Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

My first writing retreat!

Hey guys, I know I’ve been /super/ neglectful of late, but I plan to get back to my weekly blog come October (fresh month, fresh start!). This long weekend I’ll be on my first ever writing retreat with Lauren Rose (who, incidentally, is making a brand new site and it is gonna look so rad) and a bunch of others. I have a list of things I want to look into this weekend and start up on here, including critiquing, Nano stuff, and another content creation that I’m looking into. Hopefully a weekend away in the beautiful countryside will awaken the energy I need. Look forward to next week’s blog, which will basically be pretty picture and a possible vlog (Psst, I’ll also be posting a bunch on our bookstagram, if you haven’t already checked it out )! I hope those of you having a long weekend enjoy the extra day to recharge and all my love to you that have a standard weekend ahead. Make sure to take time out and take care of yourself!

As always, happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in Nanowrimo, reading, update

Bittersweet Books

I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings”- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

During the confusion of my week, I didn’t realise I hadn’t written a post! So, I’m going to recommend some books! I’m currently reading Shadowsong, book two in a duology by S. Jae-Jones, and I gotta tell you, it’s ripping my heart out all over the place.

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I read Wintersong last year. Sadly, my Goodreads review was lacking, as I was just learning to use the site. However, this is it in it’s entirety:

“I picked this book on a whim, and…I am so grateful to have. It is such a beautiful and unique twist on Labyrinth, so whole and so good in of its own. It was almost rough in its prose, like Liesl’s music, abandoned and wild. I cannot wait to get the second book, and my little heart yearns for resolution or absolution for the Goblin King.”

Needless to say, I’m in love with them. They’re a beautiful metaphor for mental illness, the blurring between reality and the surreal. Also, I’m a sucker for classical music, and the depth that she’s woven music into these stories makes my heart flutter. I’m hoping to finish Shadowsong this weekend; writing my draft and helping with multiple friend’s synopsis’s has been tiring, to say the least. I’m confident a lighthearted and productive weekend lays ahead for me!

 

I hope everyone is enjoying the quiet of winter to get work done- I know I am!

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

A reminder

I’m meant to be working on Camp Nanowrimo right now, but I can’t. I gave myself a deadline for this WIP, and I just can’t do it right now. You know what though? That’s OK. This is just a reminder that you don’t need to push yourself, or rush yourself, or make yourself feel bad. Even as I watch my friends crush their goals and feel bad that I’m not doing more /better, I have to remember- I’m doing the best I can right now. I hope you all are too.

 

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, update

Camp Nano July 2018

Hey guys! Sunday marks the beginning of Camp Nano July 2018, and hopefully the last 40% of this draft. I should have had it done ages ago but sadly, mental health has a way of, well, getting in the way. During this time though I’ll be also practicing pitching my novel, heavily editing and critiquing a friend’s MS for the upcoming Salsibury Writers’ Festival, so my blogs over the next two months should revolve around those.

 

As always,

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in Nanowrimo, update

Off break- now what?

So my mini hiatus ended up being almost two months long, which was…well, a lot more than I intended. Sadly, a lot has happened during this time and it’s knocked me off my feet quite badly.

I lost my best friend, big fat Rini, in early May. She’d been my companion for nearly five years and honestly was the light of my life. If I had nothing else, I at least had her to wake up to.

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So we’ve had a lot to deal with in the wake of her passing. We actually ended up rescuing a bun because our remaining girl was getting severely depressed and wasn’t eating or drinking. It hurt to make such a choice, but having a new friend has made her happy again.

I’ve been working on my current MS a lot, and I feel like I’m failing at it, and a lot of things. I finished group therapy this week, and there’s been a sinking feeling in my stomach. What now? What do I do with myself? I’ve honestly been scared of finishing anything or getting anywhere because I’m so terrified of failing. I think that’s why I took a break even though I was so close to a year of consistent blogging- because I was finally getting somewhere with the things I’ve been doing, and that worries me. It’s a byproduct of being mentally unwell, I know, but it’s the truth.

