Archive for April, 2016

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So. I had this crazy idea during NaNoWrimo. Bare with me, because I know… it’s crazy.

I was looking over my monthly word counts, and the amount of words that I’ve written so far during the year. My yearly wordcount is 327,848 words. I had this thought – this epiphany, if you will. I’ve certainly had months where I’ve written less. I’ve had months where I’ve written more. So far, it looks like this:

January: 85,333

Feb: 106,530

March: 88,695

April: 47,290 (Thus far)

I started my endeavor of writing 1,000 words a day without thinking much further than that. I figured it would accumulate me a good word count by the end of the year, and I’d be able to say that I wrote a solid amount every day for a year straight. As I kept going, it started to become really cathartic for me. Even if it was hard to get the words down, getting them done was a really nice release for me – it was an accomplishment of my daily writing, and it helped me to feel more confident in my words. Practice really does make perfect, and that is also included in your writing.

Yesterday, though, I was thinking about it. Yeah, I have some months that are better than others… but… what if… what if I set my goal as 1 million words for the entire year.

That’s a lot of words. That would be a really big accomplishment. I think, for me as a writer, if I could say that I tucked away 1 million words in the span of a year… I’d feel really good about myself.

So, I sat for a moment… and I thought about how impossible it sounded. That’s so many words. What if I have bad days? What if I have bad months…

And then I realized, it didn’t matter? It’s a fantastic goal to set myself to. So what if I don’t make it? So what if I only get to 800,000? That’s still a lot of words. That’s still a ton of words that I wouldn’t have had previously.

And then I realized, that whole, “Reach for the moon, because even if you fall short, you’ll land amongst the stars” quote really does apply to a lot of things in your life. Even if I don’t make that 1 million, I’m going to do something fantastic.

And that? Well… that’s okay with me.

In a side note. :3 I won Camp NaNo and got to validate my word count. Whee!

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Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

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Yesterday, I won Camp NaNoWriMo. It was nice, it felt pretty great. My word count is up over 31,000 words today, so I’m going to keep going until the month is over, to see how high I can crank it up. Even though I haven’t been posting a blog every day like I initially intended, I’ve been doing a good job of posting blogs for most of the day – more than that, I’ve been keeping up with my 1k a day, still. This is going to be the 4th month in a row, as long as I keep it up, that I’ve written at least 1k a day.

It’s a habit that I’d like to keep for the entire year.

Honestly, it’s a habit that I’d like to keep for the rest of my life.

I won’t talk about that today though, because I’ve certainly talked about it before, and it’s not time for my scheduled “writing schedule” rant. (heh, scheduled schedule). What I want to talk about today is the fact that you need to remember something very important about writing.

Make sure that you also take the time to read.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King

While I don’t think that time constraints are necessarily always the truth, I do believe what Stephen King says here – writing is developed in many ways. One is practice.

Practice.

Practice.

Practice.

The other is to study the tools of your trade. Take grammar courses, creative writing courses, literature courses. Read. Reading is so important to us as writers, because it’s how we study our craft. It’s how we see the world that we want to engross ourselves in. We learn new techniques, broaden our vocabulary. If it’s a bad book, we learn what we don’t want to do. The point is, you need to read. Don’t forget that, at least most of the time, it was a love for books and a finely crafted story that inspired you to be a writer to begin with.

Take time to read. Take time to study up on words. Take time to enrich yourself. Take time to enjoy yourself.

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

 

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So, I finally finished the story that interrupted my actual purpose for NaNo this year.

A River Runs Through It stands at 41,346 words. That is quite a bit longer than I intended it to be… but River had an in depths story to tell, most of it pertaining to before the war, and therefore completely original writing. I’ve finally started on A God Amongst Men, which is my Maxson story… you know, the one that I was telling you about doing all along. Heh. (Clickables above, and are appreciated! Both are Fallout 4 related.)

But the point of this blog, other than to update you on my NaNo Word Count (  27,270 words ) is to speak about changing your plans. Sometimes, you have to. I certainly had no intention of it, when this month started on, and River was still telling her story. I didn’t realize that a character that I made solely to be a love interest for Arthur Maxson and Paladin Danse would end up having a life of her own that she wanted to fully and completely detail. She’s grown in my mind as a real, tangible, and very in depth character, with a delightful amount of development that has made writing for her a real treat. Sometimes, creativity strikes you in ways that you don’t expect.

Don’t ever miss out on those opportunities.

Sometimes, you have to change your plans… and as a writer, we have to do it more often than other people. Thankfully, we are afforded that luxury. We can change our stories mid-sentence, if we need. If the thought strikes out, we have the capability to completely shift the world, to figure out how to make it work. I don’t really think that we should wait for our muse to be ready to write, but you should certainly follow it down the path of thought. Maybe you’ll just figure out a cool side story that is a few thousand words (River was initially only supposed to be a chapter or two.) Or, maybe, you’ll end up with a 40,000 word monster that was both a pleasure to write and a really good chance for me to expand my skills as an author. I touched on subjects that I hadn’t touched on before – I went places that I’ve never been.

And I come away from the experience far more enriched than I was before I stepped into it.

Sometimes, we have to follow our muse. Sometimes, we have to explore that fork in the road. The beautiful thing is, we are writers. We sculpt our own world. That means that we can always loop around and explore the other path when we see where the first leads… but follow the thought, follow the inspiration. Chase it and hold it close to your chest. It’s a beautiful thing, and only you can catch it.

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

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This blog is coming to you with an echo of the lack of yesterday’s blog. But… that’s going to be the whole point of this particular post. My day yesterday was extremely stressful. I’m not really going to go into the details of it, cause it’s over and done with. Suffice to say, I really didn’t feel like doing much.

I still wrote my 1,000 words, as I should have. I haven’t broken my streak of 1k a day since the beginning of the new year, and I had no intentions of stopping… but I knew, basically, that I had to pick between that 1k and managing to write a blog. Sometimes, even if it’s kind of stressful, you have to make decisions for yourself. I did what I needed to do to make sure that I could still get my writing done.

So, I suppose that the lesson of this blog is that sometimes, it’s okay to sacrifice other things that you had planned (Writing and creativity wise) and give yourself a break if you need to. I only wrote 1,000 words. The rest of my day was spent resting and recuperating. If you need to take the time to do that, do it. Ignore your blog, if you need to. Ignore your plotting and outlining, and whatever else you need. Write your words – don’t forget to do that. But… rest. Relax. Do not overdo yourself, or the next day is going to be twice as hard, until it escalates you to a place where you don’t want to be.

❤ Relax. You deserve it. You’re making worlds, after all.

 

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

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Wow, guys. It’s already Day 10. We’re already 1/3rd of the way finished with our task! Regardless as to whether you are ahead or behind right now… today is a day of me complimenting you. I’m over 20,000 words myself, and that’s as far as I’ll go on my update. Today…

Today is all about you guys.

Even if you’ve only gotten 1,000 words written, you need to understand what a feat that is. Writing isn’t something that everyone can do, or that everyone can do easily. And I’ve said it a dozen times, and I’ll say it again… what you’re writing? Your story? Your words? You are the only person who can actually put those words out into the world. So, those precious 1,000 words that you’ve carefully and meticulously labored over? Whether it’s a poem, a novel, a short story, or a fanfiction… they’re precious. They’re yours. And they are proof that you are an amazing and talented being who can intake caffeine/tea/sugar/whatever and put out words.

Never let anyone make you feel like what you do isn’t amazing. Never let them make you feel like you aren’t doing something truly astounding, and worth respect. No matter your age – if you are young and tackling Camp? Wow, I applaud you. This is a huge endeavor and you are doing a damn good job of taking it on. If you’re older and you’re tackling NaNo? Wow. I applaud you. This is a huge endeavor, and you’re still pushing on with your dreams and being a damn inspiration to everyone for striving forward. Even if you aren’t published, and even if you never get published… you’re still doing something wonderful, and you’re still creating worlds from your mind. You are a giver of life to a thousand different characters, and you do it all at once, in your brain, while you walk around daily – we, as writers, are creating with every breath and step that we take. Each situation that we see, each person that we speak to… we store it away for later, and we implement it in our writing. It’s amazing, it’s impressive, and it’s a talent that you need to appreciate.

You’re wonderful. And you’re 1/3rd of the way done with NaNoWriMo Camp. If you are behind, you can still catch up. If you’re head, you’re doing an astounding job. If you literally need someone to sit on your shoulder for a moment to tell you that you’re doing great, that you can keep going… just prod me. I’ll be here to compliment you, to push you onward, and to see you cross the finish line.

I am impressed by you all.

I am privileged to get to speak and hear about your stories.

I am excited to see what you’ll do next.

Carry on, WriMo’s. Carry on.

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

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So, today has been super productive! Before I’m done for the night, my wordcount for my NaNo project should crawl over 20,000 words. My personal writing for the day is already over 5,000 words (I don’t include other stories/projects/etc on my NaNo count), and I’m still super inspired to write.

Today’s tip is gonna be simple. For me, it involved sushi. I was in the middle of a crawl and still getting writing done, and I was offered the chance to have some sushi – to go out to a nice dinner and stuff my face like the voracious writer I am. Usually, if I’m in the middle of a writing stint, I decline. I want to get my words done, I don’t wanna break my flow, etc.

