Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

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NaNoWriMo Completed, And Now For My Slow Recovery From Word Overdose

December 3, 2012

NaNoWinner

My poor blog didn’t see much activity in November, but didn’t I predict that all my writing efforts would be poured into National Novel Writing Month? Ultimately, though, it was worth it! Another year, another win!

Still, I have to say I came this close to karate chopping my keyboard in half towards the end, wondering to myself, “Why the hell am I doing this again?!”  (Of course, I’m pretty sure I said that to myself last November too.) Despite meeting the 50,000 word goal, I had a real rough time this year, whereas last year the words just seemed to roll off my fingertips onto the word processor.

Here are graphs showing my stats from 2011 vs. 2012. Compared to last year, you can see there are so many days this year where I barely made my daily word count, writing only as much as I had to to meet par.

Stats2011

2011

Stats2012

2012

There’s a couple obvious reasons for this, the biggie being a nine-month-old to look after this time, followed by the fact I’d started taking art commissions again and I always get a lot of projects around Christmas. I’m proud that I finished NaNoWriMo and still managed to juggle all my day-to-day obligations, but that pretty much meant my pastimes went out the window — stuff like blogging, gaming, reading, etc. When one uses helpful websites like Raptr and Goodreads to track one’s hobbies, it’s very noticeable when time spent doing those activities takes a giant nosedive.

Basically, I wrote whenever I had free time, and didn’t stop until I hit my daily word count. I told my fellow blogger and NaNo participant Rowan that I think I do a lot better when I’m working under pressure, so giving myself a quota of 1667 words to meet each day got my ass motivated to write, much more so than if I’d told myself I have a whole month to write 50K words. With the latter, I’m sure I’d only be tempted to procrastinate.

Anyway, I can’t deny I’m a little burned out. That’s the negative part about pushing yourself to write almost 1700 words a day; it’s very tiring and mentally draining, and while I had a lot of fun and I’m glad I did this again, boy, am I just glad November’s over. Given the transient nature of my memory, however, I’m sure I’ll just forget all about the pain and pressure again the next time NaNo rolls around, heh. Thing is, just like last year, I managed to “win” but didn’t actually get to finish my novel, a romance/fantasy tentatively titled Mage’s Fire (hush, I know I suck at names). So maybe in 2012, I’ll take a page from Blue Kae’s book and have myself a NaNoFiMo, as there may be a couple dozen K words left in this story yet.

In any case, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it takes me a little while to ease back into blogging, but I’ll most definitely be back here writing again, maybe real soon, too! In part because I just vowed to spend the holiday season playing games until my eyes bleed out.

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It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again

November 1, 2012

I know, I’m nuts. Here I am constantly lamenting the fact there aren’t enough hours in the day to satisfy my gaming addiction, and then I turn around and do something crazy like participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If you’re participating as well, here’s a link to my profile, and please feel free to add me as a writing buddy. Seeing others’ progress helps motivate me, and trust me, this time I’ll need all the motivation I can get.

To be honest, I know I’m probably in way over my head. The only reason I even have an outline right now is because my electricity was out for two days and during that time I was able to scratch out some notes using good old fashioned pen and spiral bound notebook. But I had so much fun last year, I just had to do it again. I’m no NaNoWriMo veteran like some bloggers, but it felt so good reaching my goal in 2011 that I think it’s a tradition I’d like to continue.

For those on the fence about participating, it’s not too late; just sign up, track your progress, and write! I told myself that the worse that can happen is that I don’t make 50,000 words this year, but if I do reach it again (or get close to it), it’ll mean yet another one of my ideas finally making its way out of my head and onto paper, and I do have quite a few of those sloshing around up there that I’d like to get out. Bottom line: there’s certainly no harm in trying.

Last year I wrote an Urban Fantasy, and this year I think I’ll attempt a Romance, and my plan is to try and pound out at least 1700 words a day. So, if I’m a little quiet on this blog in the next month, you’ll know why!

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My Top 5 Gaming Highlights Of 2011

January 6, 2012

I’m always so behind on these kinds of things. I realize we’re already six days into 2012 and almost figured I would skip the rundown this year, but oh what the hey…for tradition’s sake.

The five things that gave me much joy in the past year:

5. Rift

If I didn’t give Trion a tip of the hat it would be a great disservice — considering they kept me playing their game for much of last year, quite a feat when you take into account the influx of F2P MMOs in 2011 to distract me. Looking back, there were quite a few games that excited me but ended coming up short, but Rift wasn’t one of them. In fact, it was one of those pleasant surprises that caught me off guard; the rifts and flexible class system were what drew me in, but it was also the impressive number and frequency of updates from Trion that made me go back for more.

Oh, and the advent of area loot. Best thing since sliced bread.

4. NaNoWriMo

Last year I included Goodreads on my highlights of 2010 list, which wasn’t exactly related directly to gaming but regardless made an impact on my gaming life because of the social aspect behind it. I include National Novel Writing Month this year in my list for pretty much the same reasons. In November 2011 myself and a handful of my fellow gamer bloggers/tweeters took the leap and participated in this challenge, and I have to say any activity is more invigorating and inspiring when you’re doing it with a group of friends.

3. Launch of Star Wars: the Old Republic

Duh. This game has been on my radar since I was still in college, so yeah, I would say the launch of SWTOR was kind of a big deal to me. At one point on the eve of December 20, 2011 I had to pinch myself just to make sure it was really happening.

SWTOR’s impact remains to be seen, but already I get the feeling that story and voiceovers in MMOs are going to be a big deal. Even last year I noticed more games adding their own VOs and cutscenes — from Star Trek Online to World of Warcraft. I mean, after five years of not caring and saying shit all to me, Thrall finally wants to get chatty? How timely.

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Every once in a while I like to indulge in the single-player experience, and I’m so glad in 2011 I had Skyrim. The last time I was so absorbed by an RPG was probably Dragon Age: Origins, and my game time in Skyrim was probably close to double the amount of time I spent in that. I bought the guide, I bought the soundtrack, I read the Books of Skyrim compilation, and quite honestly, if I could I would go back in time and buy the collector’s edition. The game isn’t without its bugs, but it’s the whole experience that counts — and for me it was such that I would happily throw money at Bethesda if it means they will continue making immersive games like this.

Now if only BioWare and Bethesda would have a hot night of sex; their lovechild will probably be the RPG to end all RPGs.

1. Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps

I won’t lie, getting into the SWTOR beta and being able to play it for six months was pretty damn exciting. But actually being in general testing wasn’t what made the experience a highlight for me. As much as I enjoyed reporting bugs and writing up my feedback every week, in point of fact, it was the friends I made and the relationships I forged over that period of time which made it memorable. As we all know, finding a good guild can be a challenge. Early last year, I was content on waiting until closer to launch to start guild-hunting, but lo and behold, during testing I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing group of players. The result: the RMC and the IMC, a pair of great guilds I am happy to be a part of.

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NaNoWriMo: Done!

December 1, 2011

Now that November is over and the final month of the year is upon us, I’m happy to report that my first attempt at NaNoWriMo was a success. 53,874 is the final word count, or at least that’s what it says on my word processor, and I’m sticking with that.

I’ve made it, and at 11:59pm last night I was giving myself a mental pat on on the back for a job well done, but somehow I still feel like I missed my mark. I may have pounded out the 50K words, but ultimately I didn’t finish my novel, and in fact I think there’s about another third to go in this story. So even though I’m done, I still don’t exactly feel that I’m “done” done, and I don’t think I will be truly satisfied until I finish for real — and *sigh*, who knows when that will be.

Do I think I’ll participate in NaNoWriMo again in later years? Definitely. Though, I had no idea how time-consuming it was until I actually did it for myself. In truth, I really shouldn’t have done it this year. It was a crazy month, and in my stubbornness to reach my NaNo goal, I’m sure I overextended — sleep was lost, art commissions are a little behind, household chores were neglected, other hobbies took a backseat, etc. In the future, I’m going to have to think long and hard and evaluate my November schedule before I make the commitment again.

Still, my first ever NaNo was a wonderful experience. No only did it give me a chance to write, it also taught me a a great deal about myself. Apparently, having a deadline is the key. It’s something I’m going to keep in mind for December, or in the new year, if I want to finish my novel. But for now, it’s time to relax.

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NaNoWriMo Week 3: Almost There

November 23, 2011

Another quick update on my progress, before I retreat with my tablet and keyboard to a dark closet, in which I’ll stay locked until I write my word count quota for today. For various reasons, the 2000-3000 words a day average I’d been pulling at the beginning of this month has shrunk to 1000 or less per day this week.

How do you work when you’re under the wire? I personally like to create deadlines. I make mine midnight, so I can punch in my daily word count before I go to bed and see the stats on my page go up and up and up. In week 3, for more days than I’d like to admit, I would only sit down to write at 11pm and for that last hour I would pound out those words like my life depended on it. It’s like college all over again — bringing back to those days where I’m up ’til 4am in the morning with a 20-page term paper due in five hours.

