The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 30 - Shooting Stormtroopers

Today is November 30th, which you all know marks the last day of NaNoWriMo. It isn't that surprising (to me at least) that I did not win this year. University is tougher than I realized and although last year I managed to hang on by my finger tips and reached the 50.000 mark just in time, this year it just wasn't meant to be.

Aside from my normal studies which are tough enough I also have a monstrous subject at the moment which requires us to do as much homework for each lesson than most subjects ask for a whole week. Plus we had a performance this month.

Not to make excuses, just so that you know what was going on with my life.

I'm not ashamed to say that this month has been really tough on me both mentally and physically. I have never in my life felt this tired for such a long stretch of time. Because of stress I couldn't sleep, think or function properly. I felt like a thousand voices were talking to me at once while someone was shouting questions at you in a language you didn't know and demanding an answer anyway, all the while you were so tense that you felt you wanted to scream. No wonder it was hard to write (or do anything really).

I am much better now. Once I realized what was happening to me I started to create a list of things that calm me down and started to do this every time I felt anxious again. Normally I would include writing but... the voices...
The list include:

- Shooting stormtroopers (aka play Battlefront and shoot, don't think)
- Painting
- Ink drawings (something about drawing lines really calms me down. Resulting in a lot of trees over the last couple of weeks)
- listening to music (anything from calming to really hyper music which strangely clamed me down as well)
- Singing LOUDLY and without shame
- Taking a walk
- Reading

All this to try and keep my thoughts away from school and everything that was waiting for me. Including the Shakespeare performance we had to do yesterday and prepared for, for nearly two months (a blog post on that later).

I think taking these little moments and simply doing something for ourselves, just drinking a cup of tea and thinking of nothing, listening to the Lord of the Rings music and imagining yourself to be in the Shire (very relaxing) is extremely important to keep calm and keep sane. I was so focused on everything I had to do that I forgot about the things I could and wanted to do. I forgot about the little things.

All that being said, I am happy to announced that I just spent two hours writing and managed to at least get half the words!

Final NaNo count: 25.114

That is probably about 24.000 words more than I would have writen this month otherwise. Which goes to show, NaNoWriMo is never a waste!

If you participated how did your NaNo go? And remember we're all winners! :)
If you have any more great relaxation idea's please feel free to post them in the comments!

Keep Writing!

xx Noortje


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 20: Need Motivation

OK so today I need some motivation. It is day #20 of NaNoWriMo and my word count is PITYFUL. I don't think I have ever had this low a word count this far in the month.

I can list a ton of excuses, some valid other's ... not so much. Mostly though I just haven't been sleeping well and a random weekday is spend in pretty much the following manner: 

- Wake up at an ungodly hour 
- Start reading a Shakespeare play that you should have finished for today in the train journey to Amsterdam (Really hope my teacher won't read this)
- Have a pretty good time at school, learning stuff, drinking coffee, hanging with friends, wishing for sleep.

- Fight to stay awake on the ride home.
- Wallow in self pity about how tired you are and how much homework is left to do.

- Actually get started on homework
- Eat
- Homework

- Complain you had nothing fun to do and can't think and have a headache and are dead tired but watch 3 episodes in a row of Castle anyway (I'm seriously addicted)
-Go to bed far too late.

Aaaaaaand repeat. 

As you can see, not much time left for writing. Of course there IS always time, you just have to want to make it and lately I haven't had the energy to make time. Which isn't an excuse; it's just something that happened. 

But I'm not going to give up! I still have an impossible amount of writing to do and nearly no time to do it (thanks to a 10 min play we will be staging next Thursday!!) I WILL NOT GIVE UP! 

The words are there hiding somewhere in my mind and I intent to write them. I just have to make time, keep writing, don't give up and maybe forget about sleep this weekend!

How about you? How is your NaNo/writing going? If you have any tips on how I can defeat this monster, this fire breathing dragon, this word shortage of doom, let me know in the comments!

As always: Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje

NaNo count: 17655   --> gonna hide in a corner to cry now. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10 - Procrastination

This is me right now:

NaNo count: 10.137

How is your writing going? I''ll try to up my nano count this weekend!

Keep Writing!
Xx Noortje

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5 -- Freaking Out!

NaNo Tip # 1 : Always carry around a notebook. These might safe your life. 

It's already day five of NaNoWriMo! For those of you who still do not know what it is, check out some of my older blog posts! :) 

So far my word count is alright. Not as good as it should have been (5240 words at the time of writing this) but I believe I have had worse years.

To be honest I did not enter this year with the idea of actually finishing on time and getting those 50,000 words. Realistically speaking I just need too much time for school related activities. And as much as I hate to say it: school comes first. I've also recenlty starting tutoring as a temp job.

But then again--they are all excuses in the end. Even now with loads of homework and a horror-movie-marathon sleepover that lasted nearly two whole days I still found time to write. 

And that is what I love about NaNoWriMo. It makes us realize that if you really want to write, you can. There is ALWAYS time. Five minutes before you go to bed. On the train or bus to school/work. While eating lunch. Wake up 30 minutes early (which I won't be doing tomorrow. Have to wake up at 5:45 as it is haha). 

Still I have already had my fair share of a small panic attack. I am writing this blog post as a break in a crazy homework frenzy to get everything finished before I need to leave for archery practice (What better time to write a blog post?). And honestly, just the simple act of writing right now is calming me down, making me feel productive. 

My plans for tomorrow are to spend my free periods doing homework (need to figure out which lines to include in our upcoming awesome short production of Macbeth) and in the train back writing the entire way! 

How did your first NaNo week go? :) I'm also really curious about the funniest or weirdest places/times you have written. If you have anything to share, leave it in the comments!

I'm not quite sure about mine, but I have written loads during class (oops) and in coffee shops and on the bus the past two years. This year it will probably mostly be on the train and before I go to bed.

Please follow me on twitter as well for random updates, nano stuff and the occational helpful writing site/retweet :) @lordkiwii

Happy writing everyone!

Xx Noortje 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day one!

Say sleep, work and your social life goodbye---It's November!

The first day of NaNoWriMo is here and I am super excited! I wasn't planning on participating at first, until I remembered that NaNoWriMo isn't about winning. It isn't about writing as fast as you can. 

NaNoWriMo is about routine, learning to write as much as you can. Learning to sacrifice other things for time to write. In a way it's a kind of test-ride for becoming a writer.

Personally I find having this commitment together with thousands of strangers and a handful of friends very stimulating and I always get way more done in November than I would have otherwise. 

Even just 10.000 words or less is probably more than I would have gotten around to otherwise. 

So grab your notebooks, legal pads, smart phones, tablets, scraps of paper, napkins and anything you can write with -- and write every free moment!

Everyone, good luck and most of all: Have Fun! :)

Keep Writing
Xx Noortje