NaNo: Captain’s Log, Week 1

Geez louise, you guys.

I won’t lie, y’all. NaNoWriMo is a mud run for writers. It’s trying to take everything you’ve learned over the span of your entire lifetime as a writer and trying to make it all apply in this mad dash of 50K words.

The first week has been good. I’ve fallen behind a little this weekend, but I’m not too worried, truth be told. I’m not at that point where I am desperately counting words, like they are vital nutrient-rich calories while I am Bear-Grylls-ing my way through alien terrain.

There are a few things that have kept me going: Chuck Wendig and his book 30 Days in the Word Mines. Chocolate. Pandora. Field trips to places I hadn’t been before. Visual art.

I’ve also learned a few lessons: turn off word count when you’re trying to get productive. Don’t try and watch anything while you’re writing. Don’t stop believing. Hold onto that feeling.

It may be a Journey lyric, but it applies.

You Might Think It’s Easy, But It’s Snot


Since I got back on Sunday, I have been sick.

Husbando had had a head cold a few weeks previously, and I felt like I had somehow sneaked past without getting its attention. As if the cold were a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and I was Sam Neill with the flare. Little did I realize that in no time I would end up a bit more like…Jeff Goldblum. You know, where he spazzes out and people start dying.

As a result, I’ve been floundering trying to be productive. And you’d think, “Oh, you can just blog while you’re lying in bed.” But it’s not so easy. Because that requires thinking, and that’s no simple feat when your brain is drowning in mucus.


Here are a few things you can do if you, like me, get sick and feel like a worthless sack:

1. Catch up on some research — Take a look at some of those places you’re going to feature in your next book. Or search for inspiring images on Pinterest to motivate you to get a better sense of your characters.

2. Write some poetry — Don’t think too hard on it. Just let it flow out onto the paper.

3. Make a list — I love lists, if you couldn’t tell that from March’s 30 Lists. But they really are a good way to collect your thoughts in a short, sweet way. Think about what you’re going to blog about, what topics you want to write about, what books have inspired you.

4. Go easy on yourself — If you push too hard, you’re going to wind up sicker for a longer amount of time. Take frequent breaks. Keep hydrated. Get plenty of sleep.

5. Catch up on other writers’ blogs — We’re always telling ourselves not to fall down the blog rabbit hole, but in truth, when you’re having a hard time getting anything done, you can draw strength from awesome writers around you. Indulge and take a look at, say, Terrible Minds. Or The Cult.

Now you’re all set to feel better about not doing anything because life is currently a snotty mountain of tissues. Huzzah!

Finders Friday: My Every Day Blogs

Today, I wanted to share with you the awesome blogs that I check out on a daily basis. The people who run them are amazing, they have great stuff that makes me feel good, and they are fantastic resources for creative types. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I’ve also stolen a line from their About pages so you know what you’re in for. Did I just make that sounds ominous? Because I meant to.

Litreactor:An interactive online community where writers improve their craft and readers celebrate their love for literature.”

Unfuck Your Habitat: “What is Unfuck Your Habitat? And why should you do it? Because you’re better than your mess. Yes, it involves some yelling and swearing. But, it’s about motivation, and support, and accountability.”

Yes and Yes: “Because yes is more fun than no.” (Katie note — A lifestyle blog that takes it a step more awesome.)

Lemon and Raspberry: “Where [Amy Schubert] helps you learn how to tell your story, build your online platform and find your GREAT WORK.”

Campfire Chic: “Take risks and try new things, like camping, rock climbing, and yoga, while maintaining current interests and responsibilities.”

The Happiness Project: “Daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness and habits.”

Austin Kleon: “A writer who draws.” (Katie note — he wrote “Steal Like an Artist” and “Show Your Work” and he also believes in dealing with a day job)

The Small Change Project: “There is no secret to solving any problem. There are only small changes, practice and a commitment to doing better. THIS is your WHOLE life.”

Terrible Minds: “[Chuck Wendig] is likely drunk and untrustworthy. This blog is NSFW and probably NSFL.”

Mighty Girl: “Famous among dozens.” (Katie note — don’t listen. It’s actually way more.)