#WritersLife: How Keeping a journal helps me keep my sanity as a writer

When people think of journaling, the first thought that comes to mind is seeing a bratty teenage girl sitting on her bed and writing “dear diary” before going on to write about how terrible her life is because her crush acts like he doesn’t know she exists. Though this too is a form of journaling, the journaling I’m talking about is a bit different.

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In April of last year, I started reading Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way. It’s a book written by a writer for writers and artists of all kind who are looking to breathe life into their creativity. Though the book is geared toward writers, it’s actually for anyone who wants to be more creative in life from the homemaker to the plumber. One of the advices Julia gives in her book, is to keep a journal.

Why Journal?

Journaling for everyone is going to mean something different. Some writers keep journals to keep track of their novel or non-fiction projects. Others keep it as a form of expression. I keep a journal for a mixture of both. My journal is something of a mind dump in the morning. I live in my head and my thoughts race through my mind faster than Usain Bolt.

If left alone, those thoughts would drive me mad. In fact, it’s been a source of my anxiety and reclusion in the past. I’m not one to share what I’m thinking easily. It takes quite a bit for me to share anything about myself with people I don’t trust. So my journal is the most personal thing to me. It’s my therapist. A place to share my thoughts, ideas, and feelings openly without fear of judgement. Because no one “should” read my journal, I say “should” because though this is the goal sometimes the wrong eyes get on it (speaking from experience), I’m free to write whatever I’m feeling.

My journal is also a marker in time for me. I hardly reread the pages I write, but when I do, it’s like a blast from the past. Being able to see what I was thinking at a certain time in the past is like looking at childhood photos and reminiscing. My journals also help with my writing and being able to get my thoughts out in the way it appears in my mind, which helps with writer’s block.

You’re probably wondering what most people wonder when they read articles suggesting they keep a journal…

What Do You Journal About?

The short answer: anything you want. As I mentioned before, some writers keep journals as a form of daily expression while others have journals that are more specific and focused, and are used to keep record of their progress with their projects. I use my journal for both, but mostly as a form of expression to keep me sane.

I’m a mother, a wife, and a freelance writer. So you can imagine my day is full of stuff to do, people to make happy, and sometimes rejection. Often being the wearer of many hats can be overwhelming and instead of complaining to someone and later wishing I hadn’t, I just put it in my journal. Creatively, I use my journal to map out story and character ideas. My last blog post about my experience rereading The Coldest Winter Ever actually came from an idea that surfaced while writing in my journal the week before.

If journaling has you stumped and writing about your life or projects isn’t appealing, then use prompts. There are tons of options out there in the form of books, websites, or even journal stickers which you can find on Etsy. Most prompts give you a theme to build on so that you have something to write about and this usually flourishes into other ideas. Before you know it, you’re journaling and it feels less like a choir and more like a necessity to keep sane.

If you’re still unsure about what to journal, just write about what you’re grateful for. I close each journal entry with a list of things I’m grateful for and it makes for an amazing day.

3 Tips for Journaling as A Writer

Just do it. Sit your butt in a seat and just write whatever comes to mind. Don’t know what to write? Start by writing the date, what the weather is like today, how you’re feeling, what’s happening outside of your window at that moment, whatever really. Something as simple and elementary as those things can jumpstart your thoughts which will translate into words then pages in your journal. I have no idea what I’m going to write about when I sit down to journal. I just go with the flow. Sometimes I’ll wake up still pissed off about something that happened the day before. Or I’ll have a dream that shook me to my core. Lately, my journals have been about my writing projects and ideas I have. I say all of that just to say this…just write and everything will come to you. It doesn’t have to make sense and it doesn’t have to be grammatically perfect. Just do it boo!

Read a book on creative journaling. It sounds silly to read a book on keeping a journal especially if you have the picture of the teenage girl giving her journal the woe-is-me about her crush. If this is you, I suggest thinking of your journal more as a creative outlet. And if you have trouble figuring that out on your own, a book on creative journaling is a must. A book I’d suggest is Stephanie Dowrick’s Creative Journal Writing. I’d also recommend Julia’s The Artist’s Way since this a book that has helped and still is helping me be more and think more creatively.

