2020 has been one of my most sporadic years for blogging and writing, despite the fact that I had some pretty big dreams when the year began. With my college graduation on the horizon, I was looking forward to having more time to dive into many of the projects I’d started over the years.
As you may have noticed, things didn’t quite go as planned.
I’ve gotten to the point where I can usually tell when I’m getting burned out – I get bored. Projects and hobbies that, at first, felt exciting and new to me lose their shininess. As I’ve said before, sometimes you have to push through – in other words, dig deep and rediscover what made you fall in love with that project or hobby in the first place. Sometimes you need to step away entirely until you can look at it with fresh eyes.
Other times, though, you need to find a middle ground.
I have a confession to make: I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I set it as one of my goals earlier this year, but as November grew closer, I realized that it wasn’t going to work out this year. I had a lot going on in terms of school and my personal life, and adding 50,000 words on top of that looked more like torture than a fun challenge.
When November 1 came and I saw many of my friends announcing their intentions to participate in NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty. After all, I had told myself I would do it, and I’d gone back on that commitment. As the month wore on though, I got over my self-deprecation and realized that I actually enjoyed not being a part of NaNoWriMo this year.
That might sound like heresy to the writing community, but it’s the truth. I’m thankful that Past Maggie made the decision to pass on NaNoWriMo 2018. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good things that can come out of NaNoWriMo – self-discipline, connections with other writers, and a completed draft, to name a few. Those things come with sacrifices, however, and I’m of the mind that sometimes those sacrifices aren’t worth it.
Happy October! Depending on where you are in the world, it might finally be starting to feel like autumn for you (yes, we had 80-degree days here in the middle of September). Midterm exams are coming up at my school, but I’ll be going home for Fall Break in less than a week! I’m looking forward to it.
And in case you missed anything on Maggie’s Musings this month, I blogged about:
I hope you’re all doing well and have had a great week! Aside from some rather nasty seasonal allergies, I’m doing pretty well myself. I had a three-day weekend because of Memorial Day, so it was nice to have an extra break from work.
Speaking of Monday, this week I blogged about acronyms in video games and tried to explain a few of the most common ones. If it ever seems like gamers are speaking a completely foreign language, perhaps this guide will help you out a little.
Before I get into the WIR for this week, I did want to make a quick blog announcement – for June – August, I’ve decided to put a pause on WIR posts. This is partly just to give myself a break so I can focus more on doing other things with my blog, but I also want to use this time to experiment with my “personal updates” format.
For the summer, I’ll be doing monthly updates instead of weekly ones, and they’ll be going out on the first Friday after the end of the month (so for example, the June in Review will be posted on the first Friday in July). At the end of the summer, I might go back to weekly posts, or I might stick with the monthly ones, but for now, let’s consider this a “trial period.”
Well, readers… I did it. For the first time, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and better yet, I won. If you’ve been following my 2017 NaNo journey, you’ll know that this is the first time I’ve set the goal of 50,000 words, and although I was nervous about it, I finally reached my goal, and two days early at that!
Of course, my story is nowhere near being complete, and it’s definitely going to take me some time to rework this idea and craft it into something I can hopefully one day share with the world. Chances are, whenever I make it to a final copy, it won’t look at all like what I wrote in November. But does that mean that participating in NaNo was in vain? Not at all! In fact, I learned a lot about myself and my writing in the past month, and today, I’d like to share those lessons with you.
It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2017 already, but here we are at the beginning of December. I hope you all had a fantastic week and a good and restful weekend ahead of you. For me, this week was a bit crazy – I had a big project due along with some other assignments, but now that that’s past, I’m looking forward to doing some fun things this weekend.
I didn’t have time to write a normal Monday post this week, so instead I wrote about five things that motivated me to get through this week. If you’re feeling discouraged at all, I recommend taking a few minutes to think about things that can encourage you right now – it helps a lot!
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, whether it’s just another week for you or if you’re spending time with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Speaking of Thanksgiving, this week I wrote a blog post with some thoughts about gratitude, so if you missed that, feel free to check it out!
I’m keeping it short this week, so no long introduction today. This week, I blogged about the different types of writer friends. I had a lot of fun putting this list together, so if you’re a writer, or if you know some writers, be sure to take a look sometime!
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had an awesome week – mine was pretty good! I enjoyed a relaxing weekend with nothing urgent that needed to get done, which was nice. I did a lot of NaNoWriMo-ing, watched some Netflix, played some video games, and worked on other things. But more on that in a minute…
This week, I wrote a blog post about Trying New Things – if you’ve ever wanted to try something new, but just couldn’t make yourself do it, perhaps this will help a little.
Well my fellow writers, this is it: In just a few short days, NaNoWriMo 2017 will begin, and many of us will be spending more-than-usual amounts of time in front of our computers, typing away until our fingers hurt or we realize we need to eat something.
Writing 50,000 words in thirty days is not an easy task. I can’t speak completely from experience, since all of my NaNoWriMos in the past have allowed me to customize my goal, but the number is daunting. Fortunately, however, it’s not impossible. All you need are the right tools.
Using my own experience, and consulting a few of my friends that are NaNo veterans, I’ve compiled a list of things to include in your NaNoWriMo “Survival Kit.” Hopefully these will be applicable whether you’re a plotter or a pantser (read this post for an explanation), or whether this is your first time or tenth time.
Here’s what I recommend for your NaNoWriMo Survival Kit: