NiFiHeNoMo Update!

So after a shaky start to Niko Finishes Her Novel Month [NiFiHeNoMo] I am proud to update that I am ahead of schedule on my 30,000 words in 30 days mission.

As proud as I am, I have to admit that I'm a little embarrassed to say that it has not been due to me diligently sitting at my laptop and banging out at least 1000 words a day.  Nope.  Since I made the decision to take on this endeavor my mind has been all over the place.  Sitting at my laptop and actually focusing on my novel was proving to be agonizing.  The words and scenes weren't coming to me.  Anything I did write was so forced that it was borderline depressing.  All I wanted to do was check my Instagram, read other blogs, or finish reading Allegiant.

Then I finally decided to try something that I had been avoiding: The Timer Method. 

Any book or article you read about writing or being productive in general will, at some point, tout the benefits of setting a timer and concentrating solely on the task at hand until you hear the ding.  It wasn't that I didn't believe these experts, it was just that I knew how my mind worked and I truly didn't believe it would work for me.  Essentially my mind is a brat that doesn't like to be told what to do...obviously....

Full disclosure: I was scared. Scared that I wouldn't have the discipline that I needed to not search #TheWalkingDead on Twitter when I should be in the cocoon of the timer.  I didn't want to fail because falling on such a small level could lend itself to me believing I could and would fail on the grander scale. 

Yes, I know. I can be pretty dramatic. 

Fortunately I sucked it up and told myself to grow a pair.

The first day using the timer method I did 3 one hour stints.  By the end of that third hour I had written 4025 words.  For someone who's been hitting 1000-2000 words a day lately I was beyond thrilled.   The screen grab above was taken on November 10th, not only pushing me ahead of my total word count goals, but also surpassing my daily word count record.

I can't say exactly what it is about using a timer that pushed me beyond my limits to numbers that I never knew I could reach in a day.   I can say that it almost became like a game.  I started to enjoy challenging myself when I would look up and see how much time I had left.  I would also try to have a larger word count with each hourly stint.

It also didn't hurt that I was hit with some serious inspiration and was excited by what I was writing.  I suppose I have to attribute some of the inspiration from the extra push that the timer gave me, right?

You know what else I believe helped? Finding the most obnoxious timer online. It felt like it was me against the timer.  I mean, what could be more annoying than a bomb with a lit fuse that actually explodes at the end of the countdown? No seriously, ifyou know of something please tell me. 

Well, that's my update and if rambling on has helped you in any way, please let me know! 



Niko Finishes Her Novel Month [NiFiHeNoMo]


So in typical Niko fashion I woke up November 1st and made my decision about National Novel Writing Month [NaNoWriMo].  I have decided that I will not be participating this year.  Instead I have created, for myself, Niko Finishes Her Novel Month [NiFiHeNoMo]! Granted it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it is my hope