camp nanowrimo

30 Days of NaNoWriMo

As I mentioned in the Camp NaNoWriMo Winner post, I’m still missing the last 8 days in my 30 days writing adventure (see 7 Days, 14 Days, and 22 Days of NaNoWriMo for the previous days). Well, here they are!

  • Day #23: If you pretend you’ve just started writing, would it become easier?

The main issue with WriMo, at least for myself, is how the whole thing become excruciating the longer you’re doing. The start is easier because you’re excited, you have an idea you feel great about, it feels like sunshine and rainbows. But as you dwell deeper and deeper into the story and spend more and more time writing, you feel the need to put it aside. Yet the whole point is not to do that, so whatcha gonna do?

  • Day #24: Just 1 week left… Which sounds like torture, considering I’ve been doing this for 3 weeks.

It. Does. Not. Get. Better. You’d think being near the end and reaching your goal should give you the mythical boost you so need right about now. Maybe you’re too far away from the end? Yeah, last-minute boosts are more like your thing, but you can’t really complete the 30K words on the last day.

  • Day #25: Mercy, mercy! Just shoot me already.

Chinese water torture has nothing on monthly writing months. I feel like Dolores Umbridge’s sitting next to me, chuckling at the sight of horror I’m in while attempting to catch up with my word count. Except the word count’s not my issue, but the inability to move beyond some plot points. The failure to continue writing the story I wanted to tell.

  • Day #26: What was I supposed to be writing about?

By now my brain has probably gone into retirement and I’m more zombie than human. I can’t think, I can’t function, but we’ve got just a few days left and somehow I’m still typing. I say typing because I’m not sure the stuff that’s coming up on the screen can be considered writing.

  • Day #27: If no one wants to shoot me, I’ll just start breaking stuff.

If you believe I’m joking, that’s some serious wishful thinking. When you spend a month doing heavy writing you start feeling like the Hulk. Enraged, full with strength you want to throw around at any chance you find. Starting from the not-so-lovely place you used for writing in the first place.

  • Day #28: Don’t stop the music writing. 

Maybe if you drink another bucket of coffee and stay up all night you’ll get ahead of your goal in a single day. Or maybe you’ll put yourself in a coma and sleep through next year’s writing months. Both options sound appealing so you give it a go.

  • Day #29: I CAN FREAKING DO THIS!!

Since validation can ultimately be done on the last day at latest, the 30th is never that important for me. My goal is being prepared for that day, so that I’m not frantically trying to come up with crap just to finish the whole event before the last minute clocks out. It also lets me enjoy that last day with joy and gratitude while looking back at what I’ve accomplished in the previous days. However, it also means that I’m one day short in the month and that my 29th day is always a witch with a B. The only way to get through such a day, is to remain hopeful and keep yourself motivated.

  • Day #30: Best month ever!

[Yes, I’m using an Obama gif for this] IT’S OOOOOVER!! Okay that thought makes me sad about it, but I can just glance at what I’ve written and it puts a smile on my face (that’s when I’m reading stuff from the early days, the writing from the last couple days make me want to hug the desk with my face). If I wasn’t tired I’d be jumping up and down with joy the whole day. It’s profound happiness, makes you wonder what other accomplishments feel like this.

As I said in a previous post, congrats to both those who did and didn’t manage to complete their Camp NaNoWriMo goals. Just remember that once you recharge the batteries you should tie yourself to the chair once again (for writing, not for kinky business).Strike while the iron is hot, don’t make your writing any harder by letting the idea fly away.

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Camp NaNoWriMo Winner

Camp NaNo Winner Banner

I guess this is where a photo of my writing pens in flexing pose would go. Or a photo of my keyboard flexing, or whatever the equivalent of a writer’s biceps flexing would be. But maybe that lovely banner up there is just enough to get the point across. My goal for 2015’s Camp NaNoWriMo was 30,000 words. Understandably that might not feel like a big deal and it’s obviously almost half of what the traditional NaNoWriMo is. Yet, for anyone who has been following my weekly updates on the matter (7 Days, 14 Days, 22 Days, and a recap of the last week will probably follow tomorrow when hopefully my brain is more cooperative), it should be fairly clear that April is a ridiculously busy month for me.

Not only are there a lot of holidays (which contrary to what one might expect, take away your free time instead of giving you more), there’s a also my birthday, my volunteering as moderator at four different places, some job hunting, and a lot more I’m unable to list at the moment (mostly because my brain is trying to erase any knowledge of them so I’ll never think about them). On top of all that there might have been traces of a social life. That’s mainly why I went for 30K instead of 50K, which I knew wasn’t going to happen. And I’m not using that as an excuse, it’s more of a clarifier.