I’d already hit over 5k for the day. I knew that I’d write more when I get back. I decided that it was time to reward myself. This is one of the most important tips that I can give you – have some kind of reward set up for yourself, especially for when you have great days. Whether it’s going out to dinner, having some ice cream, or just allowing yourself some down time… if the opportunity presents itself, don’t pass it up. I know that I’ve talked about this before, but it’s so important. It’s the sporadic rewards that are the best, especially if they allow you to spend time with your loved ones. I got to go out on a very, very nice date with my husband, instead of keeping my nose buried in my laptop for the rest of the night.

So, if the opportunity to really, mentally reward yourself (especially if it comes with unagi <3) don’t deny yourself! Snatch that reward. You’re amazing ❤ You deserve it.

 

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

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So, my word count is somewhere over the range of 15,000 words. I haven’t added it up yet, cause I’m not finished writing yet. I’m still really motivated and working, so I’m going to make this blog short. But that’s okay, because I had a plan for this blog anyway.

I’m going to throw you a prompt – a challenge.

Make your character have a nightmare. I want to see what terrifies the mind of the people that you’re creating. Whether you portray the actual nightmare, or the after effects, it doesn’t matter. Just try to include that in your story.

I’d love to hear how it goes for you all! Or have excerpts. I’m going to do a blog tomorrow to include/mention some of you guys, so I’d love some material!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

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I am going ahead and writing this blog a bit earlier in the day, so you may randomly get two Day 7 blogs from me, who knows. I’ve already gotten my 1k for the day, putting my word count up to 13,334 words. So far. I may try to get my count up to 15k for the count. I need to calculate my actual monthly word count (I’ve been writing on things that aren’t just my NaNo project, after all), and get that posted in here by the end of the week as well.

I actually have a thing planned with some people in my writing group for later – we’re going to do some crawls, hang out, and try to boost our overall wordcounts .I just thought I’d point out again as to how important it is to have some kind of a support system. They’ll keep you accountable, they’ll encourage you, and they’ll know what you’re going through. I may post my crawl results for my blog later on tonight, if you guys are interested.

Other than that, I’m just going to prod my wordcount out as much as I can for the day. I’ve only done 1100ish words, but it’s really satisfying to get past the marker  that you have set for yourself – if you can get past your designated word goal, it’s a real weight off of your chest, and suddenly the rest of the words that you have to write flow far easier. At least, that’s how it works for me.

I do apologize that this blog seems a little scattered. I haven’t had enough caffeine to wake my brain up properly, so I’m here and there. I’m sure my blog tonight will be far more coherent. Until then, I hope you are all doing well on your NaNos!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

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Alternate Blog Title: That Day when WordPress was acting up for the author. River is not amused.

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I guess I’ll keep this blog fairly short – the site isn’t really wanting to cooperate with me all that much for some reason. My wordcount is right around 12,500 words, and climbing. I have full intentions of writing more River tonight, so we’ll see what it is by the morning. I was going to take the time to give good advice… about..

Something.

Really, I was. As it is though, WP is making me a sad Panda. I guess that my advice for the day is to just have patience, if your programs aren’t working. Also, still hold yourself to the things you’ve set yourself accountable for, even if it’s a little complicated. I’m going to leave this blog far more open – I’d really love to hear from you guys. Tell me how NaNo is going for you. Tell me how you’re doing, your WCs, etc. I wanna feature a few of you and your stories in my blog on Friday! Leave me comments and let me know!

Until then! A Frustrated,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

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My word count is exactly on par with where I wanted it to be – I’m currently at 11,221 words. I’m really pleased with my progress for NaNo, even though I’m not doing exactly what I’d intended to do when I first started. In a way, expecting the unexpected is always the funnest way to roll, when it comes to writing. That way, you aren’t completely constrained to what you plotted out for yourself, and you have the ability to gallivant here and there, and everywhere.

That’s not really what this blog is about though. What I wanted to say today is that, even if you haven’t started yet… it’s never too late. Especially with Camp NaNo – you set your own word count. You chose your pace. Even if you haven’t started yet, you can still begin, and you can still win. 

I know a few people who aren’t really into their NaNo yet – they’ve been thinking, they’ve been plotting, prodding just a bit… and you know what? I still have every bit of faith that they’ll get to their goal. Just because you don’t start on time doesn’t mean that you can’t pound your words out and do a damn fine job. It’s never too late ❤ Don’t give up on yourself cause it’s 5 days in. Just hop to it, get onto your project, and start writingThat’s the best thing that you can, do. Honestly, as writers? It’s the only thing that we can do – no one expects anything more, and if they do, they clearly don’t understand how writing works.

So, decide a project. Hop to it, guys. Get on that NaNo train, and tell me how you’re doing. I have faith in you, and I know that you can create something amazing  this month, if you just put your worries aside and realize that you can do anything that you set your mind to.

Never Give Up!

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr