Posts Tagged ‘writing encouragement’


Things are never quite so perfect as they appear. I wanted to just prod something out really quick to let you guys know that. So many people post perfectly posted photos and really make it seem like everything is amazing. Even I make some pretty fantastically posed pictures for headers.

I took the one above, and then I kinda zoomed out to see what the rest of everything looked like.


Yep. That crackup in the corner is my kiddo giving me the stink eye. There are extra coffee cups, water bottles, a really dirty kitchen table… there are a bunch of things that make the picture imperfect. Never get discouraged because of pictures and snippets of people that you see on the internet, or even as a celebrity.

Those are just small fractions of a whole thing. I promise you, they aren’t accurate to how the world is really going. Everyone has mess, everyone has stress. Everyone has issues, and that’s what makes us unique and who we are. That’s what gives us the experiences in life that help us to be better writers.

So, the next time you’re on an instagram and you’re wondering how in the hell someone has such a perfect writing space, or a perfect bookshelf, or a really neat corner where they film videos…

Remember, there’s probably a pile of laundry and some empty cups just out of sight! ❤ We are all perfectly imperfect, and that’s just the way we need to be! So, don’t give up — keep on chugging ❤ Keep on writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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So, here we are on the last day of Camp NaNoWriMo… and I’m actually completely unsure of whether or not I’m gonna win. I have around 3000 words to still write, and I could probably get it done…

But, I have other obligations. I have a room to get completely cleaned out so that I can move and get settled before I pop out my little monster ❤ I have to somehow find enough time to still get enough sleep so that I don’t feel ill (which involves me sleeping during the day because I toss and turn at night). I have a million and one things to do… and I know that there’s a chance that I will fail at NaNo (though I will update you guys tomorrow and let you know for sure as to what happened)… but the point is, I don’t feel bad about it.

That’s kind of the beautiful thing about Camp. I don’t take it as seriously as the real NaNo. I don’t think of it as something that I have to win – I set myself a goal, and I do my best to attain it, but I’m always really happy with the results, regardless of whether I got 10,000 or 50,000. Maybe I’m just weird for the fact that I don’t think Camp is as serious as the November NaNo, but that’s kind of how I go along with it.

I’m also pretty pleased with what I managed to do this month, as far as my writing prompts go. I haven’t gotten that much done, but the ones that I did do have inspired me for new novel ideas, which is always amazing (and a little hectic, since I should seriously quit having new novel ideas all of the time – you know, editing one completely would be a much better use of my time xD). Still, I’m happy with the ideas. I’m extremely happy with the fact that I feel creative, even if I don’t have the time to be as creative as I’d like right at this moment.

I’m looking forward, and onward. Onward to a time when I’m going to have my writing space set up in our new house, and it’s going to be in the same room as my baby. I’m not gonna be able to just sit and write for hours on end (obviously, there’s gonna be a little on there), but I am going to be able to concentrate on my writing while my baby is napping in the same room as me.

My mind is certainly flooded with a lot of thoughts right now. As a first time mama, you tend to go in circles in your heads about how things are going to work, how things are going to be, (how labor is gonna be, oh dear), and a million other things. But my mind is also focused and clear on the fact that I want to write – more than that, that I really and truly want to focus on getting a book completely polished and sent off to an agent. It’s not really about making a ton of money (though that would be nice, eh?), it’s about setting an example for the sweet little boy that I’m bringing in the world. It’s about showing him that you can follow dreams, and that you can put your mind to something and get it done.

It’s about a lot of things. And Camp has happily gotten me back into the set of mind that I love writing, and that I can do this writing things even when things are crazy. I might not always get as much done as I wanted to, but I’ll still get a lot done.

Camp, writing, NaNoWriMo… it’s always such a wonderful experience, because it always brings you back to the core of what you really enjoy doing, and it makes you think about it.

I love to think about writing, and I certainly love to think about someday seeing my book on a shelf. This month has given me a taste for how being busy is going to change my writing habits, but it’s a good taste. It’s a taste that is getting me ready for the future… and it’s a future that I’m more than willing to embrace and get ready for. So, yeah, I may not win my Camp adventure (though just writing this blog is pumping me up to do just that, and I really do think that I can!), but I still feel like I’ve won, regardless of what the word count says. I’ve done a good job, and I’m ready to run as close as I can to the finish line with the thoughts and feelings that I have right now. I’m ready to get there, and feel like a winner regardless.

I am wondering though, how has Camp been for all of you? I’d love to hear about how much writing you’ve gotten done, what your stories were about, etc. I’d love to hear about the ups and downs of your camp adventures – just link me to blogs that you wrote about it, or write the blogs and then tag my name in them! Whatever you do, I’d love ot hear about it!

As a side note, now that the month is coming to an end, I should be getting back to the other types of blogs that I was writing before – the writing prompts, tips, currently, tags, etc. I’m excited to get back to those, and I would love to get some feedback before I do to see if there’s anything else that you all would like to see for my posts! I’m always more than happy to please you guys while getting things done, and I’m really excited about my progress and moving forward!

So, I think that about covers everything for the moment. I will have another blog up either this afternoon or tomorrow to let you guys know if I managed to get those last few thousand words that I needed to get in order to actually win at NaNo. Looking forward, it doesn’t seem like that much after all, and I really think that I can do it! I know that you guys can! It’s the last day, just push as far as you can!

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

Author Amanda McCormick

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header-nano-tipsHey, everyone! I’m here with another Tip for you in preparation for NaNoWriMo! It’s going to be here before we know it, so we’re all doing those last minute searches for everything that we can that will help us to defeat the monster that we’re about to engage! Actually, that was 2 years ago, right? Slaying dragons. This year we’re… blasting off?

Are we defeating aliens?

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter… the point is, we’re so close to NaNo that we’re all scrambling for those last minute tips and tricks that will help us to accomplish our goals.

I’m going to give you some advice that comes from someone who has participated in NaNo multiple times. It’s some of the best advice that I can give:

Plan on getting ahead.

Seriously – the first week, you’re going to be more energized than any other week that you’re doing NaNo. Your story is going to be fresh, you’re going to be extremely hyped… you’re going to be on this cloud of, “Wow, I’m an author, I am writing a book and I’m amazing.”

Come week two, you’re going to be tired, your fingers will hurt… your body will be wondering why there’s so much blood in its caffeine stream. By week three, you’re going to have done that cardinal rule that you shouldn’t do and look at what you wrote. Lamenting will happen, you’ll wonder why you’re even doing this! And then the last expanse of NaNo will get here, and you’ll get re-energized, re-excited. You’ll realize that you’re writing a novel that you’re almost finished with! You’ll charge through that last little bit like a pro… and you’ll finish NaNo with Pride!

But, let’s get back to that first week. That first week is really where you set the stage – you’re going to be tempted to have bad days, more than likely… so the best thing that you can do is prepare to get ahead. Set your goals higher in week one – it doesn’t have to be by much, but setting them to something more than just the 1,667 while you have all of that extra energy and excitement is really a great thing to do.

For myself, I try to have a 10k first day. It sounds extreme, but it honestly isn’t. If you have good friends, or an internet writing group (check on joining my Discord in my signature if you don’t <3), you can do sprints all day. You don’t realize how much you’re writing until you’ve done 5 or 6 sprints, and you’re already well past your word goal for the day and you still have energy.

I, personally, start writing at midnight and try to at least make my wordgoal of 1,667 before I go to bed. That way, when I wake up the next day and start writing, everything is new and fresh, but I’m really adding extra on. If I can manage that 10k first day, it gives me so much wiggle room. It gives me a chance to breath… and a chance during week 2 and 3 blues to have those days where I can’t write as much as I would want to.

Ride that first week energy, and ride it as hard and as far as you can. have 2k days instead of 1,667 days. Hell, have 3k days, or 5k days! Do as much as you can, and know that you’re getting ahead on your novel.

And remember, when you’re having those second and third week blues… you’re doing something amazing. You are creating and entire world with just your mind. You’re doing something that so many people can’t do, and you’re an astounding individual for it. Just keep on keeping on, and know that you can always come to my blog to hear words of encouragement, because I belive in you. I really do. You’ve got this.

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

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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!


I’ve touched on this particular subject before, but I wanted to have a blog specific to it, so that you could find it easily in my directory. I’ve recently had the subject brought up again… and it’s something that I think a lot of writers worry about.


I swear, if I could somehow make that a four letter word, I would. As writers, we are always worried about being original, about our ideas being out done, out played, out written, over saturating the market to the point of being completely redundant to write.

Someone’s already done this idea. Maybe I just shouldn’t.

Oh, I hate hearing that. Even though I have the thought myself sometimes, I hate hearing it.

I’m going to give you a solid piece of advice, and it’s something that I need to follow just as much as everyone else.

Yes, someone has already done it.

No, someone has not already done it in the way that you can.

There’s nothing wrong with doing an idea that’s already been done, because I can promise you that most things have already been written about. In a platform that has existed for as long as people had the capability to tell stories, I can promise you that every story has been told. The difference is, every story hasn’t been told in the way that you can tell it.

The fact is, there are formulas for every type of story telling. Example:

Fantasy Plot – there are dragons, someone in distress, a quest, and epic magic/and or battles.

Romance Plot – Person A meets person B. They don’t love each other at first, but they fall in love over ____ event.

Horror – The blonde always dies first. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that one.)

But, you see… those things are only formulas… they’re bare bones guidelines, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to make your story generic, just like everything else. In fact, they’ve existed for so long for a reason. 

People like to read stories that follow those formulas.

Yes, we want something different to happen within the parameters of those formulas… and that’s where you come in. You are bringing something unique, that only you have. You’re bringing something that no one else has ever brought to the table before – and that’s your uniqueness and creativity. No one has been inside of your mind (unless you have something you need to tell me about o-o), and no one can make the characters or bring the experiences and emotion that you can bring.

Therein lies the core of this topic – your story will be unique, because you’re the only you who could ever write it.

So, if you’re worried about someone else having your idea? Yeah, they probably have… but that’s not what matters. What matters is the uniqueness that you can bring to the table – what matters is the fact that you’re telling a tale as old as time, and we all want to hear it, because you’re telling it in a new way that only you can bring to the world.

Don’t be afraid – don’t let your fears stop you from writing something that could be amazing. Don’t let your doubts hold you down. You take your idea, and you run with it, my dear writer, because I for one believe in you and everything that you’re capable of doing.

I want to see your story.

Until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

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Hey all! Look, I made a new image while I tried to figure out what to blog about today… and it was actually making that image that brought me to a realization of what I wanted to write about.

Sometimes, we just need to distract ourselves for a few minutes. I came to my desktop with the full intentions of immediately pumping out a blog. Instead, I took the time to check my Discord Chat (Click the link if you’d like to join!), I made myself an iced coffee… I chatted with some friends on skype… and then I decided that I wanted to make a new blog header, specifically for tips and tricks.

And then, once I was done, I actually felt like writing. Sometimes, we can’t immediately jump into our projects, as much as we want to. Sometimes, we can’t even do warm up exercises to get ourselves ready to write.

Sometimes, we just have to fool around, knowing that we are going to write, and wait for our brain to catch up to that little fact. I know I sometimes leave my muse upstairs in my bed, and it has to finally kick off the covers and follow me to the computer before I’m ready to get started for the day.

Now, I’m not saying that you should spend all day procrastinating by any means. If you have a set time of when you can write (like, if you only have 30 minutes to an hour allotted for writing time) you should certainly hop to it. But if you spend 5 of those minutes messing around and allowing yourself to mentally work up to the task that you’re about to take on, that’s okay.

If you’re like me, and you have plenty of time… taking 20 minutes to properly acclimate yourself to the task at hand isn’t a bad thing at all. Sometimes, what we need is a chance to prepare, and to charge up… before we charge into a writing battle. The entire time that I was looking at the things I listed above, I was contemplating what I wanted to write about. I narrowed it down from working on a story to doing a blog. From there, I narrowed it down from Flash Fiction to doing something about tips… but I wasn’t sure what. I took the time that I spent messing around to figure myself out, and once I did, I could set to task.

So, don’t feel guilty if it takes you a little bit sometimes before you start writing – it’s not a matter of immediately starting. It’s a matter of starting, and getting those words down. It’s a matter of letting the world that is hiding inside of your mind leak out to the page through your fingertips. You’ve got this. You are an extremely creative being… and sometimes, we extremely creative beings need to tool around on twitter and tumblr for 20 minutes before we start creation.

And there is nothing wrong with that!

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

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Oh, hey. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? I’ve been extremely busy, and it’s actually for this reason that I’m taking the time to do one of these. It’s gotten me down, and I’ve been more stressed than I’m letting on. So. Ready? Here we go:

The hard work that I put into my writing will pay off.

That’s right. Sometimes, I feel like I’m almost floundering around and not really doing anything. I put a lot of effort into my blog, into honing my writing skills, into doing everything that I can in order to better myself as a writer… and sometimes, it feels like I’m wasting time. Sometimes, I feel like I should just drop the entire thing and go do something else with my life.

But I know better than that. Each day that I write, I better myself. Each time I post a blog, I am bettering my writing. Each time I strive to do something and achieve it, I am bettering myself.

Never let yourself feel down. Never let yourself feel like what you are doing isn’t enough. It is. You’re amazing. Don’t forget that.

This is a short affirmation, because I’m going to use my own self motivation to get some more writing done right now.

Until next time, guys. Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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I’m sneaking this in here about 30 minutes past midnight, but it still counts for day 21. Honestly, I was out catching Pokemon for the last 4 hours. >_> Yes. Okay. I’m a little obsessed with the game, but it’s not stopping me from getting my writing done!

