Making Writing a Habit (or, How I Have Failed At It)

I have to give a round of applause to the people who have made writing something that they do everyday, even with full time jobs, kids, dogs, other hobbies, etc.

Every month I create my new planner spread and tell myself I’ll write just 5,000 words this month. Then I write zero.

When a big writing event comes around, and I know have support and people checking in on me, I write, but the last few years, it hasn’t been as much as I would like to. I’m mostly referring to NaNoWriMo. Last November, even with my students cheering me on, I got just 13,000 words in. Now I am so extremely proud of those 13,000 words, and they’re the beginning of a project that I am SOO SO SO passionate about.

I’ve spent the last month really planning out how to make this the best thing I’ve ever written. I feel like I have a huge opportunity with this novel and I want to do it justice.

Step one to doing it justice:

I NEED TO FINISH IT.

I’m on summer break, so I set the measly goal for myself to finish this novel. I’m at about 15,000 words. I can see it going to about 75,000, but I’m not dead set on a certain word count.

I’m one week into summer vacation, and I’ve written ZERO.

I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo for July, but part of me is recognizing that my lazy self will probably not write anything until July 1st now, and if that happens, I won’t finish this this summer.

Writing is not a habit for me. My habits are watching Food Network and obsessively checking Facebook. I wish my habits could be working out, eating right, and writing, but alas.

I know I can correct this on my own. It’s as easy as just WRITING EVERYDAY.

But since it took me two hours to even write this, I guess that means I’ll start tomorrow. (and hence, my issue ha…)

If you make writing a daily (or almost daily) habit on top of the rest of your life, kudos to you. I aspire to be you. I have 8 weeks left of my vacation to change my habits before real life (teaching 7th graders) comes back around again.

Wish me well! (or tell me your secrets!)

Eight Week Challenge: Update 5

the caffeinated writer

The closer the end of this challenge comes, the faster it goes.

And the faster the challenge goes, IT MEANS IT’S ALMOST TIME TO LEAVE.

We’ve got 3 weeks left of the eight week challenge, which means I’ve got 3 weeks left at work, and just 4 weeks left of Virginia living. I’m already starting to miss out the view from my back patio:

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Photo credit: ME

So how has my challenge progressed this week? Well, no better than the last few weeks it appears. Let’s break it down.


Continue reading

Long Time, No Post

Outback

Good morning, friends. And thank you.

You stuck with me even during a tumultuous 2-week hiatus in which I made excuses for myself, got so much dental work done, and started really considering what my future holds for me.

So to update, I wrote a total of 147 words during Camp NaNoWriMo. That same feeling washed over me on day 1 as it did last year, where I had built up too much excitement it seems for the novel I’d been planning to write. And then when the first day came along, it all washed away. I was stoked to write I Should’ve Eloped. But I think in postponing the wedding, all the anger I held towards planning the damn thing washed away too. Continue reading

Writing About Your Life

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(I’m not writing an one, but) I’m not quite sure I understand how people can write autobiographies about their life (probably redundant, but whatever).

Like how do you know what’s important? What people care about? What “scenes” from the days you were on Earth move along some sort of narrative that you’ve felt was important enough to share with everyone?

I’m having a hard time with my Camp novel this month. I mean, I wrote the first 149 words (milestone, woo!) and now I’m having a hard time writing the next batch of them. I did some very minor planning: a very basic list of important events that should probably be covered, but then I wonder if maybe some of them aren’t really integral to the storyline.  Continue reading

4 Days Left! Time to Go to Camp!

Participant 2016 - Web Banner

Are you signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo? There’s still time!

I’m super thrilled about my project this go around. I will NOT be completely winging it like I did in November (because Cover Up is a MESS), plus I’m getting in some good therapeutic writing.

72387_10154021204002641_3686270217819729306_n.jpgThankfully, since the day I somewhat angrily came up with this brilliant idea for a novel, things are sooo much calmer. My wine consumption has returned to normal (like I did NOT try to drink red wine out of a chocolate easter bunny like the Internet suggested – even though I had both a hollow chocolate bunny AND a bottle of red wine at home).

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We’re super focused on saving money now and trying to figure out what the next step is career-wise for me. Cue existential crisis, but I had one yesterday so we don’t need to do that again today. Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo April ’16

YALL.

Don’t ever plan a wedding. If you get engaged, go to the courthouse and get married, and then have a backyard barbecue or something.

The stress of wedding planning has finally made the inevitable happen. We’re postponing our wedding date. I can’t plan a wedding from afar. It’s just so stressful.

And it really just crept up on everyone. We had an 18-month engagement, and we all still somehow managed to put off everything until 4 months before the big day. If you do have a wedding, pro tip: DON’T DO THAT.

Through the midst of making this decision, I decided that I needed to creatively get all of the stress out. Pushing this back by 4-5 months is such a relief, but now I need to put it all down on paper.

HENCE – MY CAMP NANOWRIMO PROJECT

I Should've Gotten Eloped (1).jpg

Here’s the description I wrote on my personal Facebook:

“My next writing project is a creative “non”fiction satire about how terribly I feel about wedding planning. It will be hilarious and sad and hilarious. No promises that I don’t drink wine while writing it too. I’ve drank so much lately.”

We’ve talked about using writing as therapy (and coffee too) and I’m finally going to use it as an outlet for all this craziness.

I don’t have a legit synopsis to share just yet, but I’m working on some planning-type things now so I’ll share that with the world once I’ve figured it out.

Gosh this is going to be a fun one to write.


Here’s a link to my camper profile. Are YOU taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this year?