Are You Ready for National Novel Writing Month?

Are You Ready for National Novel Writing Month

For those of you who have signed up to get lost in the world of words this November (National Novel Writing Month) it is the last night of freedom (in a sense) that you have to not be stressed over whether you met a certain word count requirement for the day.

By now you have hopefully already completed your outline, done your research, gained an intimate knowledge of your characters, and scheduled your time to write to suit your needs and your daily responsibilities. If you’ve gotten all of that checked off your to do list, then you are practically ready to go come November 1st (that’s tomorrow by the way) but if you haven’t prepared then don’t panic.

After you sign up for the challenge of doing NaNoWriMo on the website (this is the website by the way http://www.nanowrimo.org/) there are still a few other things that you can do to be better prepared to go into National Novel Writing Month and I’ve listed a few helpful tips below:

  1. Brainstorm a clear idea for your novel: Hopefully you already know what you want to write about but if not that is the first thing that you need to figure out.
  2. Know the most important details of your novel upfront: You may or may not be a person that likes to outline. If you are an outliner, this is what your next move needs to be. Outline the major points of your novel so that you know where your story is going to start, and where you think it might end up. If you are more of a detailed person then you will want to detail ALL of the major and somewhat minor parts of the novel in this outline. If you are not a person who likes to outline, at the very least you will want to know that major plot points in your story.
  3. Get to know your characters: Some might consider this to be a part of outlining but I see it as being totally separate but just as complex as creating an outline. You have to know who your characters because if you don’t know who your characters are your soon to be readers won’t know who they are either.
  4. Research now rather than later: Do as much research for your novel that you can do before starting your novel. Once you get started writing, you are not going to have the time to really go back and do extensive research so get most of your research out of the way now.
  5. Begin mapping out a workable plan: Come up with a schedule that works for you to write during the month of November. If you are a morning person then you will want to make time available so that you can write in the mornings and get your best work done. Whatever time of day works better for you, you are going to want to maximize to produce your best work. This is also when you will want to let the people around you know that you may not have as much time as you normally do because you will be busy…Writing.
  6. When November 1st comes around, be prepared to start writing and be prepared to be very busy for those thirty days.
  7. One final thing: If you should happen to get stuck or have a bad day and are not able to write, don’t be too hard on yourself. Putting extra pressure on yourself to write only makes it harder for you to produce good solid work.Another important thing to remember for those who have not put tons of preparation into this, you DO NOT have to start your story from the very beginning. If you can’t think of how to start your story off, then begin with chapter two, or three, or why not even start at the end. No matter where you start your story on November 1st, just start! I’ll try to blog during NaNoWriMo and I’ll also be sharing tips and tricks on the Write 2 Be Magazine at www.write2bemagazine.com throughout the entire month of November. I wish all of you well this month and happy NaNoWriMo-ing!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 5:13 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Focusing on the End Goal

Focusing on the end goal

Well National Novel writing month is more than over and I have had a whole week to decompress from the event that went more than a little off track from me. From my technical difficulties to the distractions of life and (if I’m being completely honest) just sheer procrastination the month of November was definitely disappointing in terms of actually completing my projects.

Nevertheless I am not going to use that as an excuse to stop working on finishing these projects. I have done that in the past, get so upset with myself for not completing something that I just sink into a dark whole of depression and end up not doing anything. Well 2014 was a year full of promise and it was all wasted and it was the fault of no other person than myself. Setback after setback I allowed that negative voice in my head to get louder and louder.

With each setback I gave myself even more reasons of why I couldn’t get what I wanted accomplished. I focused so much on the things that I didn’t have at my disposal instead of using what I do have to my advantage. If you focus too much on the things that you don’t have then you can’t sufficiently notice all of the blessings around you that you have seemed to overlooked.

So I am going into the year 2015 with real hope and with faith that can’t be shaken and with the knowledge that whatever God wants me to have will be mine and that he will make a way for all of the plans that he has for me to come to fruition. I have to stop counting myself out before I even truly get into the race. I’m not doing myself any good by doubting God and his belief in me. So no more excuses for why something didn’t get accomplished. Nothing but results from here on out.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Despite My Urge to Give Up…

Never give up

I tell you if it is not one thing it is another and when the devil is busy trying to get in my way he really does pull out all of the stops. So week one and two for me was plagued with technical difficulties that would just hit one by one, back to back.

Last week, while the week started off rather strong with a fair amount of productivity, I had a physical injury that kind of left me unable to sit up and type or write anything. I was in so much pain that it almost brought me to tears to even try and move to do anything. That physiccal injury has unfortunately carried over into this week and although I am trying to ignore the physical injury it is very hard to pretend I am not hindered by it.

