Writing

A Confession And Reflection

I have a confession to make. I didn't participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this July. Explains the lack of Camp this and Camp that in my blog posts, doesn't it?

I began the month with every intention to write a novel from scratch. Writing 50,000 words wasn't exactly my goal. I just wanted to write a lot of words for a new novel I could potentially publish one day. Perhaps not traditionally but possibly.

Instead, I wrote a bit of everything. Some prose and poems, fiction and nonfiction.

I don't consider July to be a complete failure. After all, I wrote every day.

Even though I didn't manage to complete the first draft of a novel, I did come out of July with some good writing. Pieces I will likely work on further in the future.

I think I needed a month of writing whatever I wanted. Especially since I worked on a novel not that long ago in April. It's like I went straight from April to July, skipping May and June entirely.

Also, I wanted a slight break from everything. From feeling pressured to meet a certain word count, feeling obligated to stick to a singular story, etc.

I like to believe I've spent the past 30 days or so regrouping. I did some soul-searching wherein I ask myself what in the Herminia do I want in this life. And, to be quite honest, I still don't know.

Right now I want to continue writing as long as possible. Wherever I go, whoever I am a year from now or a decade down the road, I hope I'll always remember my humble beginnings.

I cherish the memory of when I first reached for pen and paper, when I finally let my thoughts flow freely. It seemed so easy at the time.

My first ever Camp NaNoWriMo coincided with an attempt at finishing my first novel. I'll spare all of you the boring details. But even now, I can recall a younger Herminia pressing keys with her not so nimble fingers several years ago. She had a blast.

So I owe it to myself to have as much fun as I used to or more every time I voluntarily face the blank page.

Writing

10 Tips For Surviving Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s upon us. That time of the year where the most ambitious of writers try to write a lot of words in a short amount of time.

Here’s to your survival during Camp NaNoWriMo. May you come out of July with a terrible first draft.

  1. Do not research. You could have researched before. You can always do so after. It doesn’t matter. Your priority during Camp should be writing as many words as you can. Not researching how to bury a body. 
  2. Do save your work everywhere. Make multiple copies and drafts of your novel, so you can sleep easier at night.
  3. Do not procrastinate. Easier said than done. It helps a lot. Writing 1,667 words in 24 hours is much easier than writing 50,000 words in 1 day. 
  4. Do sit in your chair and pound keys. Try to stay seated until you hit a goal you’ve set for yourself.
  5. Do not read everything in sight. You can pick up that awesome book once you’ve hit your word count for each day.
  6. Do tell people you’re busy writing a bestseller. They’ll hold you accountable. They might even ask to read it.
  7. Do not edit. Don’t do it.
  8. Do reward yourself handsomely. Exercise. Sleep well. Eat good food. But treat myself. 
  9. Do not waste your precious writing time. It’s precious. Cherish it. 
  10. Do have fun. Make writing fun again.

See you in August. Feel free to wave your manuscript in the air and scream your victory at the top of a mountain.

Writing

What To Do After Camp NaNoWriMo

What in the world do you do after Camp NaNoWriMo?

I have some ideas.

Write.

You just wrote 50,000 words. (Or more. Or less. Point being you put pen to paper. You did, didn’t you?) So why not write some more? Of course, it’s a good idea to work on other stories and projects. But if your Camp novel is still incomplete, there’s no law prohibiting you from finishing it in May. Write whatever you want, OK?

Edit.

Writing a lot in April can help kick-start a good editing streak. Personally I try to avoid editing anything right after writing it. But if you’re so inclined to edit your Camp story, go for it. That said you have nothing to lose if you take a few days, weeks, or months away from your first draft. During that time, you can focus on editing older manuscripts you have lying around. But don’t let anyone, myself included, tell you how or when to edit. It’s your life. Edit on your own terms.

Read.

Trying to read 250,000 words and write 50,000 in the same month is tough. May can be a great time to catch-up. Readathon, anyone?