Be disciplined about it. I don’t play with my mornings. I make sure I’m in bed at a certain time so that I’m up and have enough time for my morning routines which includes writing in my journal. My journaling gets done when everyone is still asleep. I need to be clear headed and uninterrupted so that my thoughts and ideas flow. Everything else can be random in my day but I need to know I’m writing at least three pages in the morning no matter what. Even when I’m not feeling it and I have the imaginary little troll on my shoulder telling me to just go back to sleep. I pull myself out of bed and still get it done. Motivation is great but discipline is the hallmark to being better at everything.

Whatever way you decide to go about journaling, do it because you enjoy it like everything else in life. When you stick with it, journaling can be rewarding. It forces you to be present in the moment and consistent creatively, two things you’ll need to keep sane as a writer.

#WritersLife: Knowing Your Worth As A Freelance Writer

As a writer, it’s important to know your worth. By this I mean knowing how much your work is worth and having respect for your great commodity, time. Earlier this month I was reminded why I should follow my gut and be selective when caving in to how much I charge to write for clients.

I made the mistake of compromising in pay when I knew that the amount of money I was charging was right for the work this client was asking for. Yet and still, I went against my better judgement and dropped my rate. I love writing like the next person, but it’s not a hobby for me.

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Besides freelancing, I’m a content marketer/strategist and a ghostwriter. I write for money. And any writer who calls themselves a freelance writer should write for money too.

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#WritersLife: 5 useful iPhone apps every writer should have

 

Whenever the New Year comes around, I take the time to get rid of things emotionally and physically. I get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose, that are taking up space, and are blocking the way for more important things. And the apps and photos on my phone are not excluded from this purge.

iphone_apps_for_writersSpeaking of apps, there are a few apps, five in particular, that I believe all writers should have to stay organized in writing and life this year. These apps have helped me keep things in perspective, get work done, and feel productive throughout the day.

Microsoft Office Suite App

With similar features to their desktop version, Microsoft office suite for your phone will be a lifesaver. For me, I’m able to get a lot done with no need to log onto my computer. And I’m sure we all have those days where sitting in front of a computer is just not what we want to do. But we still need to get ish done and having this baby on your phone is a must if you want to stay on top of writing assignments. Now to get this app, I think you have to have the suite for your desktop since you must request the download link by email or text under your Microsoft account.

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#Blogging: Why I blog

*This is Day 10 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge*

I started blogging in 2008 when blogging was gaining in popularity. Early in my blogging journey, I blogged about music. Specifically R&B and a little Hip Hop. From the time I was little my parents would play R&B music on Sundays. Even after their split when I was five, they still kept to the tradition of playing R&B all day after church. My parents were ultra-old school. It was the classics and only the classics. This is why I knew the words to way too many Marvin Gaye and Chaka Khan songs than the average kindergartner.

samantha_g_writes_4So it made sense to blog about music and all things related to it. Through music blogging, I discovered the joys of writing lifestyle topics, which evolved into me creating my personal blog.

Before personal blogging, I found personal blogs to be blah. The ones I’d read would offer little information besides what the writer ate that day. Nothing wrong with that, I’m sure there are people interested in that kind of stuff but for me, I like to read things for edutainment. So when I thought of creating a personal blog, I was against it at first. I thought to myself who will care about my personal life and the lessons I’ve learned along the way? But personal blogging has proven to be very therapeutic.

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The best of Samantha G. Writes week one

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It’s day 9 of the 30-day blogging challenge I’ve been taking part in and today I’m taking a look back by posting a roundup of the posts I’ve published since day 1 of the challenge.

What I’ve learned from this challenge is that you can blog every day. It doesn’t get boring, and it takes some creativity to create content that you enjoy writing, but it’s possible. It also doesn’t take that much time out of your day to complete. Most of the posts have been unplanned and written and edited in less than two hours. I’m sure if my posts required some research, I’d have to add on additional time. But for the most part, it doesn’t take very long to keep my blog updated daily.

Below are the posts I’ve published since day 1 of the challenge. The posts are a mix of tips I’ve learned in life and writing. There’s also a couple of recipes I use a lot at home for my mini-fam. They make great brain food too. Feel free to share the ones you love!

Day 1:  Almond Milk RecipeMaking almond milk is a lot easier than you think and it tastes amazing!

Day 2: 5 tips for surviving in Brooklyn your first year as a writerNew York is a great big city of dreams and the price tag can be, well, pricey. Here are tips to keep your sanity and a little extra cash in your pocket.

Day 3: How to deal with the negative people in your life We all know at least one negative person in our lives. Here are some ways to deal with them and not lose yourself in the process.

