Recap of NaNoWriMo 2013!

I’m not a writer.  Goodness, no, I’m not a writer. When I signed up for my third year of NaNoWriMo in mid October, I knew that.  I don’t plan on publishing what I write, ever.  So, people ask me why I do it? Its probably for the same reasons that I blog. Its my creative outlet and aside from the stressful last few days when I have no idea HOW I can manage to crank out x thousands of words, I look back and I’ve learned a lot.

NaNoWriMo this year was actually pretty surprising.  I’ve never really looked back at the process but this year my goal was to be disciplined and to stay as on track as possible.  The first 10 days actually faired pretty well.  I had been burned out from work on November 1st but I still managed to almost reach my first 1,667 at the end of the day.  I slipped behind by a day and held onto that.  My issue was preparing for my weekend away and the actual trip took away a lot of my time and after that, it was a game of catch up. Then I made the horrible decision of watching TV series and then I lost my focus. I mean it went from 5,000 words then 10,000 words behind in the week that followed.

Going in this last week was hard.  I wanted to give up with everything in life happening at the same time.  But, I reminded myself that I can still get back on track.. I did it last year with even less word count. So I sat down, pulled out my notebook and took a section to brainstorm the next few things I wanted to happen in my novel.  Those things got me through the 10,000 words, then I took another timeout to outline the connections and possible crossings that could happen and there you go, ideas came flowing back to me. Stress, of course came at the same rate but I averaged about 3000 – 4000 words a night in the past few nights.  It wouldn’t be enough to make it but at least, the last day was on a Saturday and I can just sit and write and write and write. It didn’t exactly turn out that way and you’ll see why soon enough but I did spend the evening doing that 🙂

Reality was, by Friday  morning, I was exhausted and tired and with about 11,000 words left to write in two days and getting about 4 hours of sleep every night, I wasn’t sure how to approach it anymore.  Should I quit? Go on? Its funny how things happen.  My mom’s never really interferes in what I do regarding blogging and writing.  She just observes but when I started talking about it, she looked at me, and I swear she genuinely just wanted to ask me why I put myself through this crazy thing because she didn’t understand. Its funny. Thinking about it now, its been a while that I’ve answered anything with such certainty about what I do. So, what did I answer her, you ask? I told her that it was once a year that I reminded myself that I can put all my heart and energy into something, focus on it and with a fair amount of hard work, make it to the end.  It reassures me of what I can achieve. Most things in life takes time to happen even if we keep working at it but this reminds me that even if I don’t see the results now, it’ll come around eventually 🙂 The most important part is to at least start it.

Maybe that little bit meant nothing to you but to me, suddenly that whole vision of the next two days being impossible to happen actually went away. I realized why for the majority of it, I was so calm because I remembered that.  I was doing this to learn from the experience, whether I won or not wasn’t so important.  But I also value finishing what I start so if it means overdosing on some green tea and opening my eyes with a toothpick and gluing my butt to the chair for 10 hours straight, I’m going to do it.  Last year I did 40,000, whats 10,000 in 2 days, right?

Everyone has their reasons for doing (or not doing) NaNoWriMo.  Writing should be fun and the point of NaNoWriMo is not necessary that we have to pass the 50,000 but its to try your best to start something and hopefully finish it.  You’re already a winner if you did that.  Maybe there is no badge and maybe I didn’t reach my word count and I don’t get to buy the winner T-shirt but in my heart, I learned from what I experienced during these past 30 days and thats what counts.

2013 nanowrimo winner banner

BUT, wait, all hypothetical here because you know what? At around 11:35pm, I managed to validate my *very flawed* romance novel for a total word count of 51,048.

2013 nanowrimo stats

I really would like that one time where its not up to almost the last minute.  Good thing is that I am very proud to say that I’m actually excited to edit this one because I know that I have more stuff to add in and a whole lot of corrections and goodness, where did I put that thesaurus?

For now, I’m going to take a break and get back into some reading. I’ve missed my books SO MUCH! Especially that half-read Ender’s Game sitting at the corner of my night table crying out to me every night…

Remember to check back for the December announcements and updates 🙂 I’m aiming to get it out later today, if not, latest would be Monday morning.

Have an awesome Sunday everyone! You all rock because despite the schedule slowing down over here, you all still came and gave me support.  The likes, comments, follows all made my day when I thought my stats were going to drop.  Talk about warming my heart, that says it right there.  I give a virtual hug to everyone of you because you are all awesome! Remember that 🙂

 

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Adapting to a New Pace & Attending a Book Launch!

Nanowrimo has started for a week now.  Surprisingly, a lot of my life has been consumed with it.  I can’t help but to be drowning in my own story.

On Thursday, I had a moment walking to work where my mind was still waking up and I found myself feeling like my character in my story.  Weird feeling, ladies and gents.  I pulled myself out pretty quickly but thats what happens when you have to cough up 1666 words a night, I guess. I usually aim for more.  It also marked the first day I had to stand on the way home and scribble in the upright position while balancing myself.  Probably didn’t look too elegant 😉 Still extremely efficient.  That fell apart when Friday came around and I was a full day behind and haven’t been able to catch up.  Right after this post, thats what I’ll be doing until I pass out from fatigue.  The pacing is alright in my book. With almost 12,000 words in the bank,I’m already pretty proud of myself especially since I’m using this Nanowrimo to experiment with some new stuff: a new genre (*ahem* romance) and third person narration (usually I just do first person).  Challenges all around! Another update next week!

Plus, I have my whole workout challenges that I’ve set in place and those will be more in detail on Monday’s post 🙂

One of the highlights of this week (and maybe a bit sad and cold realization) is that winter is sneaking its chilly arms into Montreal.  Snow is expected soon and its been getting cold.  Even the first of my Christmas cactus have started blooming.

White Christmas Cactus

White Christmas Cactus

I probably sounded like a crazy lady when I leaned over and had a heart to heart conversation with it about how they were blooming a bit too early.  Christmas is more than a month away, no? But then, the only witness was my cat looking at me through the plants by the window.  Although her main focus wasn’t me, which has lead us to focus a lot on bird-watching.  I actually say in one week, the abundant robins but also, one Blue Jay and an red cardinal. I haven’t seen one of those in so many years.  Imagine my excitement!

Bird!

Bird!

Another from last weekend that I forgot to mention in the last personal update was that I made another batch of those awesome Peanut-BETTER Gingersnaps! That recipe just total rules! If you missed it before, check it out HERE! This time, I made it for the Halloween party and I believe I made the best batch so far.  They were the perfect size and shape 🙂

Peanut-BETTER Gingersnaps

Peanut-BETTER Gingersnaps

There was another reason why my word count dropped on Friday.  I tried to write as much as I could but I was out pretty much from right after work till midnight with my best friend.  We went for a delicious dinner at our normal hangout, Les 3 Brasseurs and shared a pitcher of Sangria. Those look even nicer in the pitcher than in a glass. Plus, I finally had my fix of BBQ ribs that I’ve been wanting to eat forever!

Sangria

Les 3 Brasseurs Sangria!

Les 3 Brasseurs Ribs

Ribs! Yummy!

After that, we made a late decision to go do some long-awaited karaoke just the two of us! I did make some recording but I’m a tad shy to post it up.  So if you ask, maybe I’ll put it up in a separate post, or I’ll whip something up at home, of course, my system is not as awesome but I do have the gear. 🙂 It was really fun and thats what counts!

I ALWAYS leave the best news for last, right? You already know from the title but I attended a book launch this afternoon of an awesome girl friend that I’ve mentioned on multiple occasion and also a dear blogger, Day’s Lee! She did her official book launch for her young adult novel, Guitar Hero at a cute little bookstore called Babar Bookstore in Pointe-Claire.

Guitar Hero Day's Lee

Her books, Guitar Hero on display on top of a fireplace

Signing books for attendees of her launch :)

Signing books for attendees of her launch 🙂

The food table :)

The food table 🙂

Day’s offered us some very delicious snacks and in addition, she made the almond cookies.  They are pretty awesome. She actually posted up the recipe the other day, check it out HERE if you want to give it a shot! There’s no milk in almond cookies so I could have it. YAY! You rule Day’s! 🙂

My own signed copy! :)

My own signed copy! 🙂

I’m all for supporting my friends plus Day’s is my inspiration (she probably doesn’t know that).  She reminds me that no matter how hard it is, its perfectly okay to pick up our courage and follow our dreams.  A huge congrats to Day’s! I’m going to review the book in December (in case you were wondering).  I’ve already read it once before it was released last year but I’m not sure if she fixed anything, so I’m going to read it a second time.  I urge you to give it a shot.  Show her some love! 🙂 

This week has been pretty eventful.  Since I’ve taken up enough of your time (and well, my novel is calling out to me), I’m going to leave you with some music that I’ve loved this week!

Who is tempted to watch some Pirates of the Caribbean now, eh? 😉

This is my thoughts right now!

dont you dare give up

If you want some more reading, I actually wrote a post about something similar to encourage my writing in Nanowrimo the first year, it helps me till now (not so much the first time).  Its right HERE! These 300 reminds me to keep going!

Have a great rest of the weekend! 🙂