Combating My Writing Slump By Handwriting (Camp NaNoWriMo Update #3)

Hello folks! It’s Monday, which means I’m back with another update on my writing.

If you do not know, I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and challenging myself to write more this month. Originally my goal was 20,000 words, but that seems impossible now. In hopes to still “win” this Camp I’ve halved my goal to 10,000 words. To be honest, I’m not sure I will even reach that.

Currently, I’m at 2,597 words. I was only able to write 775 words this week, which is a small step-up from 0. There is only a week left in Camp and it will be a struggle to finish, but I’m hoping to get my shit together. I’ve finally found a way to combat this awful writing slump and that is hand writing.

That’s right, I’m writing the old fashioned way with a pen and paper. It’s something that I do occasionally if I’m stuck or without a computer. It seems like such a small and simple thing, but it really helps! I’ve crafted a small list as to why I think that is.

5 Reasons Why Handwriting
Helps Get You Out of a Slump

1. Handwriting Prevents Distractions

Whenever I’m in a writing slump, I subconsciously find ways to distract myself from writing. It’s extremely easy to do that on the computer with the internet being a click away. I know there are programs that block social media sites and the internet. However, technically the internet is still right there even if you can’t see use it. That is not the case when it comes to handwriting. It’s just you, your pen, and the blank notebook page in front of you waiting to be filled up with words. By not having these distractions you can strictly focus on writing and getting words down on the page.

2. You Will Not Fall Down a Self-Edit Writing Hole

It’s easy to find yourself in a self-editing craze, where you spend an hour on getting a paragraph exactly right. The backspace button makes it easy to rethink a sentence while you’re typing it. Self-editing along the way can be useful, but too much of it can prevent you from making progress on the first draft of WIP. Your first draft is really about getting your ideas down on the page. It’s harder to self-edit as you go when you hand write, which allows you to maximize your writing time. You will get a chance to edit your writing when you type your handwritten stuff up on the computer. I find that I edit more productively when I do this and my writing benefits from it.

3. Your Brain Can Think Things Through

Handwriting can be slow. While this can be seen as a con, as it prevents you from getting all of your thoughts out quickly, it can help you think through things easier. The “slowness” gives you time to collect your thoughts and figure out how you want the words to come out. It really helps me because I often don’t know how exactly I want to say something. I can self-edit a sentence to death, but handwriting helps me focus on exactly what I want to say. It makes me compartmentalize my thoughts, which makes it easier to work through my problems.

4. The Method is Calming

Okay, so this one might just be me, but there is something about physically handwriting that is calming. Sometimes I get anxious about my writing, especially when I’ve written like a sentence on Word and have no idea where to go from there. I find a rhythm with handwriting that makes it easier to go with the flow and see what happens. If I don’t like what I’ve written, I can always rewrite it when I eventually type it up on the computer.

5. Your Creative Juices Start Flowing

I don’t know what exactly it is about handwriting, but it never fails to get my creative juices flowing. If I had to give an explanation, I’d say it is a combination of the things I’ve already talked about and the freedom handwriting gives you. You don’t need to stick to a format or structure. My thoughts often come out jumbled. Sometimes I write a sentence that works so much better in a later paragraph. In a word document I’d have to copy and paste it, but in my notebook I can draw an arrow where I want things to go. Also you can doodle, make small notes, and just have fun with your writing.

Those are the five reasons why I think that handwriting is super helpful. It always helps me when I struggle with a section and has never failed to get me to write more. Most of the words I wrote this week were handwritten first. I plan to do some more of it this week, as I try to reach my goal.

If you’re in a writing slump, I definitely recommend giving it a go. It’s helped me and I know that it helps other writers too. I mean, what have you got to lose?

That’s it for this week’s writing update. The next time we chat about writing, it will be the end of Camp NaNoWriMo. Wish me luck as I try to write 7,403 words this week. How is your writing going? What is your preferred method of writing? Do you think handwriting helps you? Let’s chat down in the comment section below.

Camp NaNoWriMo Week #2 Update: The Week I Failed Miserably

I contemplated not updating you all on my writing this week, because I failed miserably with my goals. However, the point of these writing updates is so that you, my awesome readers, can hold me accountable for moments like this. Writing contains both ups and downs, so it would be unfair of me to only blog about my successes. The struggles are as much apart of the process as the progress, and man did I struggle this week.

I wish that I could tell you that I accomplished one out of the three goals that I set for myself last week, but I can’t. I failed on all three accounts. I wasn’t able to complete a full scene, that’s how bad it was guys! The week took me by surprise and I ended up being way busier than I expected to be, which meant no writing. I really need to get better at scheduling time for writing in crazy weeks like this.

