Posted in Creative WRiting

Writing Tips Alphabet Series – A is for… Accountability.

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  1. the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.”their lack of accountability has corroded public respect”

I know that I’ve talked about this a few times, but I feel like I have a little more experience in this now that I’ve completed MilWordy. I can tell you that it wasn’t the drive to get to a million words that got me there as much as it was the spreadsheet where I was recording the data.

You see, I shared that spreadsheet with about 20+ other people on my writing server. Every day, we’d be able to check in with one another. A friend and I were basically racing to the million words (we hit it on the same day, ha). I’ve learned that, at least for me, having someone who knows your goals and can encourage you and keep you on them is so helpful for getting writing done.

Now, you don’t have to just be in a Discord group to do that — you could find a local writing group. You could even just tell your friends/significant other/parents/whoever is your source of encouragement.

Before I started on the spreadsheet, I had a friend that really kept me accountable. Basically, having someone message you and say, “How is the writing going”, and they actually know if your progress is progress… it helps.

IF you don’t want to tell anyone about it, don’t want to communicate with people, there are other forms of accountability. You can post your goals to your social media — I think it’s cool to see people give a goal in the morning and then an update before they go to sleep. Even though I’m a stranger to you, you better believe that I’m going to be pushing and cheering for you the entire time, and I will drop some love on both of those posts to let you know that I see your goal and I’m rooting for you to hit it.

If you’re more of a ‘sometimes’ writer, a great way to do accountability is NaNoWriMo and the various versions of camp that have come from it. (For those of you who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month comes around every november, and thousands of people from all around the world come together for a mad dash of writing 50,000 words in one month!). There are forums there, and it’s where I’ve made so many of my amazing friends!

So yes, A is for Accountability! Find someone who can boost you up, who you can hold yourself responsible to, and cling to that if you can!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Linktree | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |

Posted in Creative WRiting

NaNoWriMo Kick Off! <3

"NaNoWriMo 2020 Writer" - Facebook Banner - Design by Tyrell Waiters
I love the banner this year.

 Hey there everyone! How are we doing today? I didn’t do my normal NaNoWriMo kick off day post yesterday because it was a little hectic. I do want to say that I did my normal FirstDay10k! I actually ended up getting 15,000! So I was pretty pleased with my progress. Honestly though, I just love NaNoWriMo. There’s something so fantastic about a huge group of people coming together with the goal of getting words.

Things are a little different for me this year, since I’ve been participating in MilWordy. I’ve been getting such huge numbers for the past 2 months that I’m going to be pushing myself a little harder than I usually would. I’m trying to finish 2 drafts for NaNo. I really think that I’m going to be able to do it, because I did take the time to do some proper prep before the month started on both of them. I have my general plot and my proper beats down, and I think that I’m going to be able to get through them.

And honestly, low-key, there’s a part of me that wants to finish three drafts for the month, but we’re not going to get that crazy quite yet in committing to that. In a perfect world, I will finish the trilogy that I’m working on and the book that I’m writing with my friend. But in a realistic world, I’d love to finish the second book in the trilogy and the book with my friend.

We’ll see how things go.

Anyway, this is my normal check in for the month. I’m going to be trying to post NaNoWriMo updates, tips, tricks, the works as often as I can. I notice that in October I tend to fall off of posting anything that isn’t spoopy writing prompts, and this year I was making them all from scratch on Canva so it was even more of me just posting those. But now that October is over with, I’m back.

And I’m here to give you your first tip!

Find a group to write with! 

Join my Discord Server if you’d like ❤ We have contests, accountability, we’re going to be doing a giveaway for the people who win NaNo, and we’re generally just a really fun group to be around. 

Or, if you would prefer something more intimate, find some groups on facebook, or get a group together on the NaNo website. It’s just really important that you find yourself some accountability buddies for NaNo, since I think that one of the most important and really essential parts to the whole thing is finding your people. 

I know that’s a tip that I give all of the time, but it’s honestly one that I can’t say enough. I really don’t think that my writing progress would be where it is if I hadn’t had my Discord group around for as long as I have in tandem with my husband who really cheers me on every chance that he gets. I’ve met some of the most important people in my life through that group, and I know that I wouldn’t be half as happy or half as productive without them.

So… find your tribe. Come join mine if you want to ❤ Just find your people and stick with them! 

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

Pack Your Bags! Camp Time!

What’s that? Is that the sound of a bonfire I hear? The awesome smell of toasted Marshmallows?

Is it Camp NaNoWriMo time again already?

Full disclosure, I signed up for camp last time around, and I didn’t get anything done. Between the Pandemic and the fact that my kids are absolutely crazy because they can’t get out and do anything… I just didn’t have time to get anything done. I’m fine with that — it’s just Camp. I save my serious writer pants for November NaNo. Still… I want to participate this month, and I’m really excited to do so.

My plans? I want to finish my draft from November. I got… about… 80% of the way through the novel before I realized that I was probably going to have to add a second perspective into it. However, I want to finish this first draft with the singular perspective before I go back in and work on it.

Yeah, that happens to me a lot. A lot of my first drafts are me writing in the wrong POV, me realizing I need dual perspectives… me realizing this this standalone is yet another trilogy xD But… I am almost finished with this one, so I want to go ahead and get it going, get it finished, and get it printed out.

I think that one of the most satisfying things about finishing a draft is printing it out so you can hold all of those words that you just wrote in your hands. There’s something about it that brings me more satisfaction than I could possibly describe.

How do you guys feel about that? And another question, what are your camp projects? I set a goal of 20,000 words, but I’m sure that I’m going to exceed that to finish things up. I just put it at a generally attainable amount, so that I could get things finished up. I know that my real goal is “Finish the draft”, but they don’t have an option for that.

Tell me about what you’re going to do! Let’s be Camp buddies here, since it seem like most people don’t like the NaNo site anymore! I can’t wait to hear your goals and what you want to write about! Tell me in the comments, or write a blog post and link back to me! I’m going to try to do update blogs all throughout the month! I’d love to see y’all do the same!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group | 

	
Posted in Creative WRiting

NaNoWriMo 2019 Tips and Thoughts

I’m just going to keep coming back to this, aren’t I? Of course! I love NaNoWriMo so much, and I really think it’s an amazing thing that more writers need to participate in. So, I’m going to lay out a few more quick tips for everyone.

First, if you’re the person who likes to write with music, make sure to get yourself a playlist laid out. Make it specific to the project that you’re working on this month. If you have a certain set of music that you listen to each and every day, you’re going to associate that music with working, and it’s going to trick your brain into continuing to get into that working mood, even when you start to crash out!

I recommend using SPOTIFY if you can. It’s an easy place to make playlists, select from an enormous amount of songs, and you can also look out for other people’s music to see what’s inspiring them!

Also, even if you aren’t really a plotter… I’d suggest at least writing out a few sentences of what you’re planning on happening — you have some kind of an idea about it 😛 If you do that, pin it up in front of you, it’ll give you motivation for where you go! If you aren’t heavy into plotting, but you still like to do a little plot, do what I do. I write one to two sentences for each chapter with plenty of room for making new things up as I go along! It helps without detracting from me being able to create and make up as I go.

Those are my tips for the day! I hope that you enjoyed them! I’ll have some more up tomorrow!

Until then, keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!
Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

Posted in Creative WRiting

NaNoWriMo 2019! Tips and Thoughts!

It’s that time again, guys. That time when a million voices come together screaming in excitement, and then panic… and then exhaustion as we race towards the finish line of 50,000 words written in 30 days.

It sounds insane, I know. I feel insane every year that I say I’m going to do it… but here I am, doing it anyway. And, as usual, I can’t do it like a normal person. I have two projects that I am working on personally, and one project that I’m going to be working on with a friend. In the spirit of actual NaNo, I will not feel like a winner unless I get 50,000 words onto one of those projects by itself. My main project is going to be a lot of fun. I made a cover, if you wanna take a peeksie.

Which is one of my first tips to you guys! You want to make sure that, if you can, you make yourself a cover. I know it’s silly, but it oddly does help. It’s something about seeing an image to your idea ❤ I suggest using Canva, if you wanna slap something together yourself!

It’s not just about a cover though… you really need to get excited about your project. I find that one of the easiest ways to do that is to find someone to be excited with you. Whether it’s a friend, or a local writing group, or getting onto the NaNo forums, you need people to talk to. The first and only time that I lost NaNo was in 2011, when I had NO ONE doing it with me. I probably wrote the 50k, but I was so not into the whole NaNo idea that I just… trickled off of the site.

The next year, I made a Skype group and had a group of random friends to join it… and from there, it’s grown into a fantastic Discord Server. If you want to join CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE and come hang out. The thing is, having people who are just as excited as you, and people who are going through this crazy journey with you really does help a lot. On the server, we run sprints, prompts, crawls, and we’re basically an all year writing server to provide encouragement and so you can snag you up some accountability buddies.

Having an accountability buddy is essential. I let my whole server know what is up and my progress, but I have a close friend who I like to be really accountable to. I’ve lost my buddy before, and it makes writing a lot less fun. If you have someone you trust, love, care about? Snag ’em up. They don’t have to be a writer, but it helps, because you’re getting to provide accountability services for them as well.

I’ll be posting more tips and thoughts over the next few days, as well as writing updates as NaNo goes on! If there’s anything you’d like to see, any subject you’d like for me to touch on, just let me know! Until then!

Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, nano advice, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Week One Update and Tips!

NaNo-2017-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Hello all! I know that I have been a bit silent since my Halloween horror prompts, but it was with good reason! NaNoWriMo 2017 started on the first of the month, and I’ve been blowing through my words at an astounding rate. I’ll get more onto my update at the end of this blog! But for now, we’re going to go over the essential programs that I consider to be NaNo musts!

Scrivener: First and foremost is one of the most essential programs that I have, as far as my writing goes. Scrivener is an amazing software that allows you to create multiple documents, folders, binders, use split screen… basically, have the ability to corkboard your entire novel. I have an entire post on Scrivener, and there are dozens of wonderful youtube videos about it. I suggest and completely recommend that you check it out if you haven’t yet!

Google Docs: I write in multiple locations, so I’m not sure what I would do without google docs. It gives me the freedom to take my writing to multiple computers easily. I know I could use a thumb drive or even onedrive for that, but Googledocs makes it so much easier, because it autosaves, auto syncs, and there’s pretty much a no muss, no fuss attitude to go along with it. If you’re into organization and easy access, gdocs is for you.

4theWords: Is an amazing website that I partook of last year and am using again this year. It basically makes writing a game and gives you small, bite sized and achievable goals that make writing so much easier. I am of the personal opinion that breaking your words up into smaller goals that you can achieve and then get rewards for is one of the best ways to have high word count days. The website makes it basically a mini-game – you fight monsters with your word count, and in doing so you get loot from them. You can use the loot to complete quests, to gain items that allow you to build armor and weapons… it honestly makes the entire writing experience something fun and enjoyable that flies by and ends up being something that you look forward to doing every day so you can keep up your writing streaks. Aside from the game aspect, it also has a fantastic storage interface which allows you to sort your writing, put it into folders and binders… it’s all around pretty phenom and something else that I recommend. You can get a free month for signing up now, and if you win nano you get 50% off of the very affordable subscription!

Discord: I honestly don’t know how I could get through my writing at all without Discord. I have a writing server on there (My Writing Group) and it’s one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever created, as far as community goes. One of my favorite things about NaNo is being around people who are writing and knowing that there is someone there who can understand what an accomplishment it is to have a 1667 word day. With a writing server that functions year round, I am able to have that every single day. It’s not always as active as it is in November, but there are always a few people on to bounce ideas off of, to celebrate with, to enjoy the struggles and joys of writing with. I really don’t think I’d do half as well without my writing ground, because it’s an entire host of accountability buddies. There’s nothing better!

So, those are my tips and tricks for the day! Now, onward to the update! I am proud and pleased to say that my word count is currently at 51,000 words. That’s right guys! I won NaNo in the first week. It’s a funny story, actually… I was really pushing myself because I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to finish in time, due to the fact that I have a baby. It seems like that wasn’t the case, huh? Still, I have a lot of writing to get done to finish my first draft, so I’ll be participating in the writing for the rest of the month!
I’d love to hear how you guys are doing, as well as any writing programs/sites that are essentials!

Let me know! Until next time, guys, keep writing! We can do this! It’s just week two, so ahead or behind remember to keep your chin up. There’s always time to win!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in camp nanowrimo, Nano, NaNoWriMo

April Camp NaNo – Day 3&4

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

Hey everyone! How is the NaNoWriMo Camp experience going for you? So far, it’s been pretty fantastic for myself. I’ve decided I’m probably going to do my blog updates every other day, because it seems easier for me to keep up with. I’ll give you a little info about what’s been happening with me for the past few days, and then talk for a second about a few other things!

So, I’m still caught up on my words (though I need to update my wordcount on NaNo.) I actually didn’t do my words yesterday; instead, I did them all today. It was fairly easy to do, and it was nice not to have to stress about it. I’m happy with my decision of what I am working on, and my word count limit.

I think that everyone needs to know that they can reconsider the amount of words that they’ve set for themselves if they realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. It’s important to have fun with Camp, it’s important to feel like you can get your words, that you can do a good job ❤ Because you can! And when it comes down to it, what you’re accomplishing now is pretty damn amazing, no matter what you set your wordcount to!

Other than that, nothing really eventful has happened. I’ll post my writing prompt for tomorrow for everyone to partake in, if they so choose. I may post more than one a week on here, but I’m not sure yet.

Now then, onward to the other thing I wanted to discuss, I’m probably going to post a blog about my thoughts on a netflix series called 13 Reasons Why soon. I may read the novel first o-o I’m not sure. I kinda marathoned it in one day, and now I’m buzzed with thoughts and emotions. So, just giving everyone a heads up that I’ll be interrupting my regularly scheduled NaNo program for that ❤

That’s all for now though ❤

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in camp nanowrimo, Creative WRiting, Nano, nano advice, nano pep talk, nano prompts, NaNoWriMo

2017 April CampNaNo – Day One and Two

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

So, here we go with Camp NaNo (she said, posting her day 1 report a day late. But, alas… that’s just how it goes sometimes. The good new is, I cranked out my words. I set my goal pretty small – 15,000 words for the month. I’m sure I’ll pass it up (I hope I will), but I figured that would be good… since I’m pregnant and in the process of moving before the end of April.

I’m still super excited to try!

I did make a decision about what I wanted to do for Camp though – I was really willy nilly about how I wanted to tackle it. At first, I thought I’d do rewrites on my novel Cerulean Darkness… and then I thought, “No, I don’t want to rush rewrites and end up having to completely rewrite the rewrites… maybe I’ll just finish my novel Limbo during NaNo!”

And then I thought… “But, I don’t really want to rush through that, either. I’d rather have something that I don’t have to rewrite 100% after I’m done with it.”

So, I sat and I wondered for a minute what I wanted to do… and then I realized that it didn’t have to be so complicated. It’s CAMP, damn it. You’re supposed to have fun at Camp, and I have full intentions of having fun with what I’m writing. I’m using this as a platform to get me back into the habit of daily writing, and I’m not going to make it something that stresses me out so that I don’t want to do it.

So, I decided on 30 writing prompts, one for each day. I’ll probably be posting some of them up here for you guys, and I’ll certainly post some of the prompts up (from day 3 on, since I’m not gonna be able to today) so that anyone who is struggling with how to get your words for camp can follow along! The point is to get yourself writing, and the point is to hit your goal! So, I think that’s what we need to do, and I think that we all need to just have a lot of fun doing it! I know that I, for one, am actually excited about the prospect of getting things started. I’m not even going to sweat it if I don’t finish the prompt – I’ll hit the word count that I can hit for the day, and I’ll leave it. If nothing else, I’m going to have the beginnings to 30 pretty rad stories, and I’m super fine with that.

I’d love to hear how Camp is going for you guys, with day 2 closing out. I’m at right around 1000 words so far, 500 a day. I’m happy with it. I’m really satisfied.

Let me know what your projects are, or if you wanna follow along with the writing prompts every day! Regardless, I can’t wait to hear about it!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano

It’s Been A While

Life and Writing

Hey guys, it’s been a while, hm? Just as the title implies… I really just wanted to let you guys know that I haven’t abandoned this channel. I have some… very interesting… things happening in my life right now. They’ve been stressful and lovely and all around distracting, and I haven’t been able to be around as much as usual.

However, the main distraction hump is over (for now), and I have full intentions of explaining fully (later), but… for the moment, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m back, and starting next week, I’m going to try to hop onto my proper blogging schedule again. I may adjust what I do on some days – I’m actually thinking that for December, I’m going to post a 4 part Christmas Story over the span of the month… that sounds interesting, right?

I’ll still be doing my writing prompts as well.

Honestly, I just wanted to let you guys know that I was still around, and certainly still kicking. Things have been crazy, but I haven’t let that stop me from getting my 1k a day. Albeit, I’ve only  been doing 1,000 words a day, but it’s still my words, and it still counts. I’ve actually been struggling with it a bit, which is one of the reasons that I’m really excited to get back into the habit of my blogs – these actually helped me a lot. I need to settle back into a proper writing schedule, because I allowed myself to slip after I won NaNoWriMo.

Speaking of NaNo… oh my, I need to do a full-length post on what a struggle that was this year. It was stressful and hard, and full of twists and turns… along with a few ups and downs. I lost things and I gained things during the month, but I can’t say that it wasn’t worth it all. NaNo, however, will get a post all for itself – that’s not for this particular blog. I haven’t even added up my monthly total of writing, so I can’t do a November Writing Wrap-Up for you guys… like I said, the month was crazy.

But yes, I have been writing… expect some Christmas Story to be posted (and don’t expect it to be a regular fuzzy feels, because apparently, I can’t manage that). I’ll be around a lot more come Monday, and eventually, I will get to a post to explain away everything that went down in November, so you guys can understand my chaos xD I’ll try to get up the first part of the Christmas story over the weekend ❤

I’d love to hear how you guys did during November though – NaNo War stories make me feel less alone xD

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

 

 

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month

NaNo Day 1 Update

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Hey, everyone! I’m here with my update from Day One of NaNoWriMo. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, I was attempting to do my First Day 10k. It’s my new little habit that I’ve developed over the years, and I find that it’s extremely  helpful in making sure that during those weeks of NaNo when you’re starting to get tired, you have a little cushion to lean back on. Since I like to finish my novel during November (and most of my novels are around 100k), it’s extra useful for me.

So, yesterday was a really productive day. I certainly could have written more, but the thing about my writing is… I want to make sure that it’s usable. I write 10k, but I do it with the intention of being able to use at least 9/10 thousand of those words. I never write with the intention of ditching 20% of my work (I think that’s what a lot of professional authors actually recommend.) If anything, I write more of a skeleton than a full body. I want something that I can add to, not something that I have to hack apart.

Er.

I’m not a serial killer, I swear.

Anyway. I accomplished my 10k First Day yesterday, so that my Day One total was: 11,151 words! 

I was super pleased with my progress. I finished my introduction chapters for both Kyle and Thara, and then chapter two for each of them as well. The thing that I’m learning is… this is going to be one of the more complicated books that I’ve written. In case you weren’t sure about what I’m writing, I’m doing a novel that’s basically built to be flipped over – I’m writing the same story from two character’s perspectives.

I’m doing that in Scrivener, because I have to keep the chapter that I wrote previously up for the sake of making sure that I keep the story the same. I hadn’t realized that so much work would go in to making sure that each character told the same story… but it’s going to be really interesting to write, and I’m experimenting with how I want to handle it. I’m thinking if I want to write all of one person’s story first, and then go back… or if I want to keep going chapter by chapter.

There’s even a part of me that’s thinking of going scene by scene within the chapters… I might actually try doing that today – but I will certainly keep you updated!

But, aside from that, I really want to  know how everyone else’s NaNo is going! We ran a lot of crawls in my Discord group yesterday (click if you’d like to join), and it really helped a lot of people hit their wordcount. So, that’s going to be my little tip for you today. It’s a reminder of a tip that I’ve given you a thousand times before.

Get Involved In The Community. 

It will really do wonders for you, if you can find people to do sprints and crawls with, I promise. You’re going to have people keeping on pace with you, and people who care about if you’re making your goal or not. It’s going to make you feel nice, and it’s going to give you some accountability to make sure that you keep going.

Anyway, that’s all that I have for you today. I hope that everyone’s NaNo is going well, and I’d really like to hear about it in the comments below!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!