And don't forget putting together my writing playlist!

The less distractions that you have during a month of writing, the more writing you are actually able to accomplish!

This week, the type of prepping that I took to was getting my writing area ready! Here are some tips for you to do the same!

1| Clean up Your Writing Area

- I recommend a large table or desk. I say large because you don't want to feel like you are boxed in. You also want to be able to spread out your materials to be available at a glance. I'll show off my space in a few weeks!

2| Remove Distractions

- Have a few fun things around that inspire you, but if it doesn't inspire and instead distracts, it needs to be removed from your area for the month. I know that concentrating on writing can be difficult to do when you are trying to do it day in and day out, so limiting the things that could cause you to loose focus is best.

3| Add Inspiration

- Not only do you have to have limited distractions while writing, but it is still best to be inspired! I'm looking forward to  fresh flowers and my favorite candle, along with character inspiration boards to help guide me when I'm trying to decide what a character would do.

4| Print your Notes, Inspiration boards, and Timeline

- Electronics are your biggest threat to your concentration. Get everything printed on nice paper and organize it in a nice binder. Or don't. Use the method that would work the best for you to find what you need when you need it.

5| Grab the Essentials

- I'll be covering this further next week when I talk about making your own NaNoWriMo Box. But a little preview would be to get a notebook for notes, your favorite candle to relax to, along with chargers for your phone and laptop.

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Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Make a Writing Playlist

Sabra GilbertComment

I am so excited for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) which starts in just 20 days! If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it is a month where, if you choose to partiipate, you are supposed to concentrate on writing an entire novel around 50,000 words in a month! There is a site and a competition and everything. It's crazy fun. But obviously, you can't just wake up on November 1st and decide to start your novel on that day.

Well, you could, but it probably wouldn't be that awesome.

Anyway, so I've been trying to work on a novel the last few years (darn school ruining all the fun stuff) and I've decided that while I don't want tos tart from scratch with a new novel, I'm going to use this November to get my novel up to 50,000 words. It is at 11, 965 words at the moment. Which I'm super proud of. So instead of 50,000 words, I'm going for the goal of writing 38,035 words this month.

But even though I've got a little headway on my novel, it is still good to spend the month beforehand  refocusing and prepping for a month of hardcore writing. While there are a lot of other things that I plan on doing to prep (including writing a bunch of blog posts ahead of time so I don't have to worry about other kinds of writing other than novel writing), I thought I would share some more of the fun things that I'm doing to prep for the month ahead.

So I can't write unless I have some kind of noise going on. Usually I let random tv shows on Hulu or Netflix play. Or my favorite movies. But obviously, when you are writing a story, it's hard to just let another story play in the corner of your head. So I choose to play music instead.

So I'm going to help you put together your own playlist of awesomeness for NaNoWriMo!

1| Figure out the feel of your Novel. - What kind of songs give the same type of feels that you are trying to evoke in your novel? Make the majority of your playlist evoke those in you. Mine is filled with failed love songs. Not break up songs, but songs of love lost. That might change through getting farther into my novel or into the second installment. If you are feeling the feeling, it becomes easier to write those feeling authentically.

2| Add a Few Pump up Songs - Sitting and writing for hours on end, even if it is something that you love to do, requires some pump up moments from time to time. It can get boring an dyou are gonna need something to get excited about it all over again.

3| Make it a Few Hours Long - You have a whole month to listen to this playlist. You don't want it to be short and repeatedly listen to the exact same song over and over every day. So make it long enought that you can survive a month of shuffle on this playlist and not hate every song by the end of it.

4| Play it on a Medium that Won't Distract You - I plan on listening to my playlist through headphones from my phone next month. This way it own't be directly on my laptop where I'm trying to write and distract me. Instead I'm using Spotify on my phone so that I can lock my phone but still skip a song if need be on the lock screen. And the Do Not Disturb option on my phone will come in handy too!

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What Worked for NaNoWriMo

Sabra GilbertComment

   So obviously, NaNoWriMo didn't go completely awesome for me, but there were a few things that worked when I was able to actually to sit down and get things going every once in a while. It's really good to review and try to figure out what works for you to continue using these things to keep going.

1| Sitting in a comfortable spot.

2| Making a plan.

3| Having everything I needed within my reach.

4| Bouncing off background information about Characters

5| Having goals.

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How did NaNoWriMo 2014 go?

Sabra GilbertComment

This was my first ever NaNoWriMo! While it didn't go exactly the way that I had wanted it to, I'm still extremely proud of myself for jumping into it and trying my best. I'm hoping that maybe once I'm out of school, that then an actual full NaNoWriMo may be easier to do. With school and it being the end of the semester, homework, tests, and projects got in the way of being able to sit down at the computer daily.

In the end, my word count was 11,295 making a total of 20 pages. That's 3,257 more words than I had for a manuscript that I've been working on since June! So some awesome progress, even if it seems small in comparison to other NaNoWriMoers.

How did your November go?

NaNoWriMo Goals
NaNoWriMo Week 2 Update
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NaNoWriMo: Week 2 Update

Sabra GilbertComment

So I'm assuming everyone noticed that there was not an update last week on how the first week went of NaNoWriMo. . . That's because it didn't go well. Like only 400 words in 8 days kind of well. What is it about suddenly giving yourself a deadline that makes writers block engulf your entire life! I knew that I needed to be writing words, but just no words would come.

So i have now gotten to the point that I'm pretty sure I will not be finishing the 50,000 word goal by the end of the month. And by finally making this realization, I was able to free up my words, free up my ideas, and finally be able to write again.

Maybe it's just a kind of writing day where my mind can finally realease and let me write.

 I blame my wonderful candle that smells amazing.

And the fact that Simeon got me roses cause I was having a rough week.

yep, the roses inspired at least 1,000 words out of me yesterday. Which made me feel awesome and that I could actually do this.

That being said, it's also the only words that were written this week. But that's better than last week. I like my small victories. maybe I'll find some time this weekend in between cleaning and working on homework to tackle another 1000 words.

I just have to remember to take it one sit down at a time. One cup of cocoa at a time. One idea blast at a time. It's not a magic formula, but there are magical times where writing can just suddenly become easy. Where suddenly you have too many emotions that just need to get out.

I think this is the most that I've ever written in a blog post and probably the most real that I've ever been as well. I'll have to work on that I guess. So expect some more heart felt, emotional posts from me in the future!

Date: 11-13-14
Word Count: 9,480

What's your word count?
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