With 14 days left to go this Camp, I don’t think I will be meeting my original goal of 20,000 words. I’m thinking about shortening my goal to 10,000 or 15,000 words. Those are word counts I could potentially still reach and it would be nice to win Camp (even though I’m sort of cheating).

As for this week, I’m planning on writing as much as I can. It would be nice if I could write 5,000 words, but since last week’s goals didn’t really work out for me, I have decided to be more relaxed this week. I’m hoping that with a little less pressure, I will write more. I’m still trying to figure out a process that works for me, hopefully this week’s plan works.

The hardest part about this failed week is that I’m feeling very down about my writing. I constantly beat myself up for not writing, which only effects my mood and does not motivate me to sit down to write. It is only making me fall deeper into a writing slump and I’m worried I’ll never break out of it. I wish I could just snap my fingers and be out of this slump. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that or at least it doesn’t work like that for me. That being said, I refuse to give into my negative thoughts and work on being productive once again.

How is your writing going? I hope a lot better than mine! If you have any tips on getting out of writing slumps, I would love to hear them! Clearly, I need the help. If you’re also in a writing slump, let’s complain about it together. Maybe one of us will motivate the other. 

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week #1 Update!

Alright so technically it’s been more than a week since Camp NaNoWriMo started, but these past 10 days have been insane for me! I’ve been crazy busy with life. I think that is in part due to the fact that the first four days of July I was away for the holiday. When I came back I was overloaded with plans, so I only ended up writing two out of the nine days that have passed.

I wish that I could say I’ve wrote a lot in those two days, but my word count sits at 1,255. That leaves 18,745 words to go, which frankly sounds daunting. I’ve only got 22 days left to write, so I really need to get it together.

On the bright side, I was able to finish the scene I’ve been stuck on for the past month. While it will need a ton of work in the editing phase, it feels so good to be done with it! I can finally start fresh on a new scene and new character dynamic. Hopefully this will get me out of my writing slump, so that I can be extremely productive the rest of the month.

To be more productive this coming week, I have decided to set weekly writing goals for myself. I’m sharing them with you so that you can hold me accountable for them or at least try to.


Weekly Writing Goals

1. Finish Two Scenes 

Okay, so I know that this doesn’t sound like a ton of writing, but I have a feeling that these next two scenes are gonna be rough for me. My outline for the chapter that I’m currently working on is a little sparse. I know the basic idea I want to get across for each scene, but the details are fuzzy. I am still sort of in a writing slump, so I have no idea how hard it will be to write these upcoming scenes. All that matters is that I get them done. If it takes the full week, it will take the full week.

The good news is that once I finish them I will be done with this chapter. The next chapter is something that I’ve been looking forward to writing since I came up with this story. I have outlined it in such detail that I know it will be much easier to write. The fact that I am so close to it will hopefully push me to actually finishing the chapter I am currently working on.

2. Write 5,000 Words

I’m setting the bar low this week so that I don’t feel the pressure. This is a reasonable goal and one that I can definitely meet by next Monday. I know that the next couple of scenes are going to be rough, so I’d rather take my time with figuring them out and not worry about writing ‘x’ amount of words each day. I will be able to make up the difference when I am working on the stuff I’m really excited about.

3. Find One Hour To Write Each Day

One of my biggest problems last week was my inability to set aside time for writing. I would tell myself that I will write later, and later never came. By setting a specific time each day to work on my novel I hope to be more productive and write more. I’m not going to make it the same time every day, because my schedule is all over the place. To prevent myself from going back to my old habits, I will be figuring out a set time in the morning and sticking to it. If this doesn’t work I can always switch it up next week.


Those are all of the goals I can think of for this week. Maybe I’ll get a little more creative next week, but this week is all about finishing this god damn chapter. You don’t understand how much I can’t wait for it to be done.

In other news, I’ve sent a good chunk of my novel to my friend Will to review. Will is my fellow writing buddy, except he’s a whole lot better at it than I am. My novel has a lot of weird and quirky stuff in it that I personally love, but I’m not sure how it will read to someone who is not me. I told Will basically nothing, and am getting his first reactions. It is so nerve wracking, because this thing is like my baby in a way. So far he’s read my long ass intro and the first chapter. While he is giving me some constructive notes, he is loving some of my favorite lines and I think is getting the concept. We’ll see what he has to say when he finishes all that I have sent him.

