Jump-start your writing with NaNoWriMo

A country road during autumn

Photo via Visualhunt.

It’s that time of year again where writers everywhere gear up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! I wrote about that last year, which you can find here.

NaNoWriMo prep, part one
Part two: Getting started
Part three: Notes and plans
Part four: What to expect

We’re also thoroughly into the new school year, which includes my new routine of devoting the-kids-are-all-in-school hours to writing as my job. So, how’s it been going?

Not well.

I’ve had a lot come up that made it hard to protect my working hours. My husband started a new job, one of my sons was diagnosed with ADHD (which involves hours spent at various clinics and filling out lots of paperwork), I had the flu, and I had a guest visit for a week (I was SO glad to have her but I didn’t write the entire time she was here). And it didn’t help that I never found an accountability partner, since self-discipline isn’t my strong suit—I work much better when people are counting on me or I’m serving someone else.

It’s enough to discourage even the best of us.

This is why I’m glad it’s time for NaNoWriMo again. It’s just the kick in the pants I need. I will be writing every day this month, including weekends, and I will attend weekly write-ins. Starting is always the hardest part, so I’m hoping once the ball is rolling from NaNo that I’ll be able to keep it going the rest of the school year. If you’ve been unable to make writing a priority, I invite you to join me this November (just a few days away)!

 
Have you ever fallen off the writing wagon, or have had trouble maintaining a habit that’s important to you? How did you get back on the horse? I find I just need to forgive myself and start again wherever I am, because guilt only slows me down. What’s your method?

Shifting blog focus

A vase of tulips on a desk with a laptop

Photo via Visualhunt.

It’s been a few months since I’ve written a post for this blog. The holidays are one excuse, having young kids underfoot is another—but I’ve also struggled with the narrow focus of this blog.

I write stories. Sometimes I write articles for magazines or Web sites, but they don’t bring me the same joy that writing fiction does. I have hope that someday I’ll have my novels traditionally published, so I wanted to start building my brand image now. Hence, an author blog.

But I’m not just a writer. I have a wide array of interests and I like to talk about more than just writing! I’m also a “if you give a mouse a cookie” kind of person, who likes to latch on to a current topic of interest with zeal before suddenly switching to another.

I’d like to post about whatever I feel like writing, even if it has nothing to do with writing, reading, or the English language. I know traditional blog advice always says to stick to set topics under a specific theme, but as a person I’m not that structured. I’m going to let my blog reflect the fickleness of my true nature and see how it goes.

My current obsessions are:

  • minimalism
  • Dress Your Truth by Carol Tuttle
  • my current novel; a Cinderella retelling
  • So, you might (or might not) be seeing some posts about those, as well as anything else that’s a part of my life, such as parenting, my faith, or other hobbies. I’m sure there will still be posts about writing, too. I just don’t want to get stuck writing only about writing. There are a zillion blogs out there that are eager to teach amateurs how to write. I don’t feel the need to become an authority in that.

    How about you? What’s something that you’re obsessing over, which others may or may not understand? I’m also really loving lemon tea (tea made from lemons, rather than tea leaves), though hōjicha (roasted green tea) is still far and away my favorite. I’m also really loving rose-gold or champagne colored shoes, though I can’t seem to find any that fit my wide feet properly—I’m still looking. But I’d love to hear about what’s catching your fancy these days, so let me know in the comments!

    Pursuing writing

    Ready, set, go!

    Photo via Visualhunt.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve written for this blog, but I’ve decided to take another stab at it! This time, my focus will be tighter. I’ve written a few random posts that were loosely tied together by the common thread of my New Year’s resolution for 2015, but it still felt a little directionless.

    I’m starting over. I’ve decided to pursue my dreams of writing in earnest, so this will be my author blog. I’ve had a few things published—mostly articles and reviews—but since I haven’t published books of my own yet (just pieces included in other people’s books), I guess I’m more “writer” and less “author.” But I’ll get there. I’ve wanted to write novels since I was a teenager. I’m going to make it happen.

    My plan is to update once a week. Once that feels comfortable and I have a routine down, I’d like to post more frequently, but I’m taking this one step at a time.

    What have you attempted recently that excites you? Have you tried anything new, or something you haven’t tried in a long time?