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My NaNoWriMo Journey

Hello, Readers!

Ahhh, it feels good to be back. I know I sort of disappeared off the face of the earth for a bit there, but a hiatus was needed and now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things!

And by the way (since it’s better late than never), Happy New Year, friends! I don’t know about you, but 2019 has me pretty excited. 🙂

Anyway, we’re not here to discuss the new year today. No, no, today we’re here to talk about my NaNoWriMo journey. This is a bit of a long one, so grab some popcorn and let’s get started! 

(In case you are unaware, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which takes place every November. During this month, thousands of writers from around the world commit themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days – or in other words – a novel in a month.)

In 2015 I participated in NaNoWriMo as a part of the Young Writer’s Program – and I failed.

In 2016 I participated again – and won with my goal of 25K.

In 2017 I tried for the big 50K – and had to quit because I was so overwhelmed and busy.

This year I was more determined than ever to get 50K – a word count I had never reached before.

Throughout the entirety of November, I was sitting at my laptop writing whenever I could.
Some days I wasn’t feeling it and only wrote about seven words, but still I made sure to at least write something every. single. day. 

Was it hard? Totally.

Worth it? Without a doubt.

The first few days I was staying ahead. Things were flowing beautifully, my chapters were averaging around 2.3K words, and I was writing over a thousand words each day. I was sure I could keep up my streak.

And then I slacked off for one day…
Then another day…
And before I knew it I had lost my streak and found myself thousands of words behind. It seemed like no matter how many words I’d write, I was still falling behind.

And the doubt began to creep in that I could even do this. Especially when my story started to get more confusing and I began to feel lost in my world, unsure of where to turn.

So finally I typed out a long crazy ramble, trying to figure out where my story needed to go (the problems of a pantser – AKA someone who doesn’t outline) and even after that I was still confused.

But the days were flying by and I knew that whether I knew where I was going or not, I needed to keep writing.

I participated in word sprints with fellow writers all day each day – something that kept me going no matter what. I’d have a slow one around 100 words in 15 minutes and then I’d have a great one with 600+ words the next 15 minutes.

I think my best sprint in November was 800+ words in 20 minutes – and I’m pretty sure I did that twice. (If only I could write that fast all the time!)

Before I knew it, the last weekend before NaNo ended had come. I had just a few days left and I realized I was over 10,000 words behind. Needless to say, I was stressed out.

Those last few days I wrote longer and harder than I ever had before. I was staying up till 2AM each night, drinking several cups of coffee a day, snacking, and I had practically glued myself to the couch. I was writing thousands of words each day – my personal best being over 9,000 words in less than 24 hours.

The last day of NaNoWriMo I started off with an overall word count of 41,325 words. I had to reach 50K by midnight.

Was I scared? Yep.

Did I doubt myself? Yep.

Did I reach my goal?

YES!!

By the grace of God, the endless support and encouragement of family and friends, and a whole lot of persistence I managed to reach 50,134 words before 9PM on November 30th.

I’ll never forget that feeling – what it was like to see I had reached 50,000 words. I’d gone places with my story I hadn’t expected, experienced highs and lows, tears and frustrations, doubts, insanity, loss of sleep… but through it all I managed to push through and meet my goal – marking my longest written project in my 4 years of writing.

I hadn’t expected to cry if I won, but when I did… the tears just started pouring out and there was no holding them back. This was something I’d worked so incredibly hard on and the joy and satisfaction of my success was too great for me to express any other way.

Tears of joy, relief, satisfaction, surprise, pride… I just couldn’t believe it. And I still can’t.

NaNoWriMo was one of the hardest challenges I’d committed myself to and though it was painful and frustrating in so many ways, every bit of it was worth it in the end. And I can’t wait to do it again this year. <3


NaNoWriMo really is an amazing learning experience. This past November I learned:

1. I seem to work best without a plan.
2. Allowing my characters to take over the story and lead me where it needs to go is amazing.
3. I literally can not resist adding romance to a story.
4. I can write much faster than I thought I could.
5. I can be disciplined to write daily – even if it’s just a sentence.
6. Word sprints and coffee are lifesavers for a writer.
7. I can write while I’m sleeping. (Yes, this happened around 2AM one night. I woke up and realized I’d still been typing and things entered my story that didn’t even make sense.)
8. Even when I’m crazy exhausted and starting to lose my mind, I can still write coherently (even if I can’t speak coherently)
9.You don’t have to know what you’re writing, just write it. (you’re gonna rewrite it later anyway)
10. I can write a novel in 30 days.

Let's Talk!

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? What was your word goal? What did you learn? 
Bonus: How did you spend your Christmas and New Year? 

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Marking A New Life

So it begins!

I’ve always loved this season which is why I wanted to launch this blog on the first day of spring. Spring represents new life and this blog is just the beginning of a new life for me. 

This blog is my way of saying; I am dedicated to and passionate for my writing and I want to do whatever is needed for me to continue in my pursuit to be a published author. 

My goal for this blog is to share my journey with you. To show you the highs and the lows of being a writer, the achievements and the failures, the fun and the dread. 

Because writing may seem easy. I mean you just sit at a computer and type, write? But no, there is so much to learn and master and push through in order to write a good, solid book. We really do go through blood, sweat, and tears. (okay, maybe not the blood…)

So my mission here is to be honest with you about my journey, share my work with you, and hopefully inspire and encourage other aspiring authors to keep pressing on no matter what. We’re all in this together and the life of a writer is certainly no piece of cake. 

And you, dear reader, whether you are a writer or not, you are important to me. I will be sure to provide you with new content you enjoy each week. 

If you haven’t yet, be sure to head over to the “The Author” page to learn more about yours truly and please sign up for my email list if you haven’t yet.
You will receive an email whenever I publish a new post as well as a monthly update.

As a thank you for signing up, during the first week of my blog launch, you will be automatically entered to win a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card. Those already subscribed will also be entered for a chance to win.
I will draw a winner at random and announce the winner on March 27th. 🙂

Also, make sure to check out the post I wrote for Madi’s blog on how I push through writing even on the hardest days! 

On March 21st, Josie will be sharing an interview with Connor and Astrid – the two main characters from my book, True Colors 🙂

On March 23rd, Anika will be interviewing me and sharing some never before seen snippets from True Colors! 

You definitely will not want to miss these posts! And don’t forget to give their blogs a look and leave them a comment! They’re all such wonderful girls that I am happy to call friends 🙂 

Thank you so much for reading, subscribing, and being a faithful supporter!

Please leave a comment down below! I love meeting new people and interacting with my readers :)​

Never Before Seen Writing Snippets From True Colors

Good afternoon, readers!

Lately I’ve been thinking how not many people really know what my current WIP is all about and today is the day I change that! I’d like to share some snippets from True Colors with you today so that you can have a better look at what the story is about. These have never been shared publicly before and are entirely raw, unedited pieces of my work, so you’re in for a treat! ;D

   ”So, you’re him. You’re Connor,” Astrid said after a moment of awkward silence. Connor sighed and rolled his eyes. “Glad to have made an impression,” he mumbled.
   ”Well the stories they tell are something to behold,” Astrid said.
Connor scoffed, not making eye contact.
   Astrid leaned over, looking into his eyes again. Connor couldn’t understand why she kept doing that, but it was starting to annoy.
   ”You know, somehow when I look into your eyes I don’t see the raging, destructive man they describe,” she observed.
   Connor looked at her now, eyes narrowed. ”And what is it you see?” he asked.
She remained silent for a moment and then smiled sadly. ”Loneliness,” she said. Connor was taken back by this statement and the way it hit him made him feel uncomfortable. Why did that have such an effect on him?
   Connor arose and stepped out of the aisle. ”I’m not lonely,” he said.

   ”What could you possibly do to help me? You can’t change this,” Connor said, pointing to his hair.
   ”That is true to an extent ; you can not hide the truth. Our true colors always show here in Shano. However, there is always a way to change our appearance by our actions,” Zachariah said.
   Connor looked at him, eyes narrowed. “Don’t you get it? I can’t change who I am! No matter what I do to try to change, the anger – the hatred – it always wins,” he said.
    ”Of course it does. Because you do not believe that you can change. But I do, Connor. Everyone has the power within themselves to change who they are – if they truly believe the ability to change is in them,” Zachariah said.
   Connor sighed. This old man just didn’t get it. ”Believing you can change won’t make you change,” Connor mumbled.
   ”No…,” Zachariah began, leaving Connor wondering what could come next, “But it will give you the empowerment you need to do so,” he finished.  

   ”Sawyer, I told you to shut up!” Connor snapped.
”Oh, would you stop picking on Sawyer already?” Astrid said.
   ”Guys, come on, let’s stay positive here! Look, let’s head back to that cave we passed by earlier,” Alina cut in.
   ”Oh, yeah, go backwards, that makes sense.” Connor said, rolling his eyes.
Astrid scoffed as she turned toward Connor. ”Right now it’s the best option and that’s what we’re going to do,” she said as she turned back. Sawyer and Alina followed close behind.
   ”Who put you in charge?” Connor yelled out.
Astrid paused and turned back toward Connor. ”I did, since our real leader is too busy being a jerk to do any real leading here. Now either come with us or get lost,” she said firmly.

   He dreamed of Astrid, her body framed by the golden glow of the sun that set her eyes on fire. She stood by a lake surrounded by evergreen trees. The sun had started to go down and twilight had arrived. In the passing of the sun, her smile faded and in the darkness she was solemn and carried a heavy burden on her shoulders. Tears glistened in her eyes as she slowly turned, eyes locking onto his.
   This is when he saw himself. He was tall and menacing, his eyes burned with rage as he stared back at her. Astrid collapsed to the ground, drowning in her tears as he loomed over her.
He knelt down and lifted her chin so she would meet his gaze. His eyes softened slightly, but the rage returned in an instant and he struck her down.

I had so much fun writing Connor’s dream. It was one of those things that I hadn’t planned at all, but it just flowed and turned out to be a great opportunity to do some loose foreshadowing. I love when things like that happen! <3 

Let's Talk!

What are your thoughts on True Colors so far? Would you like to see more snippets in the future? Do you have any constructive criticism to share?

The Most Meaningful Lesson I’ve Learned as a Writer

Good afternoon, readers!

I’ve been writing since I was about 9 years old, but I didn’t start getting serious about it until I was around 13, which was 6 years ago now. 

I have written a lot since then – more short stories than I can count, approximately 5 bigger writing projects, and a few hundred blog posts. 
And after writing so many different things for so many years, you come to understand some of the most important lessons you have learned as a writer.

I’ve learned so much as a writer thanks to a lot of incredible people and resources I didn’t think I would ever have, but probably the most meaningful lesson I’ve learned as a writer is one I learned on my own. 

I’m a writer. The more I tell myself that, the more I believe it. And once you believe you’re a writer, it will never leave you.

Even during my dry seasons, when I just can’t seem to follow through with a story or open that Word Document and add some more words to my book,

Even when I feel like I can’t write anything good,

Even when I feel like giving up, the fact still remains that I am a writer and I always will be.

God designed me with the ability to visualize new worlds, arrange 26 letters into words that form a story full of heart and conflict, to be able to create characters for people to love and relate to. 

So no matter how down I get. No matter how many times I may want to quit, I know that I never will because this is who I am. The stories won’t stop coming to me just because I quit. They will always be there because;

I have the eyes of a writer.

I have the mind of a writer.

I have the heart of a writer.

And I will never let that go. 

It’s who God made me to be and I thank Him for that always.

Let's Talk!

What’s the most meaningful lesson you’ve learned as a writer? If you’re not a writer, what’s the most meaningful lesson you’ve learned as a reader?