Monday, October 20, 2014

NaNoWriMo Checklist: How to Get Ready to Write a Novel in a Month.

If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, click here.

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, you've got 11 days and some odd hours before the madness begins. Until then, here are some things that will help you get ready to write your little heart out. 

Find a coffee or a tea that you like. Buy a lot of it.

Get a brand new notebook. Sometimes, writing on a blank page instead of staring at a computer screen is all it takes to get rid of writer's block. Plus, you want to have somewhere to jot all your ideas down when you're not actually sitting at your computer and writing.

Print out a calendar/to-do list. Write your word count goals on every day. This is terrifying, but do it anyway. Make Fridays your check-in day. That way you can up your word count over the weekend if you've fallen behind that week.

Look into what you want to write with. Do you like writing with a pen and notebook? Word? Ommwriter? Figure it out now so you don't waste your time testing out different programs.

Make sure you have a way to back up your work. Because you know what's not fun? Getting almost halfway to your goal and having your computer crash.

This can be as simple as emailing your work to yourself every few days--just make sure it exists somewhere other than on your desktop!

Establish a homebase. Yes, you will write snippets of your novel everywhere in November. Coffee shops, your couch, your desk at work, your bed, and random stoplights will all become a part of your book. But 50,000 words is a lot, and I'm guessing you'll be doing the majority of your writing where you live.

If you have a desk, awesome. Hang up your calendar and to-do list, get a pumpkin candle, and print out some writing quotes and tape them above your desk. If you don't have a desk, get a basket where you can keep your computer, your notebook, your calendar, and all other writing necessities together.

Make a writing playlist. If you're like me and can't write to songs (seriously, I just end up listening to the lyrics!), then make a writing playlist to inspire you before you write, or to inspire brainstorm sessions.

Get inspired! Thank you, pinterest. I have a writing inspiration board that I know will inspire me when I just need a little extra boost. What inspires you? Taking pictures? Painting? Running? Whatever it is, do it. It's time to get your creativity flowing!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What are you doing to get ready?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday! 5 Reasons I'm Happy to be Alive This Week.

linking up with Karli for Oh Hey, Friday!

1. I had no idea so many of you would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year! I'm so excited to see how everyone does! There's really just something about trying to reach a goal while knowing so many people around you are doing the same. It's motivating!

2. This is a weekend that is really, truly off. No deadlines, no projects, just a weekend off! 

3. I finally found the pumpkin spice creamer. My no-creamer diet was going great, but then...October. We can revisit this in January.

4. Cool(er) mornings and nights. Hey, when you live in Florida, you take what you can get.

5. Feeling inspired. Which has a lot to do with it being October and NaNoWriMo coming up! And the cooler weather..and the pumpkin spice coffee..fall is just inspiring all the way around!

Why are you happy to be alive this week?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10 Reasons You Absolutely Need a Puppy.

Okay, so you're trying to decide if you want to take the leap and get a dog or not. You've made a pros and cons list and you're just torn. No worries, I'm here to solve this dilemma for you.

You need a dog. 

I've compiled a list of reasons why. You're welcome.

1. Your happiness depends on it. Let's just go ahead and get this one out of the way. Such great happiness awaits you, you have no idea.

shiba inu puppy

2. They think you're amazing, no matter what. Miss a deadline? Screw up at work? Fail a test? It doesn't matter to them. Fill their food bowl up? Trophies! Oscars! All the awards for you!

3. You automatically have something to blog/instagram/tweet about. Had a bad hair day for the last four days? No worries, your cute pup always looks good. Instagram away.

shiba inu

4. They teach you responsibility. Forget getting a job. You want to learn responsibility? Get a puppy. It turns out, keeping something alive, happy, and comfortable actually takes a lot of effort.

5. They understand that sometimes you don't want to talk. And sometimes you want to talk a lot. I have a husband. If I come home happy and talkative, or sad and quiet, or angry and very talkative..well, his mood is going to change based on that. Dogs don't care. "You had a great day? Here, play fetch with me. You had a terrible day? Here, play fetch with me."

why you should get a dog

6. They give you something to look forward to. I have a pretty long commute home from work, and my husband usually works later than I do. Instead of coming home to an empty house, it's so much fun coming home to someone who's been waiting all day for you and acts like you just won best person of the whole year by coming home to them. Sloppy kisses all around!

7. Built in snuggle buddy for life. I mean, come on.

shiba inu

8. They're good practice for kids. My dog has started this really cute thing where he wakes up at 4:00AM and starts barking until you get up. If I thought I was ready for a kid, this would be a real quick smack back to reality.

9. They make a great excuse. Don't want to go out tonight? "Oh, sorry. I would love to, but I need to let my dog out."

shiba inu pup

10. They just make your life better, it's as simple as that. Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that your life is just happier when there's a little furry friend involved.

What would you add to this list?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Novel in a Month? Tips For a Successful NaNoWriMo.

nanowrimo how to

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? 

"National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel." 

Anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Does that sound like you? If so, November is the perfect month to get started!

NaNoWriMo is great because it gives you a set goal to complete in a set amount of time. It helps you avoid burnout because you have an exact deadline for when writing like a crazy person will end. It's incredibly challenging, inspiring, and overall an experience that every writer should have at least once.

If you're thinking about joining in this year, here are some tips that I've found to be helpful.

nanowrimo advice

Just because the technical goal of NaNoWriMo is 50,000, that doesn't mean you have to either do all that or nothing at all.

The point is to make yourself write way more than you normally do, no matter what that looks like. You can only write 5,000 words and still have an extremely successful NaNoWriMo. You have no idea what good ideas may come out of those words!

nanowrimo advice

Some people decide to write 50,000 words by the end of November and just go with it. That's fantastic, but if I did that, I would land on November 29th with 39,000 words to write.

Decide on a schedule based on your goal. Do you want to write for a set amount of time each day? Or do you want to write a certain amount of words per day?

My goal is the big 50,000 this year. That translates to roughly 1,666 words per day. However, I know that I probably won't be able to write on most Saturdays, and there are five of those in November. So that brings my goal up to 2,000 words a day.

Look at your lifestyle and schedule, and then make a writing schedule. Be realistic, but also push yourself. It will be incredibly hard, but that's part of the fun.

nanowrimo advice

Do not try to hit all 1,666 (or less, or more) words all at once. Yes, there will be days when you can sit down and pound out far more than your goal, and those days are magical. But on the not-so-magical days, trying to hit your goal all at once will make you want to cry forever.

So break it up! Have two daily goals instead of one. If your goal is 1,000 words, then have two goals of 500 words. Taking a break in between finishing the first goal and starting the second will give you a chance to reboot your creativity. Plus, being able to cross one of those off when you're halfway there feels awesome.

nanowrimo advice

It would be really freaking fantastic for everyone to have a writing partner that lives in the same town as them. Then you could spend days together in a coffee shop, writing the next great American novel and keeping each other from burning out. But this is real life, and that's not always an option.

Still, tell someone. Get an email partner. Blog about it. Just make sure someone other than you knows that you're being a psychotic person and trying to write a novel in 30 days. Sometimes all it takes to keep writing is knowing that someone is going to ask how your book is coming, and wanting to be able to be proud of your answer.

So, are you in?!

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo before? Are you planning on doing it this year?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Things You Hear When You Get Married Young.

I got engaged at 19 and married at 20. Apparently, this was confusing to a lot of people, because I got a lot of these reactions.

NOTE: I still get some of these comments, and we've been married for almost two years. 

1. Are you pregnant? 

Every. Single. Time. #RUDE.

2. But I'm're like, a baby. 

Ironically, this was most often said by people who were a whopping six months or so older than me.

3. But do you even know how to be married?

I'm pretty sure no one knows how to be married until they actually get married.

4. But how do you know that's what you want forever?

This is always a thinly veiled, "but how do you know there's not someone better out there?" And no matter how I answer it, we end back up at: "BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW?!"

5. Wait...have you never had sex with anyone else? 

And this matters to you because...?

6. How are you going to have money to live?

I'm pretty sure it costs money to money to live no matter if you're married or not.

7. Do you know that people who get married young are more likely to get divorced?

Do you know that people who spend their time telling other people statistics about their life are more likely to end up with zero friends? 

8. Do you even know what you want to do with your life yet? 

Not a clue. But I know I want to get married, so there's that.

9. Do your parents know about this?

Nope, my parents have no idea, but I'm telling you, random stranger. Nailed it. 

10. I would never get married that young. I mean, your life is basically over.

Anyone who thinks that their life is over once they get married should probably just not get married, no matter how old they are.

11. Why the rush?

I mean, I didn't know three years was rushing things, but that's cool.

12. But really...are you pregnant? 

Okay, bye. 

Get married, don't get married...I think everyone should just do whatever they want. I wanted to get married, so I did.

I think that meeting the person I wanted to marry so young is the luckiest thing in the world. It means we get to grow up together. Instead of telling my husband stories about things like my first real job, or my 21st birthday, or my first car wreck, I can just say, "hey, remember that?"

And I think that's pretty freaking cool.

Have you ever been asked these questions?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Christmas is a Sneaky Little Thing.

I have a very firm rule that I live my life by: No Christmas before Thanksgiving. No decorations, no music, no movies. I think each holiday deserves to be celebrated, and if you start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving, then you cheat yourself out of a holiday and Thanksgiving just gets skipped. 

The only exception I have when it comes to this is Christmas presents--because, depending on how many people are in your life and what kind of gifts you want to get them, the days after Thanksgiving are not going to be enough time to plan and shop. Especially if you're trying to be frugal. 

What usually happens is the day after Thanksgiving I think, "Okay, time to start Christmas shopping!" And then all of the sudden it's three days before Christmas and I'm panicking over my lack of gifts. 

I love to give creative gifts--something unexpected, or something that someone never would have bought themselves. And, of course, I love supporting small businesses, especially when it means I'm getting a unique gift--it's a win-win for everybody. 

I saw so many gift guides last year, and they were all wonderful, but they didn't start until December... and that wasn't really enough time for me to browse/decide/buy/wait for it to ship before I needed a gift. 

So this year, I'll be putting together a gift guide that will start November 1st and will run every Saturday and Sunday through November and part of December, which will give you plenty of time to shop and pick out creative gifts in these categories: 

So, if you have a shop and sell gifts that fit any of the above categories, let me know! I'd love to include you!

Just shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll reply with what you need to know.

Now--back to celebrating October and all of it's goodness!

What about you--do you start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving? 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday! 5 Reasons I'm Just Happy to be Alive Today.

today is a happy day

1. It's October. The best month ever. Coming soon: November and December. We're on the up and up, guys.

2. It's the weekend. This really needs no explanation.

3. I have a puppy (fox?) who likes to watch the sunrise. And it's just the sweetest thing. My heart is happy.

shiba inu puppy

4. I'm spending my morning under the covers, drinking coffee and making to-do lists.  If you're a to-do list junkie like me, you need to go download these immediately. If you need some ideas for your to-do list this month, click here.

5. In a few hours, the love of my life will be home. And I don't want that to ever stop being something I get excited about. We dated long distance for a long time, and I would be so incredibly happy whenever he came home or came to visit me. And I'm still happy--I'm happy that I have a person who will come home, exhausted from working, and will sit and have coffee with me and pretend he cares about the to-do lists I'm showing him. That's pretty lucky.

Why are you happy to be alive this week? Link up with Karli to talk about it!