Check-in next week for another writing update! I will be posting them on Mondays around this time. Wish me luck this week! If you’re also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo let me know how these past 9 days have gone for you. Did you struggle? Are things going really well? What goals have you set for yourself this week? Let’s talk about all things writing down in the comment section below. 

 

 

Writing Goals for the Summer |Camp NaNoWriMo Round 2|

I’ve been a bad writer…My productively level has gone way down these past two months. I really have not written much in the past two months. I think it has been a combination of my busy schedule and laziness. Since the summer is officially upon us, I figured that it’s time that I actually get back into my writing. What better way to do that then participate in Camp NaNoWriMo again?

If you are unaware, Camp NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge put on by the same people who run National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Camp is held in April and July, and you can work on whatever project that you want. It does not have to be a novel, and you can set your own goals for the month.

I participated in April’s Camp and while I failed in completing my writing goal for the month, I ended up writing a little over 12,000 words. This may not seem a big accomplishment for some people, but I think it was the most I’ve ever written in a month. It was also the most productive writing month I’ve had in a while. Even though I technically didn’t “win” Camp, I felt really accomplished. This July though, I’m hoping to accomplish a little more.

One of my goals for this month’s Camp is to actually reach my writing goal, which is 20,000 words. If you do the math that is roughly 645 words a day. It’s totally manageable even with my busy schedule. Or at least I hope it is. In order to accomplish this, I plan to overshoot the first week. I know that I will inevitably miss a day, so getting ahead will prevent me from getting too far behind.

The other goal that I have for the month is to keep up with this blog. In April, I definitely neglected my book blog in order to try and keep up with my word count. I don’t want to do that this time, because I really enjoy writing this blog, and interacting with all of you! I don’t want to let you guys down with my lack of posts. My plan to keep up here on WordPress is to set aside blog writing time, and pre-schedule as many posts as I can. Hopefully, it works. Thankfully, typing up my thoughts on books is a lot easier than writing my novel.

Those are really my only writing goals for the month. The project that I am working on for Camp is my novel. I don’t feel like going into it too much now. You can read my other “Becky Writes Stuff” posts to learn more about it (though I am still vague so nobody steals my ideas). I’m so close to what I’m calling my reevaluating point, and I really hope that I can get there this month. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly how many words it will take me. Maybe it’s 20,000 words. Maybe it’s more or less. It would actually be hilarious if I hit my reevaluating point before 20,000 words. If that happens, I have no idea what I’m gonna do (aside from celebrate). Only time will tell, I guess.

Do you have any writing goals for this summer? Are you also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Let me know down in the comment section below. Also let me know if you would be interested in reading weekly check-ins from me? I definitely plan on doing a post summarizing my experience, but beyond that I’m still undecided. Until then, wish me luck! 

Writers Block Sucks Ass!

Happy Friday everyone! I thought it would be a good time to update you on my writing progress, or rather lack there of. After having a pretty successful writing month last April, I was hoping to also be super productive in May. Unfortunately, I’ve come down with the worst case of writer’s block ever!

Writer’s block is a curse that keeps coming back to haunt me. I have yet to find a good way to cope with it. Usually I avoid writing for a while, then come up with a new idea and work on that instead. Eventually I find my way back to the original thing I was working on. That could take anywhere from 1 to 8 months. I’m literally the worst when writer’s block hits me.

I think this dreaded curse has found me again for a few reasons. The first is that I have been quite busy lately and I think I’ve spread myself a little too thin. When I find time to write, I am so tired that all I want to do is watch TV, read, or sleep. Another reason is that I’ve gotten to scenes that I haven’t thought much about. I’ve only got 1 really figured out. The 1.5 are definitely vaguer in my mind.

The main reason writer’s block has found me again is definitely due to the current scene I’m working on. It has drastically changed from my original outline and has been throwing me off. The 2 characters the scene revolves around are 2 of my favorites, so it’s surprising and frustrating that I can’t get through it. I think what is hard is figuring out their slightly weird relationship to each other. They’re sort of friends, but one character is slowly subconsciously falling for the other. This is the start of that happening and I’m struggling with how exactly to play it.

Thankfully, I think I’ve made a break through. However, I can feel the writer’s block lingering and want it to just disappear.

Have any of you guys experienced writer’s block before? How do you typically get over it? Any tips for this is welcome. The only one that has worked for me is to find what isn’t working and fix it so I can move on. Any new tips are welcome, since I clearly need better ways to cope. 

Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up (April 2017)

When I originally signed up to do Camp NaNoWriMo and set my goal to 25,000 words, I did not think it would be too challenging. I could totally write 25,000 words in a month! It would be a piece of cake. After completing Week 1 of the challenge, I immediately knew that this was going to be SO much harder than I thought.

Last time I checked in with you guys it was the end of Week 1. I had written a total of 4,583 words and knew that I was about to get far behind thanks to my trip to Boston. After I came back, I tried and failed to catch up. So I decided to knock 5,000 words off of my original goal and go for 20,000 words instead. It sounded way more doable, right?

My lazy ass kept pushing off writing and soon it was the last week and I had 10,000 words left to write. Some crazy part of me thought that I could do it. I started writing like crazy that week. I wrote during my lunch hour and every moment that I could. I purposefully did not write blog posts, knowing that I should be using that writing time to write my novel. Unfortunately, I never did catch up to either of my goals.

I wish I could tell you that I came really close to 20,000 words, but I didn’t. I did end up with more than half that though. My final word count was 12,197. While not 20,000 or 25,000 words, I’m still super proud of all the writing I did get done in April. It is probably the most I’ve ever written in a month to be honest.

If you break those 12,197 words down, I completed a total of 5 scenes and started a 6th. I only have 2 and a half more scenes to finish before I reach one of my most anticipated chapters yet! After that chapter, I have one more and then I’m at my re-evaluating/halfway point (which is probably a little more than halfway when I think about it). The end is in sight guys! Something that I have never been able to say. It makes me so excited, and I feel so accomplished. Who cares if I didn’t technically “win,” I’m still counting myself as a winner.

This writing challenge has taught me so much. I’ve learned that I need to find time to write every day. Even if that means writing during my lunch hour or my commute home from the train. If/When I get stuck, all I need to do is sit down with a pen and paper and work through it. When in doubt, get into the character’s brain. Don’t worry so much about the problems, I can fix them later. I also have fallen in love again with my characters again. God, they are just so cool and my favorite one just keeps switching.

I’m so glad that I challenged myself in April. It has really paid off and has inspired me to write just as much, if not more, this month. I have about 52,675 words written overall for my novel, which is insane when I think about it! Now that I can see my re-evaluating point, my goal for this month is to actually get there. Something that is completely doable!

I also am planning on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again in July. Not sure what the project will be. I’ll let you know when I get there. For now my focus is still my novel, that I’m still so proud of even if I end up being the only one who wants to read something crazy like this.

If you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, what was your final word count? Did you complete you goal? If not, don’t sweat it! You still wrote something and you should be proud of yourself for that. I sure am. Let’s talk about our experiences down in the comments below.

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Update #1

So it’s been a week since Camp NanoWriMo started. What?! I can’t believe a full week has gone by. To be honest, I’m both surprised at how quickly the week flew by and by the progress I made. So far I’ve written a total of 4,583 words. My goal is 25,000. A little behind, but I’m determined to catch up.

The hardest part is definitely sitting down to write. This past week I have been super busy and getting myself to sit down in my chair and write is difficult. Once I’m in the chair, I’m productive. I’m proud that I have ignored distractions once I’m at my computer with the document pulled up.

I think one of the main reasons I’m so productive once I’m in the chair is the fact that I’m using a slow computer. I’m staying at my grandma’s to watch her cat, and I’ve been using their set-up as I don’t currently have a laptop. I have a really nice desktop iMac at home. It’s only downside is the fact that it isn’t portable. The internet is slow which makes me focus on the document with my story itself. I’m a little worried that once I switch back things will change. I hope they won’t. Maybe the writing practices I’ve developed at my grandma’s will still stick.

I’m not surprised to see that I am behind in my goal. It’s only going to get worse as I’m about to go away for the weekend. I really need to invest in a laptop since I travel so much. Originally, I was going to try to get ahead of myself but that obviously failed. I’m not trying to beat myself too much over this fact, as I have made progress! I have finished a chapter and am more than halfway through the next. Considering I used to finish a section a week, this is definitely an improvement.

Another thing I am enjoying is my characters. I’m finally getting to scenes that I’ve dreamed of getting to very soon. For instance, after I finish the scene I’m currently one I get to write one I’m SUPER EXCITED FOR! It’s where two of my characters sort of become friends. They eventually become lovers and this scene mirrors one towards the end where we get a confession. You don’t understand how long I’ve waited to write this! I’m all about the moments between this too.

Don’t let my love for the next scene diminish the one I’m currently working on. This one is so much fun too. It features my male lead being really awkward which I love because he’s usually confidant and tough. This side doesn’t come out very often. Plus he’s hilarious.

Week 1 is officially over! Anyone else have trouble with finding time to write? Whether it be a blog post or the project you’re working on for Camp NaNoWriMo. Let’s chat down below.