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.

WWW Wednesday (July 19, 2017)

Welcome back to another WWW Wednesday! While I had a terrible writing week, my reading wasn’t so bad. I mean it could have been better, but I’m not complaining.

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the 3 questions. Let’s get into it!


What Are You Currently Reading?

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare — It shouldn’t be a surprise that I am still City of Heavenly Firereading this massive book. I’m about 200 pages in and still have 500 more pages to go. This is the final book in The Mortal Instruments series and it’s shaping up to be an action packed one. I am so afraid for my beloved characters, so very afraid! Especially since something has already happened to one of them! This is a spoiler free post, so I’m not going to say exactly what happened or who it happened to. If you’ve read the book, you may have an idea what I’m talking about. Regardless, this thing that happened came out of nowhere and I was not expecting it! There would have been shouting had I not been so confused. God help me with the rest of this book!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — This was July’s Book of the Month for my A darker shade of magicbook club. We had our meeting early because one of members is traveling to Europe. It would be kind of awkward without her seeing as how my book club only has three people in it, including myself. It was a book that we all ended up enjoying!

This was my first time reading a book by this beloved author, and I can see why so many people love her writing. While I thought some things were a little too wrapped up at the end, I definitely liked it. I enjoyed exploring the other Londons, and hope that in the future books we get to see more of the worlds the plot spent less time in. All I want is more and I have so many unanswered questions! Clearly, I need to pick up the second book in the near future. (Rating: 4/5 Stars)

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

I believe in a thing called love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo — Last week I talked about wanting to read a contemporary next, and I have finally settled on one. I picked I Believe in a Thing Called Love, because I have a feeling that there will be lots of crying when I finish City of Heavenly Fire and I’m gonna need a break from the crying. A cute YA contemporary romance will be just what the doctor ordered.

 

 


Those are my reading plans for the week. I’m hoping that I will be able to finish City of Heavenly Fire before next Wednesday, but the size is definitely scaring me right now. Wish me luck!

Let me know down in the comments what you are reading? I’d love to know what books are on your mind this week. Also let me know if you have read any of the books that I talked about. 

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. 

WWW Wednesday (July 12th, 2017)

July has started off with a bang, and I’m having a pretty good reading month so far! All I want to do is talk about the books that I am reading, so what better way to do that than participate in WWW Wednesday.

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the 3 (W) questions. Let’s get into it!


What Are You Currently Reading?

I just started two books. One I’m reading during my commute and the other is my “before bed” book.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — I’m trying this new thing where I start myA darker shade of magic book club’s book of month early as opposed to waiting until the last minute. Also after hearing all of the hype surrounding this book (and series), I was dying to read it!

This is the first book in the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. You’ve most likely heard of it. The reason I’m so excited to read it is because our main character can travel between parallel universes using magic. I love that idea and I’m interested to see what happens. I’m only about 50 pages in and I’m definitely enjoying it. It took me a few pages to get used to the world, like any book, but now that I have a better handle on things I am definitely enjoying myself. I’m excited to see where the story goes, because right now I have no idea what kind of adventure I’m in for.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare — I am FINALLY getting to this book. I feel like I’ve been talking about reading the final book in The Mortal Instruments series forever. Now that I’ve finally gotten my hands on a copy of this book, it’s going down.

City of Heavenly FireLike A Darker Shade of Magic, I am only like 50ish pages in. It’s nice to see Jace back being himself, sort of. I’m not annoyed or confused by him, so that’s a plus! I also really enjoyed the prologue that introduced Emma Carstairs, who is our lead in The Dark Artifices series. She seems really cool, so I’m pumped to learn more about her and her friends.

I’m still very afraid of what’s going to happen in this finale. For that reason I’m reading a little before bed each night, so that I can take my time with it. I have a feeling this might get me in trouble as I could not put down the last finale book I read by Clare, Clockwork Princess. We’ll see what happens.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blare — HOLY CRAP! This book had me so hooked and IThree dark crowns can’t even with the ending! I was not expecting for this to completely blow me away, but it did. It was almost as if it was a fantasy book tailored to me, as it had so many qualities that I love in books. We get a true ensemble cast as there are so many characters, and each has a part to play. I loved all of the different perspectives, because you got to see how big events in the book were interpreted by all of the different characters. It definitely added another layer and complexity to the already interesting plot. Also, I loved seeing a matriarch society portrayed.

I absolutely LOVED this book. If you’re someone who enjoys a complex plot, an ensemble cast, and morally grey characters you should definitely pick this up. Someone needs to give me the sequel right now!

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

I am not entirely sure, but I know that I definitely want to read a contemporary next. I’ve been reading so much fantasy recently that it’s time for a change-up. Here are the two options I’m considering.

thirteen reasons why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher — I started this book in May, then DNF’d it because I did not have the time to read it. I also had to return it to the library, so yeah. My friend Kim loaned me her copy thankfully, so I have the book in my possession once again. I just need to read this book soon, because I’ve been dying to watch the TV series and talk about adaptations on this blog. To talk about adaptations, I actually need to read/watch some material.

 

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo — It’s summer and I have yet to I believe in a thing called loveread a cute YA contemporary. Obviously this needs to change, and fast! This book seems like the perfect one for me to read, because our main character, Desi, uses the tropes of K Dramas to get the man she’s crushing on. I have not seen a ton of K Dramas, but I’ve loved the ones that I have seen and plan to watch more! Also, Desi’s awkwardness with boys reminds me a little too much of my own. I will be definitely getting to this book soon, it’s just a matter of when.

 

 


That’s where I’m at reading wise this week. I am going upstate this weekend to the country, which hopefully means there will be more reading in my future. I’m really trying to make July my best reading month yet, we’ll see how that goes.

Let me know down in the comments what you are reading? I’d love to know what books are on your mind this week. Also, let me know which book you think that I should pick up next, because I am torn. 

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. 

 

 

Bookish Personality Challenge

I’ve seen this tag go around and always thought it was super cool. One of my best friends, Will, is OBSESSED with MBTI and personality quizzes. He talks about it so much that I have been subject to many a quiz and know a lot about the different types. I wouldn’t call myself obsessed or an expert by any means, but I did get into a 30 minute conversation with him trying to figure out exactly which type my other best friend was. Needless to say I was pretty excited to be tagged by Bella over at Bella Blogs Because Books for this challenge. It’ll definitely be interesting to view my personality in a bookish sense.

What is Your MBTI Personality Type?

Okay, so I’ve taken this test before and done some research on the whole MBTI thing thanks to my friend Will. Previously, I’ve gotten INFP, “The Mediator,” but this time when I took the quiz I got ENFP “The Campaigner.” Here’s what the website has to say about both:

Mediator Personality — Mediator personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Mediator personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.

Campaigner Personality  — The Campaigner personality is a true free spirit. They are often the life of the party, but unlike types in the Explorer Role group, Campaigners are less interested in the sheer excitement and pleasure of the moment than they are in enjoying the social and emotional connections they make with others. Charming, independent, energetic and compassionate, the 7% of the population that they comprise can certainly be felt in any crowd.

I find it hilarious that I got ENFP as my result this time, because literally every other time I’ve taken this quiz I’ve gotten INFP. The Campaigner Personality type is the only other type in the Myers Briggs world that I really relate to. It makes total sense because the cognitive functions that make up ENFP and INFP are the same, just in a different order.

Even though the test classified me as ENFP, I am 98% sure that I am an INFP. Not only do I relate more to the Mediator Personality than the Campaigner Personality, but when you get down to the nitty gritty details and how my cognitive functions align, I’m definitely an INFP.

It is pretty common knowledge that tests can be inaccurate and are not reliable. They ask highly theoretically and nonsensical questions that are subject to personal bias. Also it does not take into account cognitive functions and types you by which traits you most relate too. I think part of the reasons I got ENFP over INFP this time is because I am usually very down the middle when it comes to my introverted percentage and extroverted percentage. Most people classify themselves as an Introvert or an Extrovert, but I consider myself an Ambivert, because I have qualities of both. I definitely tend to lean slightly more introverted, which is why when I previously took the test it gave me INFP. However, this time my answers were more in line with extroverted, because I’m in a go out and do stuff mood.

Will, the self-proclaimed expert, says that these tests are a good jumping off points. To get an idea of where you might fall, you can take the test at https://www.16personalities.com/. To really know exactly which type you are you should research cognitive functions. This article by Heidi Priebe is also excellent.

What is Your Personality Like?

I am someone who when you first meet is a little quiet and reserved, but as I get comfortable my weird/crazy side comes out. However, if I’m with friends or in a place I already feel comfortable in you might see my crazy weird side first. Usually I like to sit back and observe, before jumping into a conversation with someone. Like I said earlier, I am an ambivert. I enjoy going out and meeting new people, and experiencing things. However, I also need/like my alone time to recharge from some of my more crazier weekends.

I’m weird, I’m awkward, I’m random, I’m adventurous, I’m a dreamer, I’m someone who likes to think they’re funny, and someone who is usually unafraid to be my quirky self. I don’t know what else to say!

If You Were a Character in a Book, What Would Be Some of Your Character Strengths and Flaws?

Funny story, I’m writing a book and there is a character who is based on myself, so I sort of have legit answers to this question.

Strengths: I’m loyal to a fault and will do anything to help my friends and family. I also try to see the best in people, and bring light to a bad situation through either humor or looking on the bright side. I’m also smart, good at problem solving, and all that jazz.

Weaknesses: I have a bad tendency to overthink everything, which causes me to freak myself out. I am bad at confronting people who I’m having issues with. Sometimes I care too much about what other people think.

Do Any Authors Share Your Personality Type?

Some famous authors include William Shakespeare, Hans Christian Anderson, George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Orwell, Edgar Allan Poe, C. S. Lewis, and Homer.

What Fictional Characters Share Your Personality Type?

Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Juliet and Romeo from Romeo and Juliet (good to know never to date someone like myself, because we might end up killing ourselves in the end), Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre, Anne from Anne of Green Gables, and Bella Swan and Jasper Hale from Twilight.

If You Were a Character in a Book, What Job Would You Have?

Okay, so I’d want to be a spy or a thief in a crew, because I just have such a fascination with these stories. However, I’d probably be either some sort of writer/blogger/actress/creative person or an administrative assistant. However, I would be the assistant who knows everything and basically runs the show (because I’m a badass).

What Personality Type Would Complete Your OTP?

According to MBTI my natural partner is either an ENFJ, The Protagonist, or ESFJ, The Consul.

Who Are Some Fictional Characters That Would Complete Your OTP?

Among the Disney Princes I’ve got Prince Phillip (ENFJ) and Hercules (ESFJ), which I can’t complain about. I literally screamed when I saw Hercules on the list, because I love Herc. Peeta Melark from The Hunger Games apparently also could be my soulmate.


That was the last question and all I’ve got for you this time. Thanks again Bella for tagging me in this challenge, I had a ton of fun!

It seems like a ton of us book bloggers are INFPs which is really cool, and makes sense. We’re all sort of cute cinnamon rolls who can’t handle our feels so we blog about them.

What is your Meyers Briggs Type? Let me know down below! Seriously, I’m a huge nerd and would love to know. If you do not know your Meyers Briggs Type and are curious to find out take the quiz! Also, I highly recommend following that up with some research on cognitive functions. It is very useful in typing yourself, especially if you wind up getting a personality type you don’t relate too.