When To Write | NaNoWriMo Prep Month

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

EVERY DAY!

But seriously, the way to win NaNoWriMo is to hit your word count every single day. Set a time and put it in your phone, planner, whatever you use to keep yourself organized.

WHAT’S YOUR NANOWRIMO GOAL?

If you want to write 50,000 words in 30 days, then you need to write 1,667 words a day. How long does it take you to write 1500 words? That probably depends on your level of inspiration during that session. I know I can’t write 1,667 words in one shot.

BREAK IT UP

I am aiming for 2,000 words a day. It’s a nice, round number and much easier to divide up. 1,000 words twice a day, 500 four times a day.

WHENEVER YOU GET THE CHANCE

Have some time between classes? Use it to get a few hundred words down. Have to sit in the car line for an hour at your kid’s school (like me…)? Perfect time to do some writing. What else can you do besides scroll mindlessly on social media? Can’t sleep at 2 am? Write. That’s usually when the best ideas strike me. Honestly, I’ve been having such vivid dreams, I may start writing about them at 2 am.

If you are going to be writing somewhere you won’t have access to your laptop or computer, make sure your device (phone, iPad, whatever) has the same program you are using on your computer. I use Google Drive and Google Docs since I’ve had so much trouble with Word losing my stuff.

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | Part One

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | Part Two | Your Writing Space

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

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Your Writing Space | NaNoWriMo Prep Month

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

Some have desks in roomy offices, well-lit and gorgeously decorated. Some curl up on the couch with a tattered blanket and a chipped mug of coffee. Still, others prefer not being in their own home. For me, I sit on my bed with a notebook and pen, and my phone. Supernatural or some other show of the week is playing in the background (currently finishing up Season 11, then 12, in preparations for Season 13).

On the days when my kids are at school or elsewhere, I sometimes like to go to the local Starbucks or Caribou (I like the coffee better at Starbucks, but the atmosphere at Caribou). Being an introvert, I don’t like leaving my house much, but I need a change of scenery every now and then.

WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR BEST WORK?

If you can hit your NaNoWriMo word count each day while sitting at your kitchen counter, awesome! Figure out where you are most productive and go there. There are countless places to write: public library, college library, the park, your backyard, coffee shop, your living room floor. Wherever is comfortable for you.

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR NANOWRIMO SUCCESS?

Gather everything you need, wherever you decide to write. Heading to the coffee shop? Remember your charger for whichever device you use, a bottle of water for when the coffee runs out (does that ever happen, though?), something to write on, any notes you have for your novel. Be prepared! Do you have a favorite candle or essential oil blend? I like the new Seattle Coffee House candle from Bath & Body Works. My favorite essential oil blend? I like Purification and Lemon. Peppy and bright!)

LIMIT DISTRACTIONS

Turn off your wifi, turn on some music or whatever helps you tune out the noise around you and get to work! If your kids are home, try to write when they are napping or at bedtime. Mine are in school most days, so that’s when I write and do my homework. When my kids are home, mom’s off electronics. Got a pet?

Read the first post in the series here

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

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NaNoWriMo Prep Month

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

Summer flew by and winter is coming! NaNoWriMo is also upon us – it will be here before you know it. Normally, I am a total pantser, meaning on November 1, I open Google Docs and start typing. I usually have no idea what my story will be about, who my characters are or the theme. I do know the genre – YA Paranormal or Supernatural FanFic. **Update: I just found a YouTube video from the amazing Rachael Stephen explaining why we shouldn’t label ourselves pansters or plotters. Go check it out!** That’s all I do. Until now. I’ve decided to start planning my story now. Why? Because I have so much going on in my life that I just don’t have time to wing it and I know I won’t hit any sort of goal without a plan.

WHAT IS NANOWRIMO?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a month-long writing challenge. The goal is to write a novel that’s 50,000 words in length. You can write other things (short stories, poetry, songs, etc) but you are considered a NaNoWriMo Rebel (but that’s cool!) I’ve participated for quite a few years. Last year, I only hit 19,000 words because I had the worst case of strep ever, and got psoriasis from it.

SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO

Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing my tips and tricks for successfully completing NaNoWriMo. True, I have never completed NaNoWriMo, but I have learned things along the way that will be helpful to both me and you (I hope!)

If you haven’t already signed up on the NaNoWriMo site, do it – it’s free and easy! We can also be writing buddies – encouraging each other to reach our goal!

MY NANOWRIMO GOAL

I am choosing to go big – 50,000 words in 30 days. It CAN be done. It HAS been done (just not by me). I’ll be breaking up my daily word count (2,000 words) into more manageable pieces, which I’ll cover in another post later on. I am also leading the Come Write In local events at the Public Library this November. So far, it’s just me. And that’s ok. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I don’t really know any other local writers.

Good luck! Get writing!

Part Two can be found here.

Part Three can be found here.

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

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How I Set Myself Up For Writing Success

Finding sufficient time to write – as a single mom and full-time student – can be challenging at best. I am often forced to get creative with my time and space. I don’t have an office, or even a desk, so having a laptop is beneficial, since it’s small and portable, as opposed to a desktop computer. I’ve thought about just getting a desktop setup but I would need the room for a desk big enough to hold a monitor, tower, keyboard and mouse. I would be chained to the desk anytime I wanted to write.

In order for me to have a successful writing session, I do a few things.

  • I look ahead in the calendar – when will my kids be gone? What do we have going on at certain times in the day? When I figure these times out, I put a note in my planner to write on those days.
  • This sounds obvious, but I make sure my devices are charged, especially my laptop, since it only holds a charge for about 15 minutes.
  • I make a short list of things I need to write (one of my many WIPs, or a blog post) and how many I want to write.
  • Once I have time blocked out (usually an hour at a time), I sit down with some ice water and peanut butter m&ms.
  • I use the timer app on my phone to keep me on task.
  • Sometimes, if I’m writing to hit a word count, I will use the NaNoWriMo Word Sprints function. (Pro tip: if you click the DARE ME button under the timer, it gives you prompts to use for your story!)

Camp NaNoWriMo has come and gone. I ended it a few days early, hitting my word count of 10,000 words around July 25th. I lowered my word count from 30,000 to 10,000 because it just wasn’t a realistic number with everything going on in my life right now. November will be here before you know it, so I’ll try again then (except my word goal will be 50,000!)

My new habit will be writing at least 500 words every day. I found a few great articles to help give you some inspiration! Jeff Goins has a 31-day challenge (not sure if it’s still going on – I never received the daily prompts – but still useful advice!) Are you a morning person (or do you want to be?) Here’s a post about getting up early to write 500 words. And also a post about what writing 500 words a day can do for you.

Get writing!!

How I Set Myself Up For Writing Success | Beth Gets Brave

 

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When You’re In A Bad Mood

When You're in a Bad Mood | Beth Gets Brave

It’s hard, day in and day out, doing the same things. Feeling the same feelings. Fighting the same battles. I used to have a really tough time getting out this hole – deep, dark, bottomless but I’ve learned some tips to make my bad days seem…not so bad.

DRINK WATER

It’s obviously the healthiest beverage choice and the cheapest. I keep a 64oz container of water in the fridge, ready to go when I need it. Staying hydrated is important anyway – but this is the best choice when you are grumpy. Caffeine makes me jittery and hurts my stomach, which doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, no matter how good it may taste at the time.

GRATITUDE

I am grateful for so much in my life. My kids. My family. My friends (it still makes me smile, writing friends. I spent many years alone.) After all that’s happened, I look back on how far I’ve come – and my kids – and remember that God used that experience to shape me into what I am now – and what I have yet to become. Sit down and make a list of everything you are grateful for today.

MUSIC

Listening to some music usually helps me feel better. I use Spotify and have certain playlists I go to when I’m feeling icky. My current favorites are the Moana soundtrack (especially Shiny) and my Christian radio playlist. Unfinished by Mandisa and Hard Love by NeedToBreathe are some really motivating ones!

EXERCISE

I hate exercise. I hate being outside. I hate being sweaty. But there’s something about moving, burning calories, that makes me feel so much better when I’m done. My current go-to is walking, but I’ve been thinking about trying yoga – I know my kids would love it – and the benefits are endless. Do you have any tips, YouTube channels or advice on how to get started with yoga, especially as someone who is not flexible at all?

MAKE A LIST

Sometimes, I make a simple to-do list, adding things like: eat breakfast, wash the dishes, take a shower. When life gets crappy, seeing even routine things crossed off a physical list can be powerful.

JOURNAL

Write it all out. Get it down on paper, or type it out on your computer or phone. It can help you sort through what’s making you so grumpy. It’s like venting to a friend. Or…

CALL SOMEONE

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Most of the time, they will be more than willing to listen and they may even have some suggestions. Bonus points if they meet with you in person. Sometimes, when you feel crappy, you don’t want to be alone.

GET A HOBBY

Find something you genuinely love to do. For me, it’s taking photos of my kids, writing YA paranormal fiction and reading through the Harry Potter series.

When all else fails, lounge on the couch and binge-watch some Parks & Rec or Supernatural. Sometimes, you just need to feel crappy for a little while. Just don’t let it go on too long!

 

When You're in a Bad Mood | Beth Gets Brave

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7 Reasons Why I Write Fiction

7 Reasons Why I Write | Beth Gets Brave

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I went from writing about the future (how I thought my life was going to go, who I was going to marry, etc) to writing paranormal YA (young adult) fiction. Yes, I realize I am 31, but I find it’s easier to write about a teenager falling in love with a supernatural being than writing about a grown woman. I may never publish anything that I write, if I finish anything at all. But I need to write.

  • it lets me escape my own reality for awhile
  • I love going back and re-reading what I’ve written, and get mad when it ends too soon (because I never finish anything…)
  • it gives me something to do in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep
  • it’s fun (most of the time)
  • I love doing NaNoWriMo (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo (April & July), even though I’ve never hit the 50,000 goal…yet…
  • it gives me a chance to improve my writing, because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not that great with grammar and following all the rules
  • I get to meet some pretty awesome writers on Twitter and Instagram. And next year, I’ll join a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin for even more support

I hope to finish at least a short story, and post it online somewhere. I hear Wattpad is a good place for new writers, especially for fan fiction (which I also write).

 

7 Reasons Why I Write | Beth Gets Brave

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My Favorite Websites for Writers 

Favorite Websites For Writers | Beth Hardinger Blog

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. Fiction is my favorite, though I have done some poetry and a few songs (way, way back in the teen years…) As it turns out, I don’t know all there is to know about writing. Shocking, I know. So when I need to look up how to write a kick-ass protagonist, or whether or not I should outline my story, I go to these sites for assistance.

Favorite Websites For Writers | Beth Hardinger Blog

Helping Writers Become Authors

If you only read a few posts from KM Weiland (the author) read the posts on the Resources page. SO MUCH amazing information for new writers!

Well-Storied

I’ve been following Kristin for a few years, back when she was She’s Novel. She recently re-branded to Well-Storied but she still has the best advice and her workbooks are very thorough and so helpful!

Bridgid Gallagher

She’s on a blog hiatus at the moment due to traveling and writing a book (seriously, go check out her Instagram!) but her blog is packed full of great tips for writers.

EA Deverell

She has one of the most comprehensive freebie libraries I have seen. All of it is GOLD!

Little Novelist

The cutest header photo and a blog with something useful in every post!

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Camp Nanowrimo July

Camp NaNoWriMo | Beth Hardinger Blog

Tomorrow is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo. Twice a year (April and July), NaNoWriMo has “Camp”, where you can work on any writing project you want. You don’t have to have a set word count, like the NaNoWriMo in November. You don’t even have to write a novel. You could write songs, poetry, edit a work-in-progress.

I will be working on a short story that I started a few months ago. I am aiming for 15,000 words (which may not qualify as a short story, but it won’t be a full-length novel, so I don’t know what else to call it.

I don’t know how much of it I will share, if anything, but I am planning on posting weekly updates all the way through July with my writing schedule and word counts.

As of today, my word count is 1,583.

Do you love writing? You should join in!

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