NaNaWriMo 2021

It is the 1st November which means one thing…

It’s National Novel Writing Month!!!

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I was first introduced to NaNoWriMo about 5 years ago and since then every November there has been an attempt for me to write 50,000 in the month. This works out to roughly 1700 words a day – which may not sound like a lot but actually is quite challenging when your brain just can’t write words that day.

If you enjoy writing then I find that NaNo is a wonderful opportunity to really push yourself creatively, and it also allows you to create a writing habit. I have worked out over the years what my writing style is like, and also how I best focus when it comes to writing.

NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organisation and honestly everyone I have spoken to and interacted with regarding NaNo have been absolutely lovely. They have so many resources to help you write, so that even if you have never written anything before you would feel completely prepared to take on a 50,000 word challenge. They have some really useless prep tips and writing exercises to use if you ever find yourself in a writing slump, and the forums allow you to connect with other people who are also attempting to write 50,000 words.

Before Covid struck, regional and local groups would hold face to face ‘write ins’ where you would meet up with a load of people and help encourage each other with the writing. I only managed to go to one of these write ins and thanks o their support and guidance – plus just the really lovely atmosphere of creativity and expression – I was able to write about 10,000 words in just one sitting! Unfortunately Covid has put an end to all of these, however local groups will still be running virtual write ins and social events throughout November so you can still take part in the social aspect of it all.

Personally, I absolutely love NaNoWriMo. Every year I am always so inspired by the talks they bring out, and to see so many others talk so passionately about their stories, that I am always super keen to take part. Last year though, 2020 really did a number on me mentally so while I still stayed informed about everything happening with NaNo, I didn’t take part in it. And I really did miss it. It feels really nice to have a challenge again that is so creative.

If you want more information and want to take part, their website is www.nanowrimo.org. As they are a charity they do ask for donations, but it is not mandatory. You can sign up and access all of their resources completely free of charge. The people who take part (and run it) are all super supportive, and just seem to be passionate about people writing and – most importantly – having fun while writing. Yes this is a challenge, but it is meant to be fun above all else. Who cares if you end up writing 50,000 words of absolute carnage story, so long as you had heaps of fun writing it!?

I hope I can see some of you guys there, but I also apologise if my posts get super sporadic! I shall do my best but…we shall see!

T xxx

NaNoWriMo 2020!

November is National Novel Writing Month and NaNoWriMo is a worldwide charity that helps people write their novels and pieces of literature. November is the big month, where WriMo’s aim to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This works out to an average of 1667 words per day.

I have taken part in NaNo 3 times previously, and have also done their CampNaNo’s in July and August, where people are encouraged to write whatever they want, for whatever length, for the whole month to encourage people to create something new and exciting for the world of writing. I talk about my previous experience in this blog here. 2020 has undoubtedly been a tough year, and I have actually had some pretty bad writers block for most of it: It can be hard to truly escape the world when the news is constantly bombarding you with the latest figures and depressing stats. But as England has now gone into another 4 week long Lockdown, I thought now would be the time to truly dive into my imagination and try and get back to creating something new.

If you want to find out more, you can find the website here. If any of you are taking part, please do connect with me online! My NaNo username is TailsMcleod. And if you have any writing prompts to throw at me to help with the writer’;s block please do let me know!

Stay safe guys and I’ll see you soon!

T xxx

Camp NaNoWriMo 2020

2020 has already thrown all of my plans out of whack: I wanted to travel more this year, spend more time socialising, see my friends and family more often, take on some new learning courses…..until 2020 put a big old OUT OF ORDER sign across the whole world. So….damn it.

One of my big things every year is NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month as it is also called) which happens every November. It is a charity organisation that helps thousands of people across the world in writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It is a lot (I have so far succeeded in this task twice, out of the three years of doing this event) but it also a great little creative project that I can do for free and where I can also meet some new people.

Every April and June is their Camp NaNoWriMo, whereby you can write how ever much you want about whatever you want: short stories, poems, screen plays, blogs – anything! I am currently using this time to try and write 30,000 words in 30 days, although on Day 1 I may have to change that goal: I am already on 3000 words!

If you are like me and you want something that is social but also creative, or even if you just want to have a look around, you can do so here. Also just a little heads up that if my posting becomes a bit erratic, it’s because I’m either way too into my project story, or I need a break from the fictional world!

If you do decide to take part/already take part, let me know in the comments below so that I can cheer you on! Stay safe out there everyone! 

T xxx

Audible Original Podcast – Habits for Happiness

England is currently in lockdown and so I cannot leave my house apart from necessities and one form of exercise. Granted, I am only on Day 2 of lockdown but as someone who feels quite restless most of the time, being inside my house for three weeks does fill me with some anxiety. I love my home, and I love my partner and my pets, but I never appreciated how much I love being outside in the fresh air – and it is just sods law that this is the sunniest and warmest March that I can remember.

SIDE NOTE: I am in no way sponsored or associated with Audible. This is just a post note to tell you guys about one app out there that I, personally, have found to be super helpful over the past few months and is genuinely keeping me sane and occupied during this very scary and uncertain time. 

I signed up for Audible about three months ago, as I wanted to still be able to read on my commute. Since I walk to work now though (about 20 minutes each way) I thought that this would still allow me to consume books without actually having to carry one around with me. Currently, I am working my way through Anna Karenina and as it is 35 hours long, I think I’ll be fine during lockdown! Audible have a deal where you can get a 30 day free trial of the service and after that it is £7.99 a month with a free book each month. Needless to say, it’s a really good deal, especially if you are currently stuck inside for the next month or so. Some nice free entertainment for the time being is always a plus!

Audible also do original podcasts that range from a variety of things, but one that I think is important for everyone to listen to at the moment is Habits for Happiness. Doctor Happy (or Dr Tim Sharp as he is also known) talks through habits about how to find the good in all situations and to just learn to be a bit more happy. They range from ideas such as laughing more at life’s little quirks, regular exercise, a proper sleep cycle and creating vision boards to help you achieve goals. Obviously there is more to them than just that, but I don’t want to spoil any of it!

Image result for habits for happiness dr tim sharp

Personally I felt it spoke about everything that I already knew, but was explained in such a way that it made it feel like a progress: Things don’t tend to get better over night, and the majority of these habits take time to develop and implement into your day to day life. But as the majority of us are no doubt feeling very scared and stressed, while being isolated between the same four walls, there is literally nothing else to do but try and implement these little habits.

One of my favourites, and something that is really helping in this situation, is the habit of enjoying the moment as it happens. While it is truly terrifying what is happening in the world, and we are all scared, I got to do something today that I very rarely get a chance to do – I had breakfast with my partner. We didn’t have to rush, as our commute is opening up our laptops. We got to just sit, and watch some TV and just…take our time. For the first time in a long time (at least my entire life if I think about it) we are actually being encouraged and ordered to do nothing. Go nowhere, see no one in person, sit at home and just be patient and let our health services do amazing things to save the world. Obviously, I hope that what is happening in the world never happens again and we as a world come back to this as quickly and safely as possible, but as it is happening and I have no say in this, I am doing my best to find enjoyment in these little moments: My loved ones are safe and healthy, I am safe and healthy, and by staying at home I am doing my little bit to help.

If any of you guys have used Audible before and have any book or podcast recommendations for me, please let me know!

Stay safe and stay home ❤

T xxx