Everyone who has attempted NaNoWriMo of any form does not need excuses for how bad they’ve done. It’s not a job and it’s not for anyone else but yourself. It’s a personal project based on a hobby and when all is said and done the only thing that matters is that one is satisfied with their own final result. That being said, I’m ecstatic about my own results. Not solely because I’ve managed to write the freaking 30K I promised myself I’ll reach by the end of the month, but because I’m impressed with the story so far. Yep, so far, it’s not actually done yet. In fact, t might be a long while before it’s completed. While I’ve managed to write roughly 1000 words every day for 30 days, I cannot keep up that pace throughout the whole year — while I may act like it at times, I’m not a robot. Though that’d be pretty cool.

Anyway, it’s been a long day for me and I feel I’ve had enough of words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs for now. I should get a proper rest and probably do some catching up with the TV shows I follow. I do hope all of you are enjoying your week, and for everyone else who manages to hit their Camp NaNoWriMo target, congratulations (and late congrats to all those who did so in the past several days)! To those who attempted but didn’t quite hit the mark, even bigger congratulations! You’ve done your best, tested the waters, explored the grounds, yada yada — it should help you accomplish your goal on your next run. Merlin knows we all fail, definitely more frequently than we win, so don’t let that discourage you and keep working. Rome wasn’t built in a day, even though you’re certainly free to try.

I’m off to do a victory dance and cuddle with my bed.

Mine’s not as good but you get the point.

22 Days of NaNoWriMo

What comes after 7 Days of NaNoWriMo and 14 Days of NaNoWriMo? Well of course, 21 days! Except apparently I can’t math and just now I realized 4×7=28 while I’m aiming at 30, so I’ll be doing 8 days for the last two weeks. I do sincerely hope that anyone else attempting Camp NaNoWriMo is making great progress and their story is getting along well!

  • Day #15: We’re JUST HALFWAY through the month?!

Usually you’d be the first person to look on the bright say and think “hey you’ve made it through half of it!” but you’re so tired all you can think is “ugh I have to do this for the same amount of time I’ve been doing it till now” and that’s a painful thought.

  • Day #16: Remain calm, don’t panic, and keep writing. Okay, maybe panic a little but definitely keep writing.

Pushing yourself to do something every single day, no matter what it is, is going to be troublesome. And the best way to get through any problem is to keep your head cold and keep trying.

  • Day #17: The weekend starts today, you can do this if you put your mind to it, right?

Just think of the wonderful feeling once you’re done, that majestic sensation should keep you motivated! There’s still time even if you’ve fallen behind. No plan was ever straightforward, they all have their setbacks so you just have to go beyond yours.

  • Day #18: Who am I kidding, if I was using my brain I wasn’t even going to start this in the first place.

At this point you realize you’re fighting against every little atom in your whole body whenever you attempt to sit down and write. Any motivation and hope you gave yourself the previous day have already left the premises before you woke up. It’s like there’s an evil Santa visiting you every night and stealing all your positive thoughts so you’re forced to regain them on your own every morning. Or is this all just a game and you’re always restarted to the first level?

  • Day #19: Argh where did my weekend go?!

Does the whole world turn against you whenever you decide to do this? Because it sure feels that way. At this point you’re not even sad, more like frustrated and angry and you want to go set things on fire (but not really).

  • Day #20: Another freaking Monday… I’ve had it with this thing.

The more you try to push yourself away from it, the harder it hits you when you finally come back to it. No matter what you’ve started writing, you’ll have to finish it.

  • Day #21: Okay, ten more days and you’re done. Kind of… Just keep writing dammit.

If a head could fall from one’s shoulders due to stress and frustration, you’re fairly sure yours would be rolling on the floor right now. But thankfully that could only happen in fiction. Which reminds you… What are you doing and why aren’t you freaking writing?!

  • Day #22: Just 1 week left! Okay, almost. But almost is good enough, right? Right?!

You’re nowhere near as smug as Matthew McConaughey, but you feel you should be. Both because of what you’ve written so far and because you’re almost close to the finish line. Give yourself some credit, because others likely won’t do that. The best way to reassure yourself you can make it through this month is if you look back at what you’ve managed to do so far.

14 Days of NaNoWriMo

About a week ago I did a 7 Days of NaNoWriMo post, covering the beginnings of an attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo. The extraordinary National Novel Writing Month takes place in November, but the Camp is a smaller sibling project that takes place during April and it gives authors more freedom in comparison to the first. Yet, despite providing you with choices, some flexibility in what you write, how you write, and at what pace, do not delude yourself that it’s any less of a difficult or demanding task.

Writing in its self, no matter the form and purpose it takes is  an excruciating and agonizing assignment lead by an exhausting process of brainstorming, planning, and organizing plots which you’ll then spend day and night splattering with ink over paper, only to wake up in your sleep and burn out all the nonsense you realize you’ve written. But pain, misery, agony, and all the tragedy in life produce emotions, they stir our imagination and once those vanish, you’ll have in your hands the impeccable fruits of hard labor. Whether a short story, a group of poems, or the start of a novella, you’ll have at least the foundation for a written piece of work that speaks this is brilliant and must have taken effort or talent. Or maybe that’s just something I tell myself to help me sleep at night?

Either way, grab a pair of goggles as we’re flying off with a steampunk hot air balloon to revisit day 8-14 of Camp NaNoWriMo.

  • Day #8: Ugh, my Wednesday is a Monday?!

The strong victory feelings you had the day before seem faint and distant, as if they were a million light years ago. Any remote sense of accomplishment evaporated with the realization that another heavy seven days are ahead of you. Begrudgingly you push everything and everyone aside and attempt to turn the table and be productive.

  • Day #9: What do you mean it’s my birthday tomorrow and this is the Easter weekend?!

Not only are you behind with your word count, but with this coming avalanche of events in the next couple of days you’re well aware you’ll be buried under deep snow and your word count will remain as frozen as the Antarctica. Will you ever recover? Will you be able to dig your way up to see the sun again? Are you capable of rising from the ashes like a Phoenix? No one knows, especially not yourself, but this seems like the perfect time to start panicking.

  • Day #10: Time to pretend I’m interested in festivities and non-writing things.

Stuff such as socializing, small talk, long conversations with people you barely know are so low on the list of things you wish you were doing at this very moment, one is quite certain that even breaking things, running around naked on the streets, and murdering anyone nearby, rank higher. Yet when there are celebrations there’s usually fancy delicious food, various selections of drinks, and hopefully a cake big enough for one to drown in it. You can never say no to all wonders that feed your soul and you’re certainly not saying no to cake. In some ways this helps you survive and put on a manic laughing face as you’re internally screaming to sit down and write.

  • Day #11: Wishing it was a lazy Saturday and that you had a few less drinks the previous day.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, wash down your thoughts in alcohol and hope they never reappear again. But those little demons turn out quite the swimmers, and while you’re trying to get your head straight they decide to punch you like a boxing bag, repeatedly. You’re so swamped you’re contemplating the idea of saying screw it and taking a nap. Resistance is usually futile, but you try your best not to give in on the temptation.

  • Day #12: Stop the holidays, stop the celebrations, for goodness sake stop the people!!

You feel holidays is the name given to some supernatural beings sent on planet Earth to beat you up, devour all your energy, creativity, and leave you exhausted, bloated, unable to do anything remotely productive. Doesn’t look like you’ll be doing any writing today.

  • Day #13: Please shoot me and make sure you don’t miss.

The holidays keep going, which can’t really be said about your word count. More food, drinks, too many people and conversations for your taste, no sign of that glorious cake you recently had, and for all you know your brain has left the station. It may not have reached its new destination but it has definitely started the journey of leaving your head.

  • Day #14: Remind me why I do this to myself every year?

The festivities might finally be over, but they’ve left you feeling like you spent the last few days running marathons, yet it doesn’t appear that you’ve won any of them as you see no trophies nearby. All you see is the obvious lack of writing, a plethora of plot points you have yet to plan out and write, while your mind says go to bed and don’t wake up till the end of April. Apparently, the weather finally left its Winter mood and embraced the Spring temperatures, but you’ve been so busy typing you haven’t even had the time to look outside.

You tell yourself to keep going, you’re already halfway there — you can definitely survive another two weeks of this, right? Somehow you’re not really sure, but you’re dead set on trying and you go grab another cup of coffee.

7 Days of NaNoWriMo

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, lately I’ve been slacking somewhat (for example I didn’t get to do a Short Story this past Sunday). However, as far as excuses go I have the second best one — I’m attempting to do Camp NaNoWriMo. Which is the evil twice-removed cousin of NaNoWriMo, which would then be the stepmom or mother of evil and the very best possible excuse for slacking. If you’ve never tried either of the two, the best way for me to describe them to you is as monthly tortures composed of coffee, stress, self-loathing, coffee, random tantrums, mood swings, coffee, keyboard bashing, self-bribing with cake, and did I mention coffee? But if you do get through all of that, you’ll probably have the joy of owning a written piece of a decent length and very crappy quality. That’s why usually we take a short break to replenish our batteries, after which we continue the torture but now by editing instead of writing.

If you’re extremely fortunate you’ll have an amazing product to be proud of that you can show off to others who’ll look at you with awe. If you’re less fortunate you’ll find comfort in the fact that you’ve done the impossible — you’ve produced a novel in a month’s time. Sure, it may be something that you’ll hide in the most secluded corner of your computer forevermore because it doesn’t deserve to see the light of day ever again, but you’ve had fun and experience and those always come in handy. I’m getting off-topic though, the idea of this post is to illustrate how usually the first week (which I’ve now survived, woo!) tends to go.

  • Day #1: Like stealing candy from a baby.

It starts as in the fables, this new land you’re discovering is gorgeous in every way and as peaceful as it can be. There is no sign of trouble anywhere and it’s a beautiful day so you even do your writing with as much leisure as possible. You’ve been preparing mentally for this for a while now and you’re quite sure in your capabilities and the plot you’re going for.

  • Day #2: Everything is great and whimsical.

Another day of productive work, you haven’t come across any issues yet and you feel this is your year. This is the year when you out-write all your friends and produce the best story humanity has ever seen.

  • Day #3: A few bumps on the road can’t stop me.

It can’t all be that pretty, you must have some rough patches and at least they make for a good story. You reassure yourself you can make it through this and a small drawback isn’t stopping you.

  • Day #4: When I set my mind to it, I’m unstoppable.

You’re ready to move beyond yesterday’s trouble, you sit yourself down with a bucket of coffee by your side and you do some quality catching up. Heck, you even get ahead so you have less to write tomorrow!

  • Day #5: Okay, maybe I lied a bit yesterday.

You already start feeling the weight on your shoulders fingers. It’s day 5 and you want to keep going strong but you desperately need a break so you attempt writing what you can without pushing your limits. You’ve earned some comfort and you can always catch up the next day, right?

  • Day #6: Why is this happening to me.

I’ll catch up tomorrow is the most basic mistake, yet somehow you manage to throw yourself under that same bus every year. You even fall for that multiple times in the same month. You’re tired, you have other things to do, your mind is blocked, you feel like the whole world is on fire, and you start regretting you decided to do this.

  • Day #7: How am I doing this, and can I please keep doing it for another 3 weeks?

You have no idea how you managed it or where you found the will from, but you sit down and catch up for the whole week. Was it the fact that you hate losing this early? Was it because you’re competitive and you wanted to show your friends you’re not a loser? Or was it simply because you promised yourself a whole big pile of awesome pizza which you’ll eat all by yourself? Doesn’t matter, so as long as the job gets done.

I guess it also doesn’t matter that by the end of the first week you’ll already be suffering from typing disease, where you’re prone to do some ‘typing‘ no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Top Ten Thursday: A Song of Ice and Fire Quotes

TTT Banner

I figured with Season 5 of Game of Thrones starting in 10 days, I’d make the next TTT’s GoT-themed. But on the one hand the ideas I thought of included spoilers from the books, and on the other hand I’m busy with Camp NaNoWriMo and don’t have that much time on my hands. So I figured I’ll do one short and quick post (this one) which will be spoiler-free and it’ll focus on my favorite quotes from the books. The other (coming sometime in the morning) will be dark and full with spoilers. Yet, even though I say this is a short and quick post, the books are heavy and have a plethora of fancy and cool sayings so it was still a hard task selecting just 10 quotes.

10. Tyrion Lannister’s thoughts

It all goes back and back, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance in our steads.

9. Jon Snow to Jeor Mormont (The Old Bear)

“There’s no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.”

8.  Varys to Eddard Stark

“Why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?”

7. Arya Stark’s thoughts

Fear cuts deeper than swords.

6. Jorah Mormont to Daenerys Targaryen

“Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.”

5. The Night’s Watch Oath

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

4. Bran Stark and Eddard Stark

“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
“That is the only time a man can be brave.”

3. Jojen Reed to Bran Stark

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

2. Varys to Tyrion Lannister

“Power resides where men believe it resides… It’s a trick… A shadow on the wall… And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

1. Tyrion Lannister to Jon Snow

“Let me give you some counsel, bastard. Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”