nanowrimo

Writing Life

If you’ve been keeping track of the awesome writing adventure I’ve been on, you’ll know I’m working on the 7th book in the Cry Wolf series for National Novel Writing Month.

This week’s post dives a little deeper into that. I’m currently sitting at 27k words, which is pretty impressive for me.

One thing I’ve remembered this month is how just because I have an outline and the characters laid out doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. But that’s been part of my process, I guess. There’s a point in the book where I have no idea how in the world I’ve managed to write around 30 books. Were those books flukes? How did I do it? And then, something happens, and I break through that point, and the words flow again.

On the flipside, I’ve discovered that there’s something new and special about the person I am now versus who I was before. The hard days before might’ve knocked me down and made me consider just not writing for the day. With the holidays coming up, there’s a good chance I’ll be taking small breaks to spend time with family and friends. But not getting words on the page because I’ve had a bad day, or my outline isn’t as awesome as I’d first thought, isn’t a good enough reason now. I’d rather keep climbing my way to 50k words and beyond!

Jacob and Kelly also make it a pleasure to write. They keep me coming back to the keyboard each day, ready to see where their story is headed next. Their interactions with one another are seriously cute.

Interested in seeing a snippet from the latest book? I shared one with my book club on Facebook. Join us if you’d like to see excerpts from my latest novels too!

Until next week,

Sarah

Staying Focused

Since the beginning of November, I’ve been doing National Novel Writing Month. That’s been going well! I’ve written over twelve thousand words so far, which I have to say is the most on top of it I’ve probably ever been. 🙂

Over on my Instagram, I’ve been participating in a NaNoWriMo Instagram photo challenge. You can find it at #igwritersnano. The fifth day’s prompt was How Do You Focus?

For me, I think one of the important things that have helped my productivity this month has been the fact I laid out a solid foundation for my book with the prep challenge I did in October. Knowing more about my characters, knowing about the locations, and knowing what’s going to happen (for the most part) in the book really helps. My problem before with writing was I’d get so excited to start writing that I’d dig into the book, then get stuck because I didn’t know where the story should go next. Having a beat sheet handy helps a lot.

With that said, I fire up Scrivener and put on my headphones. There’s something about using headphones that helps me block out the world and focus harder than if I’m listening to music without headphones. For music, my favorites are Electronic Dance Music and The Game of Thrones soundtracks.

Something else that’s helped keep me on track is using the PomoDoneApp, which is a Pomodoro timer that syncs with my to-do list. That helps me keep track of how long it takes me to write or create a blog post and ideally plan my days better.

I also enjoy doing word sprints on NaNoWriMo’s Sprints Twitter. Seeing other writers share their word counts too makes it exciting. You’re not the only one out there, just writing alone in the void.

The great thing about both of those methods is it allows me to focus on writing, but it also reminds me to take small breaks to get water and move around a little in between sprints or Pomodoros. In the past, I’ve had a bad habit of staying at my desk for hours upon end and forgetting that the world outside of my computer exists until I look up and I’m so hungry or thirsty and several hours are gone. I’m glad those days are gone! That certainly wasn’t a healthy way to work.

Until next time,

Sarah