Day 4: Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese RecipeNow I’m hungry again. I’m a huge cheese lover and I’m still a fan of this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe.

Day 5: 7 things new writers should do to make money writing onlineTips that have helped me make money writing online that I know will work for others too.

Day 6: The 5 phases of pregnancy new moms experienceOne of my favorite posts because it brought back so many memories. New expecting moms, this is a must-read!

Day 7: Reading “The Power of Habit” will change your lifeMy review of the Charles Duhigg book that has changed my view on habits and how it shapes my life.

Day 8: How to embrace failure and rejection as a writer If you’re a writer, you’ll face rejection sooner or later. Here are some ways I embrace the dreaded rejection response.

 

#WritingLife: How to embrace failure and rejection as a writer

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You find a lot of how-to articles on the web on how to make it in the writing world. Everything from how to standout when applying to a gig to how to perfect your skills so you are the best at what you do. But I think we need to talk more about failure and rejection, and how to deal with it.

For a while, the fear of rejection and feeling like a failure kept me from opportunities. I would avoid writing an article or applying for a writing gig because I felt I wouldn’t get it and instead of taking a chance, I didn’t try.

Learning how to embrace failure as a writer is liberating. You’ll feel invincible and confident. Taking chances will be exciting and not scary. Here’s how I’ve learned to embrace rejection as a writer so it stings less when I’m told no.

Change your perspective on what it means to fail

I read this Bruce Lee quote a few years ago that has stuck with me. He said, “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” I agree. Failure only exists in the mind. Click To Tweet If you can see the good in failing you’ll fear it less.

See rejection and failure as a lesson

Whenever I submit my work to a magazine or a website, I look forward to the rejection response. I use to dread it and preferred that they not respond at all if they aren’t interested, which most of them did. But when they did send them, they were filled with advice. It’s understandable to view this advice as criticism, but I see them as tips on how to improve my writing. So I’d review the work I sent them, edit it using their tips then submit it somewhere else until someone said yes. It’s better to take away lessons from everything you fail at as oppose to trying really hard to forget them. I’ve tried doing that, and found it gets you know where.

Don’t take it personal

As with everything in life, keeping this rule in your back pocket will get you far. Often times when someone says something we don’t like, we automatically try to vilify them. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it but we do and that’s not good. If you fail at something, or you experience rejection from an editor, don’t take it personal. You’re not being rejected because they don’t like you and it may not even be that they don’t like your writing. Maybe what you’ve sent to them doesn’t fit what their audience would be interested in or your blog isn’t the type of blog sponsors want to invest in. But someone out there will. And an editor out there will find that same rejected article perfect for their readers. My point is, when it comes to being rejected, it’s best not to take it personally. Taking things personal is a big energy sap and you need that energy to win.

Ask for advice

I believe asking for criticism can build up your immunity to the fear of rejection. Join a writers group on and offline, or have a close friend/relative read some of your work and ask them to give their honest opinion. You need that, I know I do, because if I can’t get use to not getting applauded every time I write something, the one time I don’t (after getting praised all the time) it will be crushing and might even make me feel like giving up. When you ask for advice you put yourself out there. It’s bold, and it’s brave and those are the two characteristics you’ll need to embrace your next rejection, in my opinion.

The writing life isn’t perfect it’s one big lesson and getting rejected is a part of the curriculum.

#WritersLife: 7 things new writers should do to make money writing online

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In 2008, I told myself that I wanted to get paid to write online. At the time, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to get paid to write about, but I knew that I wanted to write and get paid for it. It’s been a rocky road filled with disappointments and sometimes getting paid in pennies but I’ve found consistent work that pays.

I’ve yet to receive a check so big it would make Donald Trump blush, but I’ve made enough to cover my rent or to pay a bill. Though there are many writers out there with more experience and are making far more than I am, I’ll give you my take on making money writing online as a new writer.

Be prepared to write for free

Oh yeah, I’ve had to do this once or twice. And sometimes the exchange was somewhat worth it. I wrote for a popular website for free and got access to major events like award shows, private parties, and received transportation reimbursements. I did that for longer than I should have; the perks were SO GOOD. This recommendation I typically give to new writers who don’t have writing samples or have little experience writing online.

My tip for writing for free is to not be like me and do it for too long. Set a deadline for how long you plan to write in exchange for perks instead of cash. After the deadline, make it clear to yourself that you will only write for money. The editors you offered free writing to probably won’t like it (if they’re great, they’ll offer you a paid position), but their promise of exposure to their millions of viewers will not pay your bills. If only exposure was a valid form of payment for bill collectors. Click To Tweet

New Writers Should Start a blog

If writing for websites for free for exposure doesn’t work for you, start your own a blog. You can go all the way and invest in a domain name and hosting plan or you can just sign up for a free blog on the many websites that offer them. When no one would give me a chance, I started a small music blog and moderated it for six years. I got a bunch of opportunities from them and met and interviewed a bunch of celebs.

My advice is to make sure the blog is aimed towards the area of writing you want to specialize in and get paid for. And make sure you know what you’re talking about. Your blog is like a portfolio. It shows the tone you write in, how well you’re able to write, and how much you know. And when you apply to online writing gigs, you can use links to blog posts that show that you can write on the topic they are looking for writers to contribute posts on. Set a publishing schedule you can stick to. And if you’re directing editors to your blog, make sure you’re publishing often. They like that because it shows you’re consistent and reliable.

Actively look for gigs on writer websites

This is one of the most important tips in finding writing gigs. If you’re waiting to be discovered, you’ll be waiting a long time. You need to go look for that next big writing gig. Actively search for gigs on websites like Craigslist, FreelanceWritingGigs.com, FreelanceWriting.com, and Indeed.com. There are tons of other websites I may dedicate a post to during the 30-day blogging challenge, but a quick google search will pull up tons of articles with them listed. Here’s an oldie but goodie tip for everything in life including online writing gigs posted on Craigslist and websites like it– if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, don’t feel defeated if all you see are gigs looking for writers to write in exchange for “exposure” a.k.a. for free. There are paying gigs posted on Craigslist often you just have to sift through a lot of crap to find them.

Always have more than one writing gig

This was a lesson I learned the hard way. I made the mistake early in my online writing career to complete one writing gig at a time. Meaning, I would sign a contract with one website and refuse to take on another contract with another website. I thought I would overwhelm myself with more than one writing job. Ha! Guess what happened when the website I had been solely contributing articles to shut down? Or the other website that got banned from Goggle because some of their other writers were stuffing their articles with keywords creating pieces that made no sense when read by humans?

That’s right, I didn’t have another gig to fall back on. So it always felt like I was starting over when the one gig I was working fell through or the traffic resulted in low payment. Today, I make sure I’m working as many gigs as I can handle without burning out. And this is separate from my small business copywriting clients. I don’t play those games anymore and neither should you.

Collect testimonials from editors you’ve written for

Testimonials are awesome and are like reviews that everyone can read. I like to put my testimonials on my resume to give website owners and editors an idea of what my earlier editors had to say about my writing and work ethic. It’s like product reviews. You wouldn’t feel confident in buying a product that customers gave bad reviews for versus the product that’s getting a five out of five star review from satisfied customers. In your budding online writing career, you are the product and the testimonials you collect are your reviews.

If your work is great and you’ve got great testimonials, the editor or website owner may lean more toward giving you a shot. If you’re shy about asking for testimonials, don’t be. Just ask your editor to give you a two line testimonial about what it was like to work with you. They’ll be happy to do it, especially if you’ve exceeded their expectations.

Learn how to sell yourself

Speaking of products and reviews, learning how to sell your skills is important. Excelling in online writing has a lot to do with your writing but it also has a lot to do with how you sell yourself as a writer. That website you want to write for is probably the website that every writer wants to write for too. That means that site’s editor is inundated with responses. Your email cannot sound like the fifty other emails they read before yours. This makes it easy for the editor to skip right over yours or worse send it straight to the trash bin if the first few lines in your email doesn’t peak their interest.

I like to create email templates for my inquiries where I cover the basics and then tailor it to the type of content the website I’m interested in normally publishes. I also make it a priority to read a few articles on their website to understand the voice the editors are looking for and make my emails sound similar, but not like a carbon copy. Then I sprinkle a little personality in them, but not too much because I still need to sound professional and not like I don’t have a single professional bone in my body. But most importantly, I market my skills. You are a brand, so it’s important to know and sell what you offer and sell how your skills will make their brand better.

Never give up

I’ve learned that to write well you have to stick with it. They’ll be days when you can’t wait to get up to write and others when turning on your computer is the last thing you feel like doing. But you have to fight through it and stick it out. Take a break and binge on Netflix for a day or find a different writing environment that will get you in the writing state of mind.

Do whatever you have to do to never give up. I’m all about making plans these days because as my husband puts it, Success is premeditated. Click To Tweet So whenever you feel something isn’t working, take a moment to figure out what about it isn’t working and make a plan to correct it so you don’t get knocked off your path to making money writing online.

Writing is like exercising for your creativity so if you do something for an extended amount of time, you’ll get better at it. The more writing gigs you book, the more experience you get, the larger your portfolio will grow, and the higher you can set your rates. Next thing you know you’re writing for one of the top 500 websites on the internet. We can get there, we just have to stick with it.

#NaNoWriMo: Day 4 – word count, schedule change, and a mini ‘uh oh’ moment

 

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It’s Day 4 of NaNoWriMo and I’ve got a quick update about how my writing is going, my word count and some changes I’ve made. From Day 3 until today, I’ve been waking up at 5am to complete my word count which is 1668. On day 1, I wrote 2000 words and the only other time I wrote close to 2000 was yesterday and that’s because I wrote twice in one day.

My plan was to write at 5am and then go running around 6am. But because I write slow and require frequent reviews to make sure my characters dialogues makes sense, it’s taking more than an hour to reach my word count for the day. Pair that with editing as I write and there goes the hour.

So I’ve switched up the plan and have decided to write in the morning on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I write right before bed. I’m doing it like this because writing before running or vice versa isn’t working and I refuse to give up either one. Because my running schedule is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays it makes better sense for me to write at night the days before my run. Im a true believer in tweaking a plan as many times as possible until it works. No use in giving up on something without really trying.

The amount of words I’ve written so far is 5,566, not including the words I will write tonight. I’m loving the way my story is progressing and I hope to continue to stay in love with it. I did make a mistake that I was able to correct. I wrote without reading the outline I created for one of the scenes and my imagination took the story in a different direction. While this works for pantsers, to make things up as they go, I need a throughly planned out storyline. My mistake gave me the idea to write at night on some days and early in the morning on others, so it worked out for the best.

For these next few days, I’m aiming to double my word count so I get more on the page. I also need to finish the outlines for the remaining scenes in the novel.

I hope you other wrimos are having a great time with your novels! One of the secrets in getting to the end is to fall and stay in love with your work so it feels less like an obligation and more like a treat every time you turn on your computer.

See you on Day 6!

Welcome to #Brooklyn! 5 tips for surviving in Brooklyn your first year as a writer

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In “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw makes living in New York City seem so glamorous. She’s often seen attending new restaurant openings with a cosmopolitan in one hand or walking the New York streets questioning why Big won’t love her back. But one thing that’s painfully obvious throughout the series is that the ladies rarely cross that bridge into Brooklyn. Even when Miranda moved to Brooklyn in season 6, Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte were not feeling it too much.

Well, here we are in 2015 where Brooklyn is now considered everyone’s new favorite borough of the metro area. I’ve lived in Brooklyn all my life and have witnessed the transformation. I’ve also noticed that among the new people I meet who are writers, they’ve come from all over the world to follow their dreams of having a successful writing career.

So I’m here as your Brooklyn fairy godmother to give you some tips (besides getting yourself a roommate) on surviving in Brooklyn your first year as a writer. I believe these tips are useful for longtime Brooklynite’s and those who have just moved to the borough.

Tip 1: Invest in a MetroCard

A MetroCard is a little gold card that you load with a certain amount of money that you swipe to pay for your train and bus fare. Back in the day, commuters used tokens to pay for their train and bus rides, today it’s the MetroCard. Now, Carrie may have gotten around the city in a city cab, but that can add up. If you’re a fairly new writer living in Brooklyn you may need a higher income to afford daily rides in a cab or via Uber. And owning your own car and dealing with minimal parking (unless your building offers an underground parking garage), gas prices, or the high costs of parking lots isn’t worth it. The subways and buses run often and they’ve improved since the 80’s and old episodes of Law & Order, A LOT! There’s minimal graffiti (if at all) and they are safer. In some of them, they even offer free Wi-Fi. If you buy an unlimited MetroCard you’re good to go practically anywhere in the city. There are fare hikes but when MTA’s fares go up you can bet the same will happen with the cabs. A MetroCard is like a golden ticket…that you pay for.