When Flowers Fall – 6854
The Second Realm – 1516
Serial Killer – 1019
Cerulean Darkness – 6522
Misc Short Stories – 1045
Untitled – 2214
The Siren’s Door – 1000

July Camp Nano Total: 20170/30000

As you can see, I’m doing a great job of continuing to keep on track. I fall behind, and then I quickly step my game right back up. My total for the month is marching towards 60k words, so I’m really pleased with that. I was thinking about lowering my NaNo goal to 25k, but I decided against it. Don’t lower your goal if you feel like you can still reach what you’re going for. Don’t sell yourself short! You can do this. We still have about 10 days left. You can still hit all of your goals. Even if you only write 2000 words a day, that’s 20,000 words if you work hard and keep at it.

I believe in you. ❤

Markiplier believes in you, too.

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!~

Author Amanda McCormick

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Low and behold, I have finally managed to get caught up to that magical 14,000 words. I wanted to be able to take the 24th off from worrying about NaNo (if I needed to), and now I’m going to be able to. Of course, I should get a little more ahead, in case there are other unforeseen things in my future, but for now, I’m going to celebrate.

When Flowers Fall – 3128
The Second Realm – 1516
Serial Killer – 500
Cerulean Darkness – 6522
Misc Short Stories – 836
Untitled – 1670

July Camp Total: 14172/30000

So, as you can see, I crawled up over 14,000 words. I worked on Cerulean Darkness and finished my edits for chapter five. I also worked a bit on the Untitled story, which is pretty awesome. I had a good writing day. I also managed to get to 500,000 words for the year! I’m half way to my 1 million in a year goal, and I’m really excited about it. I just have to keep on keeping on, and get as many words as I can!

For those of you who are starting to get tired, don’t quit! We are so close to being half way through NaNo, and even though you may feel tired now, it’s going to be so rewarding when you cross that finish line and find yourself with so many new words! ❤ You’ve got this, just keep moving forward!

Sorry if this is a little short. It’s very hot, and I’m pretty tired. I’m thinking I deserve a cool drink and some reading time for hitting all of my goals today! If you’re looking for more to read, check out my Tag Thursday blog, and my announcement about Going Back To Hogwarts!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

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Writing Prompt

So! I love how these writing prompts have been going, guys! I try to find things that are challenging, engaging, and something that will push you outside of your normal box, so that you’re writing something that you wouldn’t normally do. Everything that I’ve seen you all write so far has been spectacular, and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with this week! So, for this week, I’m giving you something a little different that I found over on Writers Write:

So, instead of using those as 31 prompts for July, I want you to pick five to ten words off of the list and use them in your writing prompt. It doesn’t matter how you use them, or what you prompt is about, but you have to use at least 5 words from the list. I can’t wait to see what kind of story you shape from what you’re given, and I know that you guys can do something amazing! And if you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, this is the perfect opportunity to actually include your prompt in your story if you’re at a need for a scene! Challenge yourself!

Remember, if you do your writing prompt – whether you’re on wordpress, tumblr, or your own personal site, and you link back to me, I’ll feature you on my own response blog on Saturday, so that all of my followers can see your amazing writing! You all have so much potential in you, and worlds to let loose! I can’t wait to see what this week brings!


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

Author Amanda McCormick

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Hey guys! I am moving on up in the number of affirmations that I’ve done, and I really do think that each and every one of them is helping me to improve my self esteem and ability to have confidence in myself as a writer. I had a pretty busy day yesterday, as far as everything was concerned… and that is what led me to today’s affirmation! So! Creativity Affirmation #13:

Even on days when I find myself busy or tired, I can always find a few minutes to sit down and get my daily writing done.

I’ve talked about this so much, but I’ve never really taken it as an affirmation, as a point of pride. Even on days when I feel like I’m falling apart completely, I somehow find the time to sit down at my computer and get my minimum word count out. Even on days when I’m so busy that it feels like I don’t have a second to breath, I sit down and get my minimum word count done. Even when I feel like I can’t, I sit down and get my word count done. I feel good after I do it, and like a strong and accomplished person. Managing to get my daily word count is something that I am proud of – something that I should be proud of – because I know that it isn’t always easy.

Writing isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding after we’re done. Dorthy Parker says, “I hate writing. I love having written.” I don’t hate writing, but sometimes it is harder than others… but I always love the feeling of finishing, of getting my words, of knowing that I accomplished my goal and I am nurturing my art each and every day. So, never besmirch the effort that your words took – always tell yourself that you are an amazing, strong person for having done your writing.

Because you are.

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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