In the mean time, I’m setting myself smaller goals. Smaller blogs, and not feeling like I need to necessarily contribute to the writing community. So many bloggers/vloggers are already doing that, and I don’t even have a following. This is all for me. So I’ll still try to maintain a weekly blog, but I won’t be forcing anything 🙂

I have Camp Nano coming up (and my 26th birthday!) so feel free to leave your nano tag, I’ll be hosting a cabin again and I really love the community.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

Nano goal: Down. Other goals: Terrifying

So it’s actually Monday right now and dun dun dun…! I finished my Nano goal for the month already. I know it wasn’t the highest goal, but THIS means I have plenty of time to do a lot more and still feel good about myself and not stressed by it.

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No, wait, I lied. I do have another deadline right now. It’s this one.

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I’ve given myself until June 16th to have my WIP first draft done and I am already pretty exhausted, I’m not going to lie. I have my critique partner lined up and raring to rip it apart for me, and some extremely obsessive lists ready. I plan to pitch this story at a Writer’s Festival later this year. This may be a first draft, but this is the FOURTH completely rewrite of this story. I know it pretty intimately. This year is it’s year; I can feel it.

So, in light of that, I’ll be going over rewriting, editing, critiquing, some beta reading, synopsis and preparing for pitches over the next few months. I’ll also be hosting a giveaway hopefully VERY soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. For now, I’m going to trudge back to this draft, so I can be at 20k well before the week, so that I actually get to rest for five minutes.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

Camp Nano April 2018

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April is upon us. Easter, family, fun- and April Camp Nanowrimo. This feels really odd to say. Normally I’m excited for Nanowrimo. I like the challenge it presents- how it forces me to get words out, to tackle a project. To genuinely throw myself into my writing without a care.

This April feels different. I’m not as prepared. I have a name. An idea. A vague musing of an outline. That’s it. I haven’t ever been so ill prepared and for once in my life, I’m not anxious about it. I’m not even anxious if I meet my goal or not.

I’ve realised something about writing lately. It’s not the end all if I don’t achieve every one of my goals, or if I take my time getting there. It only matters that I have them. I’ve put so much pressure to be perfect, or have unrealistic expectations to the point that I freeze and ignore my goals- it’s easier to just not do something rather than fail. I couldn’t bear to have my ego hurt like that.

It’s OK now. It’s OK, because I care about writing. That means I can take my time, and have fun, and make mistakes. I’m allowed to make mistakes, because they are what make things better. You learn from them.

I’m going to pants my first Nano. No outlines, no heavily scrawled notes. Just an idea, because writing is a lot like goals. You alter your course as you follow the path, because nothing is going to follow the rigid path you set.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, update

Post Nanowrimo update

Hey guys! Sorry for the delayed post today; it’s been a long week for me.

To start with, I finished Nanowrimo this year. I actually hit my goal early, on day 23! As you can see though, I didn’t hit my 60k Novemember goal…at all.

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This is because like the day I finished/day after, I got sick. Crazy sick. I’m still ill, in fact. I’ve been sleeping 12 hours some nights, barely moving, feverish and the works. It’s been a blast.

I’m also late to update because of exciting news! I’ve been volunteering for the SA Writer’s Centre and we had an end of year party last night, and unveiled the new logo and name for Writer’s SA. With 2017 being the 30 year anniversary of the Centre and wanting to be about the greater South Australian writing community, they moved location and have set up some beautiful ideas. I’m so proud of all their hard work! If you’re South Australian like me and not already a member, maybe you should head on over and join already. They also relaunched the site last night and it looks amazing, and I’m so grateful to see their excitement firsthand as they unveiled it.

Now that Nano is out of the way, I’m determined to put extra effort into the content I produce online as well as my actual writing, so I’ll be undertaking a few new developments towards my blog and social media in the upcoming new year. I’m still ironing out the kinks, but I’m pretty excited and hoping it all goes nicely.

Now that we’re in the final stages of 2017, I’m looking forward to making 2018 much more productive.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, tips, update, writing

I might as well be a trash can

…because all that comes out of me is garbage.

I’m sure we’ve all felt this way many, many a time. I’m sure we’ll all feel that way again.

What I want to address is that this feeling, as consuming and awful and as gross as it is; it’s one we all have. Literally everyone. To be honest, it’s probably good we’re feeling that way, even if it doesn’t feel good. It means we’re questioning ourselves, seeing that we can improve. Which is a little overwhelming.

This feeling can be a lot easier to manage if you break it down. For instance, a) is realising that hey, you’re not too happy with your work. Alright, that means b) is accepting that one, first drafts are just that- first drafts. They are gonna need work, love and effort- and several rewrites. C) would then be implementing that and taking it baby step by baby step.

Unfortunately, some 30k words into Nano, I began to panic a lot. I made some messes with my plot, I (GASP) diverged from my plan, and have left scattered sticky notes all over those notes and my PC, praying I would make sense of it when it came to it. I actually started writing this in the middle of this panic, because I just felt (well, feel, really) so unconfident. What if I wasted all of November writing these words, and they’re all garbage?

Well, I’m coming to terms with accepting something. A lot of those words will be absolute garbage. However, it’s a lot easier to edit or rewrite something if I have something written in the first place. So I’ll be pushing through with it, and hoping I can at least see this draft through to the end.

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(I found this on pinterest and thought you guys might appreciate it).

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, tips, update, writing

Ready, steady, write.

Hey guys! For those of you doing Nanowrimo next week, this post is for you. For those of you that aren’t doing Nano; my words of encouragement are still for you, too!

With November fast approaching and the harried last minute notes flying, stress levels (at least in my head!) are super high right now. There is a lot of doubt, a lot of tension. Are my notes sufficient? Is my story outline cohesive? Am I going to get stuck down in the cringey, lackluster first draft? Am I going to win Nanowrimo? Can I fulfill my goals as well as my commitments to everything else in my life?

Stress less guys. Take a deep breath in, and out. It’s going to be OK. We write all the time, right? This isn’t new for us. I know some of you thrive on goals like I do (I live for ticking things off of to do lists or using small goals to tear down a big one).

Here are a few things I’ll be doing this week to prepare, and I hope they’ll help you:

  • Doing a massive tidy up. I’ll still clean a bit during November but it’s easier to work/harder to procrastinate if everything is already taken care of!
  • Having writing tools ready. This year I’ll be using Cold Turkey Writer. It’s a really nifty little program; once you start it up, you can’t use your computer at all until you’ve reached the word or time limit you set. It forces you to write and concentrate (I also work really well with smaller goals as I stated earlier, so I get immense satisfaction watching the progress bar fill!)
  • To tie in with this, I’ve made playlists ready to turn on before I open Cold Turkey so there is no messing around. I found a few pre-made ones that worked really well for Nanowrimo too. This is my main spotify playlist for Nanowrimo, a fantasy reading music playlist some kind soul made that I’m in love with!
  • I’m making a bunch of veggie soup to go in the freezer. Bam, instant easy meal for when I want to write and not think!
  • Making sure I have multiple water bottles topped up in the fridge at the start of each morning so I have plenty of cold water.
  • Food shopping: On top of actually making soup, I’ll be doing a massive shopping trip at the start of the month and buying some freezer meals, some healthy snacks, etc.
  • Reward box: I have a halloween bucket full of candy, so I get a fun sized piece for every 2k words written (my daily goal)

This is pretty much everything I have/am going to be doing to get myself all zoned for Nanowrimo. Other than list some ideas to optimize time, I also want to offer some words of encouragement. It’s OK not to win Nanowrimo. Honestly, taking time for yourself and writing at all means you’ve already won something important. Don’t stress too much about the quality; that’s what rewrites are for. Don’t worry too much either if your story strays from your notes. They tend to do that, just go with the flow and see where it takes you. Don’t let writing detract from important things like sleep, eating, and your overall physical and mental health. Most of all, and I don’t say this lightly- whatever you might be writing, actually enjoy what you’re doing. This is your work, and you deserve to have fun with it.

I can’t wait to see what everyone manages in November, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo