Introducing Project 52: **Dinners with Caroline**

Drum Roll Please…

***I am imagining you engaging in a vigorous drumroll wherever you are reading***

 

Project52DWC

 

I’ve decided to stick with the original name for this project, Dinners with Caroline. Planning this project has either gone super well or super – bleh? I have known that this is the project I wanted to work on since I started bouncing ideas off of my loved ones, but I didn’t know how I wanted to write it. After drafting the introduction posts and figuring out the format of the story posts, it became clear to me that this project was always going to be called Dinners with Caroline because there is no better name. It perfectly sums up what the content of this story covers, even though it doesn’t actually tell you, the reader, anything.

Excitement is starting to build with each day and when I happened across this color scheme by accident tonight… I just settled into a place of comfort. This project is mine and I’m not just excited, I’m not just ready – I am confident.

When my Patreon launches – one of the things you will gain access to are all of the doodles and color drafts that I put together before settling on this color scheme and font. Spoiler: I did not originally want to go for a grayscale appearance. But, I mean, it looks pretty good – despite my limited art skills. Right?

So that’s it, then.

Dinners with Caroline.

Are you ready?

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What the heck is Project 52: Title Pending?

So – if you’re here, you’ve noticed the change in my blog’s appearance and the sudden disappearance of my sidebar pages. There’s no more separation amongst my past works because I’m working on a project that will take one year to complete (maybe 13 months, if I participate in 2019’s Nanowrimo Challenge). All of my works can now be read through the “All Writing” page, which will present my stories from the most recent to the oldest (I don’t recommend reading them in that order, however, because my writing has improved over the last three years significantly).

Making that commitment is a pretty big deal – and if you read my stuff – you probably want to know more than what I’ve shared on the main page of my blog. Project 52? Title Pending? Financial Backing? January 2019? That’s a lot of information that is really vague.

In response to those silent questions you’re not asking me, I’m going to give you three more bits of information about what this project is going to look like and what I’m hoping to accomplish with it.

1. 52 Weeks, 12/13 Months – Regular Posting!

With this new project, it is my plan to post every week. Weekly stories work best for the kind of life I am leading right now, and I felt the most fulfilled with my writing when it was cohesive, as I was doing when I abruptly stopped my “Writing the World” project. My plan with this project is for every post to belong to the same universe and the same characters. This project will follow the same two characters from the beginning to the end with a plot.

Right now, I’m looking at six posts per month. There will be a weekly story that you can read in the format that you would expect, however, there will be biweekly posts as well that are meant to read as transcripts. It will be similar to that of a script for a film or television show, or perhaps a hearing in court. I don’t want to explain much further because it could give away the specifics, and we’re not close enough to January 2019 for that level of hype yet.

I’m committed to this project and have already started planning the “introduction posts” that will premiere the main characters and hook readers into their stories. The excitement I feel is scary awesome and I simply cannot wait to share this story with you! It is going to be so much fun to create!

2. Love & Loss

Without giving too much away, this project is going to deal with grief, primarily, and the healing power of love when a loss has been suffered. Death is something that has always plagued my life, it seems, and with my father having passed away earlier this year, this is a topic that keeps popping up in everything I write – this struggle of loss.

Loss can be experienced in many different ways, of course, and it’s a feeling that everyone can relate to in some way. We as a people lose things that we love, lose things that we care about, and that makes my potential audience very large. I like that idea because I want to craft characters that people can read about and “see” in the mirror. Good storytelling always comes back to good characters, and good characters make readers keep reading.

As for the romantic aspect of the story, while it will be a secondary plot, I have always believed that love heals. Finding the love you have in the world, be it something you love doing, or someone loving you, or loving someone else, it gives you something to hold on to and enjoy. Finding love can be the difference between falling apart when grief is overwhelming or rising above and wielding that grief to achieve more in your life. It is my intention to showcase that in this project.

3. Financial Backing for Creators

I watch a lot of YouTube because I am broke. I don’t want cable, but I couldn’t afford it even if I wanted it. My television is cheap, cheap, cheap. Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll, YouTube, Prime TV – free or cheap. As such, I watch a good number of YouTuber’s content that is heavily paid for and sponsored through Patreon.

Many people in my life have done Kickstarters to fund a project or get a project started. Other people have utilized GoFundMe to raise money for families and organizations in need where I live and work. These platforms give people and companies with good intentions who have befallen hard times an opportunity to succeed.

And, despite my continuously saying that we’re fine, we can afford to just scoot by until I’m traditionally published, that’s – just – not – true. I’m going to breaking my back to keep this schedule, which is fine, but I’m ready for my writing to support me. For this reason – I’ve got a Patreon account set up and waiting for the launch day to arrive. I haven’t decided if I’ll launch the week before I roll my project out or a week after some of the content has come out, but it’ll be launched.

The idea is that if Project 52 grows and captures the hearts of readers, then maybe I’ll be able to go back to working one job – and then maybe I’ll be able to do this full time! Writing and working from home will allow me to more efficiently and effectively pursue traditional publishing for my Nanowrimo novels, and create a brand that includes ALL OF US, since, at the end of the day, I write so that we can feel connected. If I relate to this, and you relate to this, then we have found our common ground. It brings us together and puts us on a level playing field in this crazy arena we call ‘life.’

With any luck, the Patreon won’t scare anyone off, and will also, maybe, hopefully, work…

Thanks for reading this update, thanks for being here. I’ll share more sometime next week to talk more about what I want to accomplish with this project and why I think it matters enough to be read by others. Until then, please remember

You are loved.

Yours always,

 

–ab

A Love Letter to My Best Friend

Dear Best Friend (Ouranose),

I owe you a love letter – not even just because it’s on the prize list we were keeping for Nanowrimo. You are a good friend and very much a part of our little family. Since I don’t know how to write a proper “love” letter – I’m just going to say a lot of nice things because I think that’s pretty close to what I want to do here.

I LOVE THAT…

You are always willing to try new things, even if it scares you. I know that you probably do not feel that you’ve been doing this super well but listen – since I’ve known you, you’ve done a bunch of big deal things that you wouldn’t have done when I first met (interviewed) you. Note, these things are not in chronological order, it’s just a list of things as I remember them.

  1. You moved to [that one city] to help a friend even though you knew you weren’t ready and even though the plans for that move fell completely through. It wasn’t at all what you first described, but even knowing that, you did it anyway.
  2. You joined a fanfiction writing competition at my request even though you weren’t super confident in your writing. In addition to that, you’d never written that much or that often before and it was going to be difficult with your work hours. You still did it and you stuck with it for a couple of months! You grew so much as a writer, I couldn’t believe it!
  3. You did Coursera writing classes with me and shared your work with me even though you weren’t even sure if you liked writing or art more. You had no idea whether you were good enough or how you were going to stack up to my writing. I know it scared you but you came and you tried week after week for MONTHS! Four long months, actually. (We still technically have one class and a “cornerstone” project to do to finish that venture, but it’s not a big deal – we just did NANOWRIMO… Speaking of…)
  4. You participated in Nanowrimo 2018 after I asked if you would be interested! I had asked in 2017 but I don’t think you were ready at the time and so you declined, saying that “maybe next year” would work for you. For weeks you were nervous about it, questioning which project you wanted to do (Sci-fi or Fantasy) and doubted daily throughout November whether you had enough content or a decent enough story to even make it to 50,000 words – but here you are! You wrote **more** than 50K and are still adding to your word count. I know you’re disappointed that you didn’t finish your novel but you WON your first year. You know that you can do it. This is is your turning point – there’s no falling down after this.
  5. You challenged yourself on your own to start a writing blog and write every single day for a month. It was a brand new story every day for the month of October 2018. AND YOU DID IT! That means you did two months back-to-back of writing every single day. That’s wild, do you realize? You wrote SO MUCH – and you got better day after day, week after week, and MONTH AFTER MONTH. I’m so beyond proud of you. More than anyone, you deserve this break for December.
  6. You applied for the job you have now even though the doubts you had about it were longer than the reasons you needed the job. Still, you applied, and you followed through, and now you’re thinking of different ways to do this job well. Excitement is bubbling beneath the surface, more so than your worry, and it’s beautiful to see you that way.
  7. You scheduled that friend date that one time and you were going to go with that person for sure. You were ready and panicked, but ready. Yes, it was a relief when it got canceled, but that doesn’t change that you were committed. Sometimes, just being willing to take a risk and go outside of your comfort zone is amazing. You’re such a brave person.

I LOVE THAT…

You are growing into your sense of self. Over the last couple of years, you’ve started to recognize unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy relationships. You’re starting to make changes in your life so that you can succeed and sticking by the things you know to be true in you. Writing is a part of the life you want to live, mental stability and strong friendships are things that you want to enjoy, and this means making hard decisions. You’ve been making hard decisions for a long time and the stress of that is finally starting to pay off.

I LOVE THAT…

You fit so perfectly into our little family. It’s hard to find friends in people who don’t have children, and most of my other friendships with folks who didn’t have kids came to a halt. They don’t understand the prioritization of a parent and so there ends up being this inexplicable breakdown between these other people and me, leaving me stuck with parent friends that I can’t always relate to. But you not only treat my son like another friend and as an equal, but he’s come to love you as an older sister. I never have to worry that my being a mom is a burden to our friendship because it’s almost an important dynamic of our friendship. My husband loves you, my son loves you, and I love you too.

I LOVE THAT…

We have so much in common??? I didn’t even think I could have a friend that is so good to me and also so much like me. We’re both cynical in our own ways, but we’re also both really good people with good intentions. Our super powers are that we want to help others to the greatest capacity we can afford, but we also have big dreams that sometimes collide with those goals. From innocent anime to LGBTQ+ books to crafts, we share almost every interest. I cannot believe that I’ve gone so long without having such a good friend.

I LOVE THAT…

We keep each other on track. Whenever you’re struggling, I step into my mommy-friend shoes, but you’re just as quick to do the same to me. We’re good at different things in these roles, but it complimentary to our personalities. I am what you need, and you are what I need when it comes to emotional support (and everything else, tbh). It is just another layer of that awesome, healthy friendship that we have going here.

I love you ❤

I could probably go on for days and days about what a wonderful friendship we have, and how much you mean to me, but this is supposed to be a letter. Letters shouldn’t be the length of books, so I’m going to end the post here. I hope you have realized how truly loved and appreciated you are as a person, if not no one else, at least to me.

I can’t wait to start working on our joint project together and change the world with our words (and our teamwork effort art too).

Yours always,

 

—ab

+6 Final Days (The Last 2018 Nanowrimo Update)

Only eleven minutes remained on the day, the final day. She thought couldn’t make it, that it was impossible to craft the ending this story deserved, the ending that the readers waited so long to sink their teeth into… Eyes drooped, body rebelled, heart palpitated…

But then it came, the final line, the perfect final line. The world seemed to crash to a halt, the month ending just seven minutes early as the last word tapped onto the screen and the last word count update was submitted…

Are you ready for the very last 2018 Nanowrimo season update? Because it is finally here.


 

Nanowrimo Projected Daily Projection: 1,667 words

My Actual 2018 Daily Average Writing Pace: 2,229 words

My Actual 2017 Daily Average Writing Pace: 2,036 words

Nanowrimo Projected Day 30 Final Count: 50,010 words

My Actual 2018 Day 30 Final Count: 66,882 words

My Actual 2017 Day 30 Final Count: 61,081 words

Nanowrimo Lifetime Total Word Count: 127,963 words


Week Five Hopes Recap:  Going into the final week of Nanowrimo I had a lot of things I was hoping to do, and I think I’d rather just quickly recap those things in a list – so, here’s that list: finish my novel, hit 65,000 words, and have a plan for what comes next. I’m going to touch base on these things so that I can sort of transition into the ‘less planned out’ section of this blog update.

So – I finished the novel. I don’t know how because I really didn’t want to do anything this week. I hit my 50,000 words and I am ashamed to say that I definitely was like “Yes, there’s the finish line, and also cool, there’s my bed.” Every time I tried to write I swear that I was falling apart. The last day I was really excited about writing was November 25, on which day I enacted my “selfish” side’s deepest desires, which was asking my husband to grocery shop on his own and cook half of a dinner I planned because I cook it better. It is a miracle that I actually made it to and surpassed 65,000 somewhat substantially. Most likely, my resolve to get the badge for updating 30 days in a row is the only reason that happened. I’m going throw some fun stats at the end of this post, making it a personal stats sandwich post, and I’ll say that this week is the week I saw my LOWEST word count on a day.

Oops, I accidentally did two birds with one stone there. Oh well! Moving on to that third thing… That third thing… (Please imagine that I growled the second repetition of that phrase, please, please).

I guess second-thirdly, let’s discuss the “have a plan for after” thing that I was supposed to do???? I don’t even know what I was trying to do with the construction of that sentence. The idea was to have a plan specifically for this blog to keep me posting every single week. However, the only idea for “after” Nanowrimo that I’ve come up with is this children’s book idea that I want to put together with my good bud Ouranose. I’m excited about that project but I’ve left myself on the shitter with the blog’s future.

When I post regularly here, despite the lack of readership participation on the blog, I get a solid number of views – and those views are what I need to get revenue from this venture – which is my ultimate goal: to turn my writing in a career with a sustainable income. I wish I knew why I fell so short on this. I had this idea for a new section of the blog called “suicide watch” where I would chronicle my struggle with depression and the frequency at which suicide crosses my mind. It’s normal to me but upon further discussion, I realized that it could be seen as in poor taste to some and too real to others. If I am going to address mental health, I want to do it in a powerful way that is also empowering, if that makes any sense to anyone else.

As far as this goal is concerned, I’m going to have to mark myself for failure. I still have absolutely no clue what I want to do here with the life I’m living right now. Working two jobs leaves me exhausted most days, and even in my son’s slow season of the year, I feel like there’s no time to do anything due to holidays and birthdays (I’m not kidding, everyone keeps having kids during the same half of the year and it’s birthdays upon birthdays plus Christmas – too much gift giving for my broke bank in the same four months). Finding a way to keep my blog active after Nanowrimo is going to require serious planning in December.

I did a weekly story, my Writing the World project took me through several months, and I actually stopped working on it abruptly because I didn’t have anything else planned after it. Honestly, panic set into my heart because it kept going and going and I didn’t have a real end in mind, so I think I just ignored that it was unfinished. One possibility is for me to come back and finish the series. It’s been so long now that I can’t be sure that anyone would actually read it, but I would have a sense of accomplishment just wrapping it up finally.

Doing a weekly story is probably the best option I have, but I don’t know what to write about specifically. Adventures? Mysteries? A mental health diary? Romance? Retelling fairy tales in a more realistic and modern fashion? Horror? Should I continue rewriting and sharing old pieces? I have a teenage romance I wrote many, many years ago titled “Healed by Christmas” in which I had tried to post a section of the story every day leading up to Christmas – to make the vibe of the story more impactful and for the reader to be “on” the journey with the characters.

There are so many options and I really need a brainstorm session with someone. Getting these ideas out of my mouth somehow always helps me get a “mouth feel” for what I’m working on. If I can’t talk about it then what makes me think I’m ready to commit to it? I’ll figure something out.


Nanowrimo 2018 Recap: The plan is for this to be really short, I think. You’ve been reading about my brain stuff all month and I’m sure that you’re over it. But, I do think it’s important to reflect a bit on what this month has given me as a person.

Confidence: I have never been surer of what I wanted to do that I have been this month. There was a distinct lack of self-doubt this year. Other than one day where I completely broke because I couldn’t let go of the fact that one of my other friends participating was so far ahead of me that I would never be able to catch up. It was stupid to feel that way, of course, because writing means something different to us. I’m not writing to prove something to someone or to myself. My years of experience, my publications, my ghostwriting work, it’s work that I do – it’s a thing that I do because I don’t have anything left to prove. I don’t know why I wanted to prove to that person or myself that I’m just as good. That’s so childish and beneath me, and once I stopped having a mental breakdown about it, I was ready to get back into that good place I’m always living in with my relationship to this thing that I do.

Companionship: The first year I did this, I did it with someone I thought was a friend. That’s the dangerous thing about the Internet, though, is you can have this good friendship with someone – but it’s not “real” good. It’s just a friendship that is good because it is convenient. I put too much effort into that person who ultimately was friends with me because she thought she was better than me – and complained about me to everyone who would listen to her. Today, I can’t believe I ever fell into that trap of thinking that just because we both liked to write that we could really be friends with nothing else in common.

In comparison to that terrible experience (and triumphant one, she ended up quitting after she got so far ahead of me, thinking, probably, that I couldn’t catch up), this year has given me friends that love writing as much as I do, even if differently. It has given me camaraderie that I cannot deny has made writing more FUN. Being able to soundboard with people who care about my work and care about me is delightful. How did I go 27 years without having healthy friendships? I’m thankful for the two women who have shared in this adventure with me, and I’m proud of them for joining me in the winner’s circle where they belong.

Joy: When you fight yourself daily about whether you’re making the right choices for your family, for the kids you take care of, for the family you’re a part of – finding joy in the thing you actually love is a task so hard that people who aren’t mentally ill could never understand. Depression is a war that wins no matter which side takes the victory because you’re sad and disappointed regardless. Being happy and looking forward to writing days, even when I would have rathered to commit some form of graphic suicide because I was drowning in my own lack of serotonin (imagine drowning in something that doesn’t exist for the majority of your life – suffocating on nothing, but suffocating nonetheless). No matter how awful I felt, I was excited for the three days I dedicated to writing with my best friend.

Resolve: I’ve always been a very dedicated woman. I have this weird defect in my brain where I hate being told I can’t do something. Realistically, it is probably a form of ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), but it’s always propelled me into my customized sense of success. Knowing that there are people who remember high school freshman me talking about being a published author are somewhere out there, wondering if I ever did it, is something that pushes me forward a lot. This year, one thing that kept coming back to me was the quiet reminder that there are also people out there who are thinking that I never could do it, that I’m not good enough. Fuck those people, really.

This year I finished the duology I first imagined in 2014 – finally finished. Yes, I need to edit; yes, I need to query agents; yes, I need to get it on the market before I can really tally my win here; but also – YES, it is written.


Let’s just abruptly stop there because I could write for years about writing. What a nesting doll syndrome we have here. I am going to post these ending stats that I think will be really fun to see because it’ll give you a glimpse into my Nanowrimo 2018 journey. So – here’s that stuff? I guess?


Week One Total Written Words:
November 1 – November 3
7,076 words

Week Two Total Written Words:
November 4 – November 10
13,098 words

Week Three Total Written Words:
November 11 – November 17
18,128 words

Week Four Total Written Words:
November 18 – November 24
17,823 words

Week Five Total Written Words:
November 25 – November 30
10,757 words


Highest Daily Word Count: 7,868 words on November 16th
Not only did this make a new personal high day for word count for me, but ironically the 2017 High for me was 7,457 on November 17th – so there was something very poetic about making a new personal high day one day earlier than last year.

Lowest Daily Word Count: 233 words on November 28th
There’s no special to actually say about this because I had a few 0 days in Nanowrimo 2017’s season. Before this day, however, my low had been just ten words higher at 243 on November 9th.

Number of Days Over 1,667 Words: 14 Days
The total number of words written in those 14 days is 53,391.

Number of Days Under 1,667 Words: 16 Days
The total number of words written in those 16 days is 13,491.

Number of Days Over 5,000 Words: 3 Days
The total number of words written in those 3 days is 20,347.

Number of Days Under 1,000 Words: 11 Days
The total number of words written in those 11 days is 5,527.


Looking at those stats, I think it reflects my life pretty well. I technically won Nanowrimo in just 14 days. Two weeks! But working those two jobs really put me at a disadvantage. However, it also shows that those days where I wrote next to nothing really added up. It helped me every day get closer to my goal of winning – and closer to finishing this novel. Numbers have a scary way of being just as powerful as words – and numbers about words?

Be still my beating heart.

Anyway, this is the end of this massive post. I just want to say thank you to anyone and everyone who has been reading these updates. My appreciation of you goes beyond numbers and words, and I hope that you stick around for whatever next looks like for this blog. This year has given me invaluable and intangible things that I needed to become even more as a writer.

Drop a comment, click the like/heart button – if you have time and if you want. I know that we don’t all want to show how much we enjoy something with words. I’m just glad that you’re here at all.

And on that very final note: you are loved.

–ab

Another +7 Days of Nanowrimo Update

Another week bites the dust, tss, Another week bites the dust.

This week has been really fantastic, but I suppose that’s because I got to play pretend that I was a professional writer by spending all my holiday days off working on my novel tucked away in my office. It’s back to grind tomorrow, squeezing in what I can in the evenings after work. I’ve got my work cut out for me this week if I want to actually finish the manuscript, but more on that later.

For now – let’s review this last full week of Nanowrimo in another recap post:


 

Week Two:  November 18th – November 24th

Nanowrimo Week Four Projection:  40,008 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)

Word Goal:   55,000

Word Count Achieved:  56,125

One thing I learned:  I am so fast. There were several days this week that my writer bud Ouranose and I were in my office, lounging and writing in pathetic 30 spurts throughout 8-hour work sessions. But let me you what – I can really type when I’m inspired. Also, you have no idea how much better you feel about your novel when you can brainstorm with someone you love and trust. Having Ouranose has made my Nano experience this year so much healthier, and I hope that I’ve helped make it a positive experience from her too. But, yeah, this week, I found out that I can really power through my word count without realizing it. Yesterday I wrote 4,908 and I don’t even really remember doing it because it was just in like 400-600 word spurts from like 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. That’s only about 1,200 words/hour, but that was wild and exciting. I love when I’m able to just power over a mountain of words like it’s nothing.

One thing I want to improve on for Week 5:  I hope I don’t get caught up on the ending. I changed the ending of this novel at least four times that I can recall, and it is a sequel that I’ve been mentally planning for a year, so I’m sure there were many other endings that I considered in the past that are long gone with the wind now. I worry a lot about how the story is going to end and whether or not I’ve represented a group of people or a type of person well enough, and if the ending I’m giving those characters is positive or negative. Obviously, bad characters should have a negative ending, but what about the positive characters. I keep tripping up on it and changing it and that’s going to slow me down a BUNCH, especially since my husband is going back to school this week. I won’t have much time to begin with for writing, really only three of the six more nights where I’ll have scheduled time for undisturbed writing. It’ll be okay, though, that’s what I keep telling myself. I won’t get distracted and I’ll get what I need to get done done because I do my best work when I’m under pressure.

One thing I did really well:  This week I did a fantastic job of balance my planning on paper to my actual writing time. Other than one day this week, I hit a decent amount of words each day (over 1,000 generally, and four of the days were over 3,000). There was a nice pace between jotting out my ideas, soundboarding my writer pal, and piecing the scenes together. Since I hit 50,000 words early, though, I think having the weight of winning off my shoulders helped a bunch too. I didn’t lose my momentum after I won, though, which is another thing I was proud of this week.

Week Four Hopes, Recap: Last week I declared that I would be winning Nanowrimo’s challenge this week, and I did, so that was fantastic. I purchased my winner’s tee, got my banner and icon up declaring myself a winner, and I kept going a little bit past my target word count for the week. Any extra writing during Week 4 just lowered what I’m aiming for in Week 5. All in all, it was a great week. Hands down the best week of Nanowrimo this year!

Week Five Hopes:  Here’s where the hard work comes in because I have a lot of goals here that I want to accomplish. First, I want to finish my novel. This is the most important of the goals because come December 1st – it’s family time. I gotta get back into the proper rhythm of cooking four nights a week, as I usually do during the school year since my husband is taking college classes for work. I’ll have to go back to being the primary housekeeper and running all of the errands. December is my husband’s relax month since he gives me everything I need to succeed in November. So that novel – it’s gonna be donezo November 30th.

Secondly, I want to hit 65,000 as the drafted word count of my manuscript. Being 9,000-ish away from that goal with 5 more sections to write, I don’t see it being a problem. But it is not a “necessity goal” since i could finish my novel before that point depending on how the scenes flow. It’s an ideal goal but not a mandatory one. Although, I feel I’ll surpass it with what I’ve still got left to write. Then thirdly, I’m wanting to update my word count all 30 days of November. I’m being a completionist this year, and I missed it last year by only a few days. That’s not going to happen again. So that’s something I need to keep on top of this week as I finish out the month.

And lastly, I need to have a plan for what comes next. I don’t know that this is reasonable for me to expect of myself, but I’m trying. I’ve considered utilizing crowdfunding resources to help me work towards a writing career. I’ve got some loose ideas for maybe a Kickstarter or a Patreon, plus the idea of traditional publishing still on my shoulders. But, I’m ready, you know, to really start pushing in this direction. In everything I do, I ask myself if I’ll be able to keep writing if this happens or if this changes, I can’t waste any more of my life with this being a third “for fun” job that I don’t’ get paid to do. I’ve done some ghostwriting on Upwork that I’ve been paid to do, but I need and I want more than that. So, hopefully, during this week I’ll start having more concrete ideas of where to go post-Nanowrimo.

Week Five Goal:  8,875 (Small, but I am only aiming to hit 65,000 by Friday night)

Nanowrimo Week Four Projection:  50,010 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish on time)


 

You guys don’t comment very often, and that’s fine, but I can only succeed at my job if I’m getting you excited and engaged in the stuff I’m doing. Instead of sharing what you’re doing with Nanowrimo, let’s throw that mantra out the window. Why don’t you tell me what I would need to do to get you active in the comment section? I want there to be a conversation and enthusiasm from readers that like any of my posts, be it a blog update like this or a writing piece posted in my fiction section. Let me know so that I can start working in that direction.

As always, thanks for joining me in my brain space today. There’s so much going on and I’m thankful for such a successful week. While I did the work, many of my family members, namely my husband and son, have given me the environment for success. You can help too by liking this post, sharing it with a friend, or commenting below. Until the next update, remember – you are worth it.

 

Love forever.

–ab

+7 More Days of Nanowrimo

It is so wild to think that I’ve completed 17 full days of Nanowrimo! Having good friends like Ouranose & Notnotnerdygirl be supportive and encouraging throughout this process, no matter where we are in this awesome writing challenge has made this year’s participation nothing shy of life-changing. As I’m hitting a good stride and making massive progress these past two days, I’m really excited about the second half of this month and all that it will bring.

And on that note – here’s my third week of Nanowrimo Recap post:


 

Week Two:  November 11th – November 17th

Nanowrimo Week One Projection:  28,339 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)

Word Goal:   35,000

Word Count Achieved:  38,302

One thing I learned:  Part of me wants to say that I didn’t learn anything, nothing that I didn’t already know. This week was one of re-learning and re-discovering the things that I’m capable of doing. When it comes right down to it – I know I work well under pressure. But I’ve also found that I work harder in the presence of good company. I am eternally grateful and humbled that Ouranose has chosen to participate this year with me, especially since I know that this is both harder and more necessary for her. What a wild journey this must be for her, and to take it with me – what was she thinking?

This week, it became wildly clear to me that having friends who are passionate about the things that you are passionate about makes a huge difference in how hard you work at something. But better even than that is having friends who are passionate about the things you are creating. Ouranose is my biggest fan and one of my biggest inspirations. And when I need a dose of clarity, Notnotnerdygirl is always willing to soundboard and help work through the muddied details of a confusing aspect of the story creating process.

Good friends that care as so necessary to one’s success.

One thing I want to improve on for Week 4:  There’s so much that I need to work on, realistically, that I could write an entire post for just this section. I get easily discouraged, and this week was no exception. Time management during Nanowrimo is essential to succeed and I swear that my brain goes to mush in this regard on November 1st. I can write more and accomplish more than I have in a shorter amount of time, but November comes and it’s like my brain forgets every logical thing about utilizing my time effectively.

It’s so silly, too, since I know that if I set my mind to it, I could write 3,000 words in an hour. It shouldn’t be difficult to get 8,000 words in one day, but there I was this week – losing my marbles because I didn’t manage 8,000 words in one day. I was only 132 words away, which I think made the matter worse, and I was angry. It mind head, I was convinced that I failed because it was such a small margin. I should’ve attained it.

Anyway, dear future self – just use your time more wisely. You’ll do amazing things, future self. I promise.

One thing I did really well:  This week I was way better about planning before writing. I’ve been taking the breaks I schedule in between sprints to jot down the next three or four sections of my story. It ends up working beautifully, too, because I come up with things to write in between those sections once I get going, so I’ve been able to maximize my word count without having to have a mental breakdown about where to take my story. It’s been a nice movement for my work and my brain. Unf, and a much-needed improvement!

Week Three Hopes, Recap: Last week I had declared that I was hoping to blow my word count goal out of the water. I wish I’d considered what the number would look like for that goal, but I guess we all have to make mistakes like this at some point. My goal had been for 35,000 and I hit 38,302 by 11:59 PM last night. To some people, a 3,302 increase to the goal is one sit-down of writing, and not really a blowout. To others, to the people who are struggling for the 1,667, or are only averaging 2,500 a day, this might be a TON of extra writing. I guess it can be up to you whether it was a blowout or not.

But for me, for now, I surpassed the goal Nanowrimo sets for the 17-day mark by almost 10,000 words, and then also my own goal by over 3,000. It’s a win no matter how you think of it, and I’m proud of that.

Week Four Hopes:  This coming week is going to be super interesting. I have a tone of time off of work for the American holiday of Thanksgiving. It’s more time off than we’ve had in the past, and I’m just in awe of the amount of time that I have ahead of me to do the writing that I want to do! And, really, it’s writing that I need to do if I want to hit my personal goal of 65,000 by November 30th.

This week, I’m planning to “win” Nanowrimo by the end of the week. It is my hope that I don’t lose sight of my goal and slow down. I can’t stop just because I’ve got a winner’s banner and an invitation to purchase my winner’s tee. No. I have to keep powering through because winning is fifteen thousand more words than this challenge is asking of me. I can’t lose my pace just because I’ve hit 50K.

We’ll see how I do, won’t we?

Week Two Goal:  16,698 (I want to hit 55,000 by the end of the week)

Nanowrimo Week Four Projection:  40,008 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)


 

As always, share your Nanowrimo experiences from this year! Comment about anything writing related, seriously! I don’t bite and I love to have a conversation with a writing enthusiast. Gimme them good, good quotes that keep you motivated, share the playlist that keeps your spirits high and be sure to drop a like or hit the share button to help show others that Nanowrimo – it’s not scary.

Thanks for reading all my brain space stuff, I know it’s probably weird for you. Maybe someday I can share in your brain space stuff too.

Much love.

–ab

+7 Days Completed of Nanowrimo

My buddy Ouranose, who is participating in Nanowrimo with me this year, should be updating her blog soon about her first full week of writing in Nanowrimo. We are planning to do weekly updates on our progress to reflect on what it’s like to do this, and maybe help others who are hesitant to participate see that it’s really quite wonderful. Every writer should do Nanowrimo at least once. You learn a lot about your writing, and you’ll learn just as much about yourself too.

So – here goes nothing – my second week of Nanowrimo Recap:


 

Week Two:  November 4th – November 10th

Nanowrimo Week One Projection:  16,670 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)

Word Goal:   19,826

Word Count Achieved:  20,174

One thing I learned:  I just need to talk things out loud with someone I trust when I’m getting lost in my story. Since I’ve been throwing my original timeline of events out the window, I’ve found I am hitting walls hard when I need to switch character perspectives. Thankfully, Ouranose has been delightful in letting me soundboard off her constantly.

I also found that between last year and this year, I’m writing way more in a sitting that I was last year. I’m a fast typer and when I know what I’m writing, I can do a few thousand words in one hour. However, with the changing directions constantly nature of my writing this year, I’ve felt slowed down. This is in, in part, due to the fact that I’ve been trying to do one-hour sprints like I did last year – last year when I wrote everything exactly the way I planned it. This year, I’ve switched to half-hour sprints because I’m so tired and busy, and I’m finding that I can actually do better. So instead of doing one-hour sprints for this month, it’s going to be thirty-minute chunks with high word count goals.

One thing I want to improve on for Week 2:  Much like last week, I keep getting into this unhealthy mindset that because people are further along than me that they are better than me. I actively know this is not true. The confidence I have in my novel is kind of ridiculous, but I know that it is something that I want to read and that others will surely enjoy. At one point this week I had a massive meltdown due to personal issues at home and actually was going to quit and destroy whatever friendships with writers I had, which was a wildly childish thing to say I was going to do because, at the end of the day, I’m a writer.

I can’t be anything else. I just am this thing – writing is what I do.

One thing I did really well:  I think I did a fantastic job of hitting ‘AHA’ moment after ‘AHA’ moment in my writing this week. After I had my early week meltdown, it’s been one puzzle piece pushing together with another, making this story weave itself into this beautiful tapestry. Ideas swarm my mind constantly, and to squish my writing process into 30 days rather than 60 or 90-day chunks, it helps me see those cogs working again, and I’m always proud of the stuff I can do. I’m glad that I continued creating at the expectation I have for myself this week, and I look forward to the stuff I can put together next week.

Week Two Hopes, Recap:  Last week I declared that I wanted to write every day, even when it was hard to do so, and then to continue adjusting to the scenarios with which I would be faced throughout the week. It was really difficult to write every day because this was a week that I knew would be unforgiving. However, that said, I did end up writing every single day: 3,331 (Sun), 1,654 (Mon), 499 (Tues), 513 (Wed), 586 (Thur), 243 (Fri), and 6,332 (Sat).

I didn’t write a ton every day, especially when the target word count is 1,667 every day to finish on time. However, there are days where I can sit down and power through with high word counts. Saturday’s word count is the second highest word count I’ve hard between last year and this year, which proves that I need only have the time to write. Even if it is just 15 minutes, even just one or two words is better than zero. I was happy to get my “10 Day” update badge on the website, as I had lost it last year because I forgot to keep track of the time and didn’t get updated before midnight. None of that will be happening this year. None – of – it.

And I’ve already said that I did really well adapting throughout the week. It was one of the things that I did way better at than I expected. It was nice being able to, once over that massive depressive hump, just work on what I wanted to work on and write this story that I care about so much.

Week Three Hopes:  This week should be easier in terms of getting my writing done. I only have a couple of things going on in the week that will get in the way of what would usually be my standard writing times. If I have to hope for something this week, it’s just the ability to blow my target word count out of the water. In order to do that, however, I know that I’ll need to sit down and sketch out the amended timeline I’m working on so that I’m not going into each writing sprint blind. The goal for Nanowrimo is only 50,000 but I want to hit 65,000 myself. I did 61,000 last year, so the ideal is that I will improve this year. The circumstances are not the same, but I know I’m talented enough to make it happen. So, yea, it’s one of those challenges that sounds easy on paper but is far less so to apply. Looking forward to it 😉

Week Two Goal:  14,815 (I want to hit 35,000 by the end of the week)

Nanowrimo Week One Projection:  28,339 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)


 

Please, I urge you to share any Nanowrimo experiences you’ve had this year, or share your hesitations about participating. You can ask for advice, give advice, whatever have you! Quotes, thoughts, anything, I want you to feel engaged and like there is a community here. Though, if you just drop a like, I get it, cause I’m pretty shy too. You are loved, you are appreciated, and we are warrior together in this crazy story we call ‘life.’

Thanks for stopping by my silly blog.

–ab