NaNoWriMo Update: Why I Stopped After a Week

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, know that I occasionally dabble in participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s a yearly event in which all writers out there are challenged to write at least 50K within the span of the month November. It’s a lot of fun, but also very stressful at times. My first year was actually the only year I traditionally “won” NaNoWriMo by completing my RomCom Break Up Buddy. After that I tried to work on Dreamer, Arcadia and now currently the #witchyWIP, but let’s get to that in a bit.

First off, I want to say that I in no way want to discourage anyone from participating in NaNoWriMo. I have made some great friends through it, been to cool meet ups and actually FINISHED writing a book. Those are all things I doubt I would have been able to achieve without the platform that NaNo offers. However, this year I also realised why it doesn’t work for me on the long run anymore and I’d like to go into detail about that a little in this post.

I want to talk to you a bit about process. Every book is different. Even authors with a certain writing routine sometimes face stories that just have different requirements. Sometimes people are pantsers, sometimes planners and sometimes a mix of the two. I usually prefer to just completely take my story as it comes, but again, this doesn’t work for all projects. From experience, however, I know that I cannot sit there and plan out a story, neither in detail nor in a rough outline. My mind wanders and I get terribly bored when I actually write the scenes because I know what is going to happen. When I write, I often feel like a reader, also experiencing and discovering the whole world for the first time with every new word. I don’t know if others feel the same, but the more I know in advance what I am supposed to write, the less fun and the more difficult it is for me to actually transfer it to the page.

So, what does that mean? I am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, which should be perfect for anyone participating in NaNoWriMo, but here is where life throws me a curve-ball: NaNoWriMo is on a tight schedule. Having a certain word goal every day, getting badges and that sweet satisfaction from reaching certain milestones is something I find terribly motivating. I am also a competitive person at heart (at least when the only person I am competing against is myself), so I REALLY want to reach those goals – at whatever price. And all too often that price is a suffering quality of my writing.

NaNo is not meant for creating a perfect first draft. It’s quite the opposite! It’s supposed to help you break free of the chains of an overthinking mind and to just get. things. done. It’s a tool to get a story on paper, not to send it to publishers right after, but rather to have a framework for the amazing tale you can shape out of it once you get to editing. Now, editing is the bane of my existence. I hate it with all my heart, probably for similar reasons I don’t like outlining.

All of the things I have mentioned above lead to a certain realisation. I am not claiming my #witchyWIP is perfect! I know it is not, but the first chapters that I wrote before NaNo started were of a certain quality. I was aware that it needed tidying up, but I didn’t despise the existence of entire chapters. With me getting into a competitive NaNo mindset and really wanting to hit those word count marks, I just wrote and wrote but overall, I wasn’t really happy with the content I put out there (you have to know that I always share my work with a couple people. Let me know if you want to read a writing insights post on sharing your unfinished work!) So, I made the decision to not participate in NaNo for this project anymore. For me personally, there was no joy in getting chapters done if I wasn’t ultimately happy with what they contained. There was simply no point for me and I don’t regret my choice.

So, to all the brave NaNo writers who are still going – I wish you the best of luck! I hope you have a great time during the event, but I am out.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How are things going for you? Have you participated before or do you want to in the future? Let’s chat!

Tag: This-Is-My-Truth-Now

You know me, I am ALWAYS behind on tags, but this one came with a condition … so, I had no choice but to go with it! Let me warn you, it’s a super mean one but in a strange way also very fun. Thanks a lot to the Orang-utan Librarian for tagging me – you can check out their post by clicking on their name! We’ve been following each other for a while now and I always love stopping by their blog (also, feeling low-key special that I know their real name – although I will NEVER tell!) Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s dive into it!

RULES

  1. Create your own new post and call it “Tag: This-Is-My-Truth-Now” and be sure to include in your tags the words — without quotes — “ThisIsMyTruthNow Tag”
  2. Include these rules when you copy/paste to your own post.
  3. Be sure to thank the person that tagged you and include their responses at the bottom of your post, so someone can get to know them too. Tell everyone something interesting about the person who tagged you.
  4. Include a link to my original post mentioning this blog so we can see how many people choose to play along. Link to cut/paste is:  ThisIsMyTruthNow
  5. Choose 12 bloggers to tag and include a link to their latest post, so others can check them out and meet new people.
  6. Answer all 12 questions in The Challenge Questions section, but replace the 12th question with your own new one around telling the truth or revealing something interesting about yourself — you can leave the existing if you can’t think of something.
  7. Be sure to copy/paste the “Truth or Dare” section at the end of this post. It’s important to the challenge — so you better carefully read it!
  8. If you’ve haven’t been tagged, but you want to play along, you can totally jump on in and post responses to the tag on your blog.

THE CHALLENGE QUESTIONS:

1. You’re on your way to a birthday dinner that your friends have thrown for you. When you arrive, your favorite author is having dinner by himself or herself and asks you to sit with them, before you even see your friends or they see you. You have two choices: (1) You can sit with the author but can’t tell your friends that you’ve abandoned them for three hours, or (2) Meet your friends and lose the only chance you’ll ever have to talk with the author. Pick one or the other — no exceptions or communication to your friends to tell them about the author — and explain why.

I know this makes me sound like the worst friend, but I would definitely stick with the author. Think about it, it would be my only chance to ever meet them, they would have initiated contact (which, let’s face it, is pretty amazing) and I would like to think that my friends would understand as soon as I got a chance to explain it to them. I feel like it would be a whole different story if I were just meeting up with a single friend, but they aren’t waiting alone … and it’s my birthday, I should have an allowance for maximum selfishness!

Also, I want to see you say “no” to this face!

2. You’ve got an opportunity to spend a few hours alone “in your bedroom” with a character from any book you’ve previously read. The character tells you that (s)he would like to lock the door and spend some alone time with you. What book and character is it, and do you decide to enter the room and lock the door, or tell them you aren’t interested?

Wow, this got naughty real quick! Or my mind just goes there and that means I am the naughty one … ANYWAY! This might be a super random answer but I am going with Nick Sorrentino from the Bitten books. I have zero explanation but that’s who my mind went to first and I would … lock the door?

3. If you could turn any male character from one of your favorite books into a female character (or change a female into a male) in the book or book series, which one and why?

I’ve honestly never wanted to change anyone’s gender while reading … at least not that I could remember. My mind is going completely blank. Sorry for the boring answer.

4. What blogger currently on your follower’s list (meaning they follow you too) do you admire the most and why?

Did I mention how mean this tag is? I just want you to know that I love, admire and appreciate you all. I’ve met so many great people on here and I wouldn’t want to miss anyone from my life. To answer this question though, I would say Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. She’s one of the sweetest people out there, always has an open ear and is so very engaged on everyone’s blog. I just don’t know how she does it! She has great original content and still checks out what everyone else does. She is simply amazing!

5. If you could change any one decision your favorite book character made, what would it be and why?

This feels like it is bound to lead to spoilers if I say something specific. However, a lot of the time I just wish there was more communication, because so many annoying incidences could have been avoided if people just TALKED with each other.

6. If you could pick 1 character from a book and 1 character from a TV show you watch (that is NOT based on a book) to be in a relationship together, who would you choose, and why?

Okay, maybe random again but I would pair Dorothy from Emerald City with Benvolio from Star-Crossed. In my head that would work really well, because Benvolio is such a faithful and good soul and she needs someone by her side unconditionally … unlike someone else who majorly disappointed/confused me.

7. It’s your last day on Earth. As you are about to cross that final finish line, a mysterious shadow appears, giving you a choice: (1) You can go move forward to whatever comes next for you [based on your own spiritual or religious beliefs], or (2) you can become a character in a book series and exist permanently doing whatever that author chooses to do with you in the book. Which do you choose, and if it’s option 2, reveal the book and author.

I am not a super religious person, but I have the hopes that I would get to be reunited with all the people I love in whatever afterlife provides for us. Turning down that chance to be in a book doesn’t really seem worth it. And I should add that I sometimes feel we are all book characters (or Sims) in some higher developed species book(/game) anyway. At least that’s what life feels like to me at times …

8. If you could steal a pet from someone in any book you’ve read, but had to replace it with a friend’s pet (meaning they wouldn’t ever see their pet again), would you do it? If so, explain the who and why.

I would never rob my friends of their pet!!! I am not that cruel.

9. If you could turn someone from your real life into a character from a book, who from your life, who in the book and why?

The thought process here confuses me a little. Would that mean that I would get rid of that person that I am switching out for the book character? What if I just don’t want to get rid of anyone in my real life?

If I had a nemesis, (which I don’t, because who do you think I am?) I would put them in a terrible dystopian world or something.

10. Post a picture of the cover of a book you read in 2000 and the book you are currently reading now. (Note: if you weren’t alive in 2000, pick the first book you ever read and tell everyone what year it was from).

I don’t understand how you expect me to remember what I read 17 years ago … I was like 7? I am just going to take a wild guess I suppose.

11. Your favorite character (under 18) needs a place to stay for 3 months and asks you if (s)he could stay in your spare room (yes, you have one for the sake of this question). Who is it and what is the reason (s)he needs to stay with you?

AUGUST FLYNN IS WELCOME IN MY HOME ANY DAY OF THE YEAR! I am pretty sure he needs a place to crash because he wants to get away from monsters, dreadful responsibilities and danger in general. My poor baby! He’s going to be showered with hugs and comforting tea.

12. If you could jump in and out of ONE book for the rest of your life but would get stuck in it forever if you changed a major event or revealed your true identity, would you risk it? If so, which book would go into and why? (Note: This is the question each person can change when they tag their own nominees)

So, I made up this question myself, because I was confused about the instructions and the link in the post didn’t work for the 365 challenge. So, this is also the question for my nominees, but they will have to make up a separate one for their tagged people (if I understand the process correctly).

Despite having made up this question, I am too much of a scaredy cat to go through with it. I would alter something and then get stuck … which might not be the worst thing, but all the books that come to mind as contenders require some sort of survival skill that I do not posses. So, I would admire my beloved characters from afar. Also, sometimes it’s just better not to meet your heroes.

I TAG THEE

(I know I only tagged 6 people, but at least I tried?)

Cátia | Cristina | Marie | Melissa | Rami | Savannah

TRUTH OR DARE:

Oh, did I forget to tell you the last part of the ThisIsMyTruthNow tag? If you choose not to accept the tag, you have to follow through on whatever dare the person who tags you chooses — for my nominees, if you choose not to do this tag, your dare is to do book aesthetics for the last 5 books you gave the lowest ratings to. (That’s not too bad, right?)

Kind of relieved to be done with this – now, have fun!

February 2017 Wrap-Up

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Guess what didn’t go as planned at all? MY READING! I am blaming all of it on a general life slump. Up until the last week, I had troubles reading, writing and even watching TV – that is as serious as it gets!!!! But let’s see what I did get to.

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    First impressions about Heartless is that it makes me hungry very easily and that that the characters seem immature.
  • Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
    It just didn’t happen.
  • A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray (3.5 stars)
    I read this with Cátia and Marie!
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
    I wasn’t the only one in a slump, Cátia was affected as well.
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (3 stars)

What wasn’t on my list:

  • Lock & Mori: Mind Games by Heather W. Petty (4 stars)
    I still love this series very much, but I don’t see the point of reviewing the sequels. My dear Mori gets screwed over by everyone and it breaks my heart.
  • Road to Riverdale (4 stars)
    This is a collection of comics that inspired the Riverdale TV show. It includes the first issue of Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie as well as some set photos in comparison with panels from the comics. This is for people who want to try if the comics are for them!
  • Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 (5 stars)
    I fell in love with Lockjaw! I want one! (I would go bankrupt just thinking about how much food he needs)
  • Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 (5 stars)
    I really liked this volume! It could have done with more Loki, because I thought that was really fun, but the overall theme of love and betrayal was my jam.
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (4 stars)
    I wanted something with family-vibes and I definitely got this here. It’s a closed story (kind of), which I always appreciate and it turned out darker at times, but not too much.

A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3) The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1) Mind Games by Heather W. Petty Road to Riverdale Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows

Click on the titles to get redirected to the reviews and on the covers to get to the respective Goodreads pages! I am not reviewing all my books anymore, so if I haven’t posted a review on the blog, you can find a couple sentences below the title to hear my thoughts!

news

Well, well, February was a busy month. It started off with a bang – with me getting my own domain! Life and Other Disasters now has the url it deserves and I feel so vindicated as a blogger. It’s definitely not necessary to have a paid site, but it did make everything more real and let’s face it, my previous url wasn’t exactly representative of the blog title.

I signed up for a camera acting class, which will start in exactly one week from now. Tiny grade school me would be so excited, but the closer I get to the date, the more nervous I am. We already got a couple of monologues, from which we are supposed to pick one and prepare for our first class. I have absolutely no idea what I am supposed to do with that. They said newbies should find a character that is most like them, but that was difficult given the selection I had to work with. Also, it just doesn’t sound like a conversation but more like me reading text. This is going to be nerve-wrecking! So, if anyone has tips for the actual performance, bring them on! I know that prepping with people or in front of the mirror helps, but where do I even start with getting to know the character when I neither have context to the scene nor any information on the character??

In other excellent news, I managed to upload 2 new chapters for Arcadia! YAY ME! I am back in writing spirits and am loving all the feedback and messages!

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How was your month? Tell me all about it!