My husband thinks I’m nuts, that I should just chill and write more the next day, and maybe he’s right. But there’s just something about that rush which gets my creative juices flowing. I know not everyone works this way, but for me, I seem to do my best work under pressure. And I need to have a semblance of routine in my life, I need to make myself — or force myself — to sit down to a writing session at least once in a 24-hour time period.

44120 words so far. I’m so close I can smell it. At this point it’s too late to quit. Factoring in Thanksgiving where I already know I won’t do anything but cook, clean, and eat, as long as I keep up with a thousand words a day, I should be able to do it. That’s not too bad, right?

It’s all Skyrim’s fault. Anytime I have free time, all I want to do is play it.

Oh, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The NDA had to drop too. Hard to believe, but I think I might have written more words for my SWTOR posts than for my NaNo novel last week. Actually, scratch that. After scrolling down my blog just now, I can believe it.

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NaNoWriMo Week 2 Update: Effusive

November 14, 2011

Now that we’re coming to the end of week 2, I’m just practically vomiting words onto the page. It stinks, it’s messy, and I’m spewing a lot of it–so I personally like the metaphor. Thankfully, that seems to be whole point of National Novel Writing Month.

Just a quick update to celebrate my successes (and bitch about the challenges).

Like I was saying, the words seem to be coming a lot easier, but every once in a while I still fight the blasted urge to edit. Can’t help it. I’m just so used to it, not to mention my obsessive-compulsive perfectionist side kicking in at the worst of times. Speaking of which, I also read a great piece of advice from one of my favorite authors this weekend regarding research for your NaNo novel, which in a nutshell can be summed up as “STOP IT! STOP IT NOW! RESEARCH LATER DURING THE EDITING PHASE!”

That’s one pitfall I always find myself in, all right. The other day, I was writing a scene in which two of my characters are making hot, sweet love on a couch. I had the whole scene in my head, but all I was obsessing about was how to describe that stupid couch. I went on furniture and antique websites and the whole shebang trying to figure it out, until I stopped and asked myself WTF I was doing. No one is going to give two flying craps about the couch. Not if I do the scene right, anyway. I finally made it a damn Chesterfield, and moved on.

As of last night, I am at 30,028 words, but that’s basically me making the most out of the lead I gained during the first week. This weekend saw the first signs of slowdown in my progress. With my husband getting into the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta, my spare time went mostly to play with him. So we’re not even factoring The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim yet at this point, which is a little scary. The game box has been lying on my coffee table unopened since Friday, but that’s going to change this afternoon.

NaNoWriMo gods, if you can hear this, in the coming days please help me in my quest to balance dragon-y goodness with my writing.

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First Week Of NaNoWriMo: Momentum

November 8, 2011

Just a quick post to get the creative juices flowing, and to update my progress (19,037 words). Feel free to add me as a writing buddy if you haven’t already.

There’s been only a few times in my life where I’ve genuinely shocked myself. One of those times was when this blog actually reached its one year anniversary. And now I’ve surprised myself again at actually keeping ahead of the NaNoWriMo curve. Pretty much I shock myself whenever I achieve anything that has to do with writing, because that’s usually the first hobby to go out the window when I’m swamped.

Okay, I know November’s not over yet and there’s still many days and many words to go. I foresee a dramatic plummet in my word count starting this Friday, for one — *ahem* Skyrim *cough* — so that’s another reason why I’ve been pushing so hard.

The thing is, I think I might actually be able to do this. Crazy. I thought I would be struggling every day, but so far it hasn’t been so bad, thanks to a couple of things. Unsurprisingly, deadlines are a great motivator. I love telling people I’m going to take your deadline, crush them, and shove it up your ass. I wrote 15,000 words by Sunday because of one such challenge by the NaNoWriMo folks. But I think blogging for the past year and half has also helped. I find the words flow more easily, in a way I’m not sure they would have if I had attempted this, say, three years ago.

It is mostly a matter of pushing myself, though it’s true that other things I do in my spare time have taken a hit, like gaming and reading. But I figure if I have to take an hour out of my free time and not play an MMO in order to write, it’s gotta be worth it. No matter how far ahead I am I still make myself sit down to some quiet time to write every day, even if I only manage a couple hundred words. That’s a piece of invaluable advice I received last week on my NaNo post, along with other comments and suggestions that have been simply phenomenal. So keep the advice coming if you’ve got ’em, it’s always welcome.

Now I’m going to stop procrastinating and get to that sex scene I’ve been struggling with all morning. Happy writing.