Blog.

Guess who didn’t comment on many blogs in April? You’re right if you guessed me. I hope to be a better blogger in every respect this month. Create better content. Comment more frequently. Join me.

Bottom line: do whatever you want in May…within reason. You survived Camp after all. Might as well keep the productivity going.

Writing

Congratulations On Completing Camp NaNoWriMo

First off, congratulations to everyone who participated in Camp NaNoWriMo.

It’s no easy feat. Celebrate your accomplishment, whatever it is that you accomplished. 

I hope you’re proud. You should be.

It’s important to take time for yourself. To write and create. To work on your art, your craft.

Even if you didn’t write as many words as you wanted to, you’re still a winner. You still won. Because you made yourself a priority.

Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to read your story.

I’d love nothing more.

Writing

You Are A Winner | Camp NaNoWriMo 2017

No matter what happened or didn’t happen this month, you’re a winner.

I know Camp NaNoWriMo isn’t officially over. So you still have time to work magic and miracles. Isn’t that what writing is? Pulling off an insane magic trick, an incredible miracle?

But even if you don’t meet your word count goal come the 30th, you still won. At least in my book.

You won if you sat down and wrote something, anything. Got that amazing story in your head down on the page. Made time to create…art.

Because at the end of the day, nothing else really matters except you and your craft.

From one writer to another, you are a winner. At the very least, concede the fact you aren’t a loser. You didn’t lose. You dedicated time for yourself to write, to make, to create. That’s a victory in and of itself. 

So even though I’m jumping the gun, I want to congratulate you. Congrats on taking on the challenge that is Camp NaNo. Not everyone can make that claim you know.

Writing

How To Survive Camp NaNoWriMo

Don’t participate in the first place.

I’m kidding. I also joke when I say that someone needs to invent a universal sarcasm font, so no one ever misunderstands my terrible jokes and deadpan remarks. 

Seriously though, you survive by writing one word after another until the end of the month.

And then you do it all over again in July.

Why? Well, why not?

Unfortunately, it’s week three. In my opinion, the worst week of all.

Week one was fantastic. I found myself in this honeymoon phase where I was excited and ecstatic about my story. I had all the energy in the world despite school draining my soul.

Week two was slower. Still fun, however. I know some say the second week is the toughest, but I had my earlier momentum carrying me through it. Week one and two seemed to blur together. Wrote a lot more than I studied because priorities.

Week three was and still is interesting to say the least. I’m running into some issues like not failing my exams.

How’s Camp treating you? Hang in there!

Writing

Writing Q & A | Camp NaNoWriMo Edition

Enjoy yourself as I answer questions about writing during the wonderful time that is Camp NaNoWriMo.

What are you writing?

A baseball story. I like to think it’s a good one. Then again, what do I know? 

When do you write?

Usually at night before I sleep. Partly because I used to have classes in the morning and afternoon. Mostly because no one interrupts me then.

Where do you write?

My bedroom. Sometimes in bed. Other times standing over my vanity. I’m lazy and short, so it works out.

How do you write?

One day, long ago, I started using pen. I never went back to pencil.

What’s your Camp NaNoWriMo goal?

Write every day, which I already do unless something insane or stupid happens. Like the one time I fell asleep before I wrote. That’s an example of a stupid thing. 

My main goal is to write and finish a first draft for what will eventually be a novel or novella, depending on how long my story runs. I’m hoping to address a problem that’s plagued me for years. It’s called I tend to start but not follow through and finish things.

If there’s anything you’d like to know about my Camp NaNo writing experience, feel free to ask away.

Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017

It’s that time of the year again.

Where I try to write as many words as I can for Camp NaNoWriMo. While also attempting to not fail any of my exams.

So if I don’t read, like, and comment on your blog posts the second you publish them, you know why.

Also, in the month of April, you’ll probably find me in my bedroom writing for thirty minutes or in a classroom scribbling frantically for three hours.

It’s a wonderful time.