It just would seem that there are mini obstacles stacking up in my path like mountains trying to keep me from moving forward. I am pushing through and while my goal will more than likely not be met by the end of November, I will take comfort in the fact that I didn’t (like last year) just completely throw in the towel and say the hell with it and just stop even trying. Last year was a bad year for me creatively and this year has not exactly proved to be much better but I am going to make the best of the rest of the days left in this year and kick 2015 off with these two projects that I’ve been taking on during NaNoWriMo and use them as my positive start for next year. Well back to my writing cave I go, hope all of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo are doing well.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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When Things Don’t Go the Way You Planned

When Things Don't Go as Planned 2

So to say that my NaNoWriMo plans aren’t coming along as productively as I had hoped would be an understatement. I had planned on finishing up two of my book projects that I had been previously stalled on. Now while I have truly put forth honest effort, and have honestly been plagued with multiple back to bak technical issues concerning my computer and what I use to actually write, I can’t lie and say that I haven’t been hit with the procrastination bug. When I got hit with technical difficulty number one I was discouraged and then with the next couple of technical difficulties I had I just felt like giving up on doing it altogether.

Now of course I have not given up on either of my projects but I totally underestimated just how difficult it would be to jump back into my novel and as for the nonficiton self-help book, well I’ve been working more so on that but nonfiction is never easy. I don’t know why it seems I can’t produce anything lately but it is really frustrating to have a lot of ideas that you need to get out but still can’t seem to put them down on paper.

However, November is not over and I am not throwing in the towel on my projects. Whether I finish both projects by the end of November or not, one thing is for sure, it got me started on the projects again. I also have to remember that this could be a great kick-off for my 2015 plans. So how have you been doing in your writing this November? Have all your plans been working out the way that you wanted them to?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Due To Circumstances That Were Beyond My Control…

Technical Difficulties 1

So last week was really rough, at least in the writing part of my life. As most of you know I am attempting to do dual projects this November for National Novel Writing Month. I posted last week about me getting off to a rocky start and after I posted that (maybe the very next day) my rocky start turned into a complete halt.

For some unknown reason my Microsoft Word program, in which I use to actually write (blog posts, novels, articles, etc.) just stopped working. Seriously every time I tried to save it would shut down automatically, then it started to just shut down when I tried to type, and then Microsoft Word just wouldn’t even open anymore. I was in writer’s hell (if there is one) and I could’ve literally cried because I felt like the control of whether I wanted to actually write or not was taken from me.

Now for my non-fiction (self-help) book that I am working on I could still manage to get some work done as far as research goes but when it came time for me to sit down and get back into my fiction novel (in which I was fully prepared to do) the program simply would not work. I don’t know how I got it working again for me to be able to type this blog post but of course I am hoping to be able to get quite a bit of work done this week to make up for the days that I was not able to last week.

I am wondering if there is anyone out there who has been in the middle of a project and had their programs just completely shut down on them? I have a lot of lost time to make up for but I will try to still keep up with you guys while I am recovering from my program failure. Hope all of you are being productive and writing your hearts out!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Off To a Rocky Start

NaNoWriMo 3

So as most of you know National Novel Writing Month started this past Saturday and we are already at day 5. I will admit that I thought that since I decided to take on the task of finishing up two projects that had already been started that I would have a bit of an easier time beginning this NaNoWriMo challenge. Sadly, nothing has been further from the truth. I think the first sign of trouble that I had was the fact that NaNoWriMo was beginning during a weekend which is typically the time during the week in which I opt not to write.

The weekend is normally when I like to relax, catch up on TV (which fuels my creativity even more), and do more reading for pleasure then actual writing or research. And while I did manage to write a little on my non-fiction (self-help) book and I tried to re-familiarize myself with my novel, I definitely did not get any real numbers stacked towards my end goal. The second issue is also that with my fiction novel, I haven’t touched it in quite some time and while I have been re-familiarizing myself with it, it’s not that easy to just jump back in it.

Nevertheless I am not going to give up and I am ready to really get underway on these projects. I completely underestimated how hard it is to re-start a project, let alone two. I would almost be willing to say that it is harder to re-start a project then to just start a brand new one. But I went into this NaNoWriMo knowing that my goal was not necessarily the 50,000 word goal that they traditionally set for participants but rather to complete these two projects, or at the very least, be closer to finishing by the end of November. So that does help take some of the pressure off of me because my goal is different than most people doing NaNoWriMo.

I hope that any of you who are participating are having an easier start than I am and hopefully you will leave a comment here and let me know how your project(s) are going. Happy writing everyone!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Day Before All Things Get Pushed To the Backburner

Day before NaNoWriMo

It is a proven fact for me that I don’t work very well when I am stressed. I constantly worry about whatever obstacle it is that has me stressed out and there is little to no creative spark inside me to actually produce anything of merit. With the week I’ve had last week, and this week not bringing about any type of resolution for the problem the stressed does not even begin to express what I am feeling right now.

Nevertheless I really need to get into the National Novel Writing Month Spirit because I have not one, but two projects to complete this November and I have an opportunity coming up that relies heavily on me completing them. I suppose on the plus side of things, these are two projects that have already been started and it’s not a brand new project to tackle.

So my question to all of you who will be participating with me in this challenging task of completing a novel (or book) in just 30 days is are you ready to get this done? Do you have everything ready to go and are you clear on the direction that your project will be going in? What are some things that you are struggling with as you prepare to write your book? Feel free to share your plans here with me. I hope that all of you are ready and remain productive.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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The Challenge Ahead: Getting Mentally Prepared for National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo1

The good thing about working on two unfinished projects for National Novel Writing Month is that I don’t have to complete the task of writing an outline like I would normally do for a new project. However the challenging thing about it, aside from the fact that I will be working on two books at the same time, is that they are two different types of books. One book is my novel that I started about two years ago and the other book, which I started working on about nine months ago, is non-fiction, more of a self-help/motivational book for writers. The two projects couldn’t be more opposite of each other so I’m not sure how the contrast is going to affect my production.

While National Novel Writing Month will not be new to me, trying to complete two different projects at the same time that are not in the same genres. I am a little more confident about the non-fiction project because I started it more recently and it will be fairly easy to jump back into it. The fiction book, I’m afraid I might have taken too much of a break from that one to just jump back in. Either way I am determined to make the best of the month of November and to attack these projects as if my life depends on it (they really do, lol). Once November is over and I (hopefully) have my two finished projects I plan to immediately get them into the editing phase so I can get the ball rolling on getting these books published.

I have my work cut out for me and for any of you who have participated in NaNoWriMo, you already know it is not an easy task to accomplish. I will share the process with you as it goes along and I hope if any of you are doing NaNoWriMo this month please feel free to share with me your process and how you’re achieving the task. I guess November will be a pretty busy and productive month!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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It’s Time to Start Preparing for National Novel Writing Month

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

It is October now and I typically take the month of October to prepare for whatever project I will be working on in the month of November for National Novel Writing Month. With me being so unable to really focus on my writing this year (and producing the work I should have) I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to even attempt to do NaNoWriMo this year. However, I have gotten so used to at least making the attempt that I think that I would feel like I would have failed at yet another task if I didn’t at least give it a shot. Last year’s attempt did not actually manage to bring about completion but it did give me quite a bit of blog material in my frustration for not being inspired last year.

So this year for NaNaWriMo I am literally going to double my efforts. I am going to finish up the novel I started two years ago that remains unfinished and I am going to finish up my ebook that I have been working on for the better part of this year. Yes I know that for someone who has been considerably off her writing A game this year it may seem like a daunting task and a possibly heart-wrenching one should I, once again, not be able to finish. But I am a glass half full type of woman who would rather look at the feeling that I will likely feel once the month of November is over and I have not one, but two finished products.

I think that it will fully reignite my creative spark that has been slowly inching its way back to me. I am excited to see what November will bring for my writing and of course I will be blogging about it but I would love to know what your plans are for National Novel Writing month so please feel free to share. Hopefully all of you will join in the challenge for NaNoWriMo with me!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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No More Excuses, I Have to Do Better

No More Excuses

I need to do better. I was watching a video online the other day dealing with how to become more successful and attain your goals and one of the things the person in the video said to do was to write a new list of what your current goals are. Not look at your old list and revise according to your current circumstances but rather to look at where you are now, who you are now, and what you want in this moment, and write down what your goals are moving forward.

When I wrote down my list I realized that some of my old goals had fallen off of that list and there had also been some new additions that I didn’t even see as something that I would ever want but surprisingly found myself being called to it. Some things were on my old list but the idea has grown into something more than what it was before. It was a little eye opening to make this new list but also made me a little disappointed in myself.

I can’t count how many excuses I have made to not write or do something towards any of those goals on that list and at the time they felt like legitimate reasons (tired, sleep deprived, depressed, no energy, etc.) but in retrospect they were just excuses for one overall fact that I wasn’t feeling inspired and was riddled with self-doubt and fear.  I used to have a daily routine in which I at least wrote 1,000 words of whatever novel I was working on and then still wrote my blog and a couple of articles and that was in one day. I was so productive and it seems like that time was so long ago when it really wasn’t. I don’t know what happened in the last two years that made me somehow stall on everything but I have seemingly found myself stalled on everything that I want to accomplish and create.

I am not going to make excuses anymore because they don’t get me anywhere and they only result in me wishing for something that I can just change now before too much time has been wasted and too many things have gone undone. I feel like I might have been on some type of writing sabbatical that was neither planned for nor wanted and I am ready to get back into a normal rhythm of writing again. It’s time to throw away the excuses and put down some results. What excuses have you been making for yourself in your writing career?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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