Tip 2: Buy your produce from local fruit and vegetable markets or green markets

Eating out is all good and everything, but if you are trying to stay in shape and reduce the amount of times you get sick, especially during our freezing winters, you’ve got to learn how to cook for yourself. Your oven is not an extra drawer for your things. With this said, we don’t have farms in Brooklyn (that I know of) but we have fruit and vegetable markets located all over Brooklyn and they sell their produce for reasonable prices. If you don’t have these markets in your area, do research online for green markets where you can get produce for great prices. At the Grand Army Plaza entrance of Prospect Park there are several green markets offered throughout the year where you can get super fresh produce, most organic.

Tip 3: Do most of your home goods shopping at Brooklyn discount stores

Target is great, believe me I know. But you’d be surprised what you can find at discount stores. To give you an example, I purchased mason jars from my local dollar store for $1 each. And found a collection of Pyrex branded bowls and cookware for under $10. At stores like Bobby’s and Bargain Hunter, I’ve been able to decorate my bathroom, kitchen and living room for a little over $100. I promise, I’m not making this up! I still shop at Target for some home goods, but for the most part I buy my home goods from discount stores because they sell most of the same items Target does, but for less.

Tip 4: Join a writers or ladies/guys night out group

As a writer, landing gigs has a lot to do with what you know and how great you can write, but it also depends on who you know. Your connections are everything in New York and can get you a coffee date with that publisher who will change your writing life. A great way to connect with other writers is through writers groups. I find most of my groups online on MeetUp.com. This website isn’t only good for finding writing groups, you can find groups for just about any interests you have even groups for writers who just moved to New York. Another great place to find writers and to receive critiques on your work (this one is mostly for writers of novels, memoirs, poetry) is the New York Writers Coalition that hosts workshops in the Central Brooklyn Public Library. Free feedback plus an opportunity to meet fellow writers and make solid connections! Win-win if you ask me.

Tip 5: Make Groupon and LivingSocial your go-to place for everything else

Chances are you’ll be living on a budget, so Groupon and LivingSocial needs to be your go-to place for everything else like entertainment, grooming, training, headshot photos for your website, or when you don’t want to cook and need to treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant. Groupon, LivingSocial and other apps like it offer great deals on places around Brooklyn and all of New York. My advice is to do a little research on the deals you find on these sites. Sometimes you can get the offers for cheaper elsewhere. Plus, you want to make sure you’re not purchasing an acupuncture session at a place in the back alley of a Chinese takeout restaurant. Not saying those exist, I’m just saying do your homework.

*This post is Day 2 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge*

#NaNoWriMo: Day 1 – Word count, challenges, and writing schedule

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Day 1 of Nanowrimo is complete! I was a bit anxious during the night and didn’t get much sleep so I was up and writing at 4am. I had an alarm set for 6am. The plan was for me to write a little, go for my run, then write again once I was back in. But I’m not complaining because I exceeded my word count!

Nanowrimo Day 1 word count

I wrote 2,000 words my first day of Nanowrimo. It started out a bit slow with me writing about 300 words and feeling stumped on which route I wanted to take the dialogue. As I explained in Day 0’s post, I’ve mapped out my scenes and how I want everything to go, but I don’t have written what I want my characters to say. I just know what I want them to achieve by the end of each chapter.

Anyway, my word count is set for 1668 but for Day 1 I exceeded it as I expected. Last year during Nanowrimo, a similar thing happened with me writing over the set word count. The reason for this is a mix of excitement and starting something new. I do this with everything new project, regardless of what it’s for lol. The real test will be around the 17th when I start to feel the burn. If I’m still writing 2,000 words then, I’ll celebrate.

My challenges

Editing as I write. This is the most annoying thing I do but I can’t help it. Every writing expert strongly recommends not editing as you write. It slows your pace and makes you take longer on your work than you should. But I’m a bit of perfectionist and can’t resist getting rid of a red squiggly line. My challenge for this year’s Nanowrimo will be to just write, make the mistakes, and fix it during editing.

Nanowrimo Writing Schedule

I’ve decided to start writing at 5am since this is an ideal time to get my writing out on the page and still have time to take care of other areas of my life. I’m my most creative in the morning. Night writing could only work if I got late starts to my day which I can’t do right now, so morning writing is the answer.

If you’re participating in Nanowrimo this year, please feel free to share what you learned on Day 1 and how much you logged for the first day!