Posted in nano advice, nano covers, nano prep, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, photoshop, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

NaNo Tip #9 – Cover Yourself Up!


So, I was trying to hold off on making this post until I could ask the person who made my cover for my NaNo Novel this year for permission to post here. However, they aren’t getting back to me, so I’m going to go ahead and to this post. Don’t be surprised if another one pops up with the picture though, because I really like it.

Anyway, when you’re on the NaNo site, they give you the option to add a novel cover to your profile. They even tell you that you’re more likely to complete your 50k race with a cover. I can honestly say that there is probably some truth to that. I know for a fact that if I get a good cover and then use it for my computer background, or even at the top of my document… I don’t know, it makes me feel more official, and more like my novel is really going to amount to something.

I know that not everyone feels like they can make their own cover… but you’re wrong. There are programs out there that help you to do it.

  • Canva can help you to have really nice looking covers, and it’s pretty much a click and drag kind of program. There’s no difficulty to it, and as long as you use the free images, you’re able to download your cover for free.
  • If you’re feeling a little creative yourself, you can always make your own cover using Free Stock Photos, which gives you creative liberty to make whatever you want.
  • If you don’t think that you can make your own cover, you can always go to the NaNo Artisans section of the NaNoWriMo forums. There are dozens of people there more than willing to make covers for your novel. They’re talented and very pleasant to work with!
  • Talk to your friends. You’d be surprised as to how many of them are artistically inclined. If they know what they’re doing, making you a cover photo will only take them a few minutes, and then you’ll get to feel official.

The most important thing in this process is to make sure that you have the rights to use your cover photo content! Free stock images are the way to go with this! However, whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you have fun with it and it gives you a sense of accomplishment. I know that seeing my cover for my novel last year made me feel very nice and official. I created it with free stock images and a little bit of photoshop! I will leave you with an image of my novel cover from last year and good wishes for your NaNo endeavors.

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page


Posted in nano advice, nano tips, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Writing Advice, Writing Tips

NaNoWriMo Tip #6 – It’s Okay To Be Evil (No, really though.)


Me: Before you leave, I want you to have a basic plot outline ready.

Gauness: You’re evil.

Me: Am I evil, or helpful.

Gauness: We’re going to go with evil.

So, my friend Gau (go on, click his name above) came over to my house today. We are doing NaNoWriMo boot camp, and he needed my help to get himself into gear. He should be here for about three hours, and he knows what he wants his basic story idea to be. That’s why I gave him the task of outlining.

It doesn’t have to be a deep outline. It doesn’t have to have all of the points… but a basic outline.

It’s okay to be ‘evil’. It’s okay to push yourself to limits that you didn’t think you could attain. I’m doing a day one 10k. And since I’m doing 2 novels, I honestly might push it up to a day 1 20k. That’s right. I’m going to push myself… and that’s okay.

NaNoWriMo is about pushing your limits and doing something that you didn’t even realize you could do. It’s about writing a novel in a month… do you understand how crazy that is? You’re giving birth to your creative baby in a month! It’s okay to set higher goals for yourself than you thought possible. You’re reaching for the moon, and no matter what you do… you’re going to land amongst the stars.

You’ve got this. You push for it. You’re an author… we’re all crazy anyway.

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Creative WRiting, fantasy, mermaids, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, no plot, novel plotting, post apocalyptic, Writing, Writing Advice

And This Years NaNoWriMo Inspiration Is….

(Guys, I removed the pictures – honestly, I’m just not comfortable having that many photos up without the source. Go look up mermaids on Deviant art <3)

Mermaids! Oh my Goodness… who is excited about National Novel Writing Month? I certainly am! I struggled for the past few months trying to decide what I wanted to do. I had the option of continuing some old projects, or starting something completely new. In the end, I realized that NaNoWriMo is all about a fresh project for me (not to say that it’s bad if you’re finishing something of yours! You do whatever works for you!) But the prospect of starting from the beginning and racing to the end is just so much fun and excitement for me.

I’ve been wanting to do a mermaid novel for some time, so I decided that this was the year that I was going to do it. I have a few different story ideas brushing around in my head. My main question is… do I want a Post-Apocalyptic setting, or to do something completely Fantasy?

I will be doing daily blogs during November updating my status, and quite a few blogs up until then talking about my plotting process, my planning, etc. I can’t wait to get started, and I can’t wait to year what you guys are planning as well! So, tell me about your NaNo exploits! And if you want, vote on whether you think a Fantasy or PA Novel would be more fun!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick


Posted in Book Review, broken laptop, funding, gofundme, patreon, Writing, Writing Advice, writing issues, writing problems, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

That Broken Laptop Thing

So, for those of you who keep up to date with yours truly, I’m going to give you a little information. My laptop is broken. It’s seriously killing me. I have a writing computer, and it’s good and all… but I really do get a lot of my work done on the go. x.x the lack of laptop is hindering me from being able to get anything productive done. ._.

I just wanted to post this to let you guys know that the book reviews and writing blogs ARE coming. They’re just going to be a few minutes – I need to get like 200 bucks saved up to get a new laptop x.x I will resume posting on my desktop, but it’s just not the same. I am on the go so often x.x without a laptop I feel naked.

Anyway, thank you to those who have questioned where I’ve been! I really appreciate it so much!

And for those of you who want to help out, I’ll leave a few links below!!!

My Patreon | My Amazon Wish List Thank you so much to everyone who has questioned where I am… and know that I won’t be gone for long! Nothing keeps a good writer down!

-Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in 2000 words a day, anxiety, patreon, stress, traveling, trip, Writing, Writing Advice

The Magical Coffee Panda


Since I’m writing from my downstairs computer today, I had to have a new mascot. This is my magical coffee panda, who gives me discouraging looks when I drink all of my coffee without having written a single word. Still, it’s always nice to have some kind of mascot, isn’t it?

Honestly though, this blog isn’t about everything that I’ve gotten done, or my  huge plans. The simple truth is, I’ve been taking a little bit of a slow pace. I’ve been trying to get some things done when I can, make sure that I write a little bit every day. My Patreon is staying updated and my Twitter is getting love… but I have some fairly high stress levels and anxiety right now, so I’m trying to make sure that I don’t push myself into writing something and burning myself out.

I think that something important as a writer is to really be familiar with yourself, your mind, your body. You need to know when enough is enough. We live up to these expectations of so many words a day, so much writing a day, write every day… and they’re amazing expectations. They’re fun and wonderful and good for us to have goals… but it’s also important to watch your mental health.

My stress comes from the fact that I’ll be taking my first trip to Kentucky since I left four years ago within the next two weeks. I’m going to go and see my mother (who I’ve told you all about her and the illness issue), and it’s really getting my anxieties up. I haven’t been there in a while, and a lot of the negative things that happened in my life happened there. I am beyond excited to go – to see the people I love… but that stress is still there. It’s still real.

And I’m respecting it.

As a writer, respect your mind, your brain, your emotions. Don’t make excuses – don’t be like, “Oh, well, I had a bad day because I wore purple instead of blue! I can’t write!” That’s silly. But if you’re legitimately going through something, don’t push yourself. Let writing be your outlet when you need it, but don’t force a story that isn’t there.

That’s all the advice that I have for you guys today. I still have quite a few book reviews to get up, more to come, and some more blogs with tips and tricks. If you guys want to see anything specific, let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in 50 shades of grey, publishing, Writing, Writing Advice

A Thought (or two).

So, yet again I’ve been a little swept up in being busy. The good news is, I should actually have a little bit of time to work more on personal stuff now. I’m really excited about that, and I am hoping to give you all weekly updates on my novel. I really need to crank myself up into getting something or another edited and polished so that I can at least try to get an agent.

I think one of the real struggles of being a writer is getting the nerve to send off that very first submission out there.

I also thought about attempting to submit short stories to some magazines and whatnot… but we’ll see.

Anyway, as far as what I’m going to be doing… I have thought about starting out with some livestreams on twitch. I figured that writing and getting to talk to some of you guys while I do it might be a little bit of fun. You can catch when I am going to be doing that if you go over to my Twitter – alert though, I will be using it for both writing and playing video games. :3

Other than that, I am going to be getting back to some writing prompts and trying to get my facebook writing group active again!

My upcoming blogs are going to be a new tour of my writing space, some book reviews, and my thoughts on the whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing. (Beware xD).

I’m sure I’ll have more to be writing as well… I wanna get back into writing tips, tricks, and advice. So now is where I leave it open to you… is there anything that you guys want to see?

Specific writing prompts?




Let me know!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Find me on the following sites!

Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting, movie review, novel, scrivener, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

When You Don’t Blog

… because you aren’t sure what to blog about. I try to get useful blogs out there, and sometimes I just feel like I’m running in circles for a topic. (I notice this is when I feel a little less inspired to write in general.) Anyway, I’m going to be doing another blog tonight ( My writing challenge ), I just wanted to go ahead and write this. ^_^ If you guys want to suggest ANY topics for me to touch on, whether it’s a certain novel, a writing tip/trick/advice, a movie review, some creative story, scrivener tutorials, anything at all, just let me know! I always love hearing from you!

-Author Amanda McCormick

Patreon | Twitter 

Posted in Creative WRiting, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips

Hate Feeling Sick

Oh Goodness, I absolutely hate feeling ill.  I’ve been at it for the past few days, though I do have to say that yesterday was the worst. I honestly slept for near 24 hours, because my body simply refused to function. So… needless to say, I’ve gotten a bit behind on the blogging and the writing in general. Today I’m starting to feel a little bit better, so I am hoping that I can at least get a little something done.

My question for the blog, however, is in relation to this. What do you do when you get behind from an illness – do you let the overwhelm you? I know that I’ve certainly felt that way in the past – I had intentions of getting my NaNo novel complete this month, so that I could start editing either this one, or the one from last year come January… and suddenly I am feeling distinctly behind. It’s moments like these when you have to take a deep breath and step back from everything… because, as writers… there is a solid truth that is always going to apply. Are you ready for it?

Life gets in the way.

Now, I am sure that this applies less once you are a full time author – I certainly know that some life-ish things wouldn’t apply then… however, being this ill? Nah, it would still apply. Grief? Yep, still applies… we aren’t doing a job where we mechanically put things away, or just work at a register. We are doing something that come from our creativity, from our soul… and feeling like complete shit is going to make that a little more complicated to accomplish.

I’m not saying that we should always let emotional issues stop us… but sometimes, it’s better to step off and try to get better than to just allow yourself to keep getting worse because you’re pushing yourself too hard.

So, yes… my blog today has one statement and message: Don’t let yourself feel disheartened and behind because something happened that stopped you from being able to write. Simply brush yourself off and get back to it as soon as you can!


That’s all for today – I just wanted a short blog before I laid down with some tea again.

To everyone! Keep reading and writing!


Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in author amanda mccormick, editing, egodominustuus, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, novel, polishing, publishing, word sprints, word wars, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Thanksgiving and Winning NaNoWriMo

So, first of all, I’d like to give a huge thank you to my NaNoWriMo theme song. xD

Anyway, I really have to say that NaNo was a bit of a task this year. Between worrying about my poor pup and having to deal with the fact that I forced myself into a rewrite half way through…

Well, let’s just say that last year went a LOT smoother than this year.

Still, I managed to win with a few days left over. The difference between this year and last year is that I didn’t finish the novel. Last year, I wrote 90,000 words and completed the novel. This year, I am far off from that. It’s a much more complex story, and something that I haven’t worked with as far as writing goes. Still, I’m proud of it, and it’s something that I’m going to continue on.

I’ve really enjoyed NaNo this year, however – it’s been great to spend time with my friends, encourage them, and know that my words can help to make a difference. I love that I can give someone advice or encouragement and it helps them to get along with their story.

You guys have been amazing – you’ve responded to blogs, messages, etc. I love your enthusiasm and help! Over the next month or two, I will be finishing the novel that I started, and then I’m going to chose if I would like to edit it or the NaNo project from last year. Either way, i’m going to start polishing it up and getting it ready to query. Any tips/tricks/advice on that would be forever useful!

As it is, I had an amazing Thanksgiving, and I hope that you all are as well. I’m going to be doing some writing sprints/word wars on my twitter @EgoDominusTuus over the next few days to help my friends who are straggling to finish up their wordcount. if you’d like to join in, I’d love to have you there!

Otherwise, I hope your day has been great, and I hope your writing is flowing as smooth as the turkey gravy!

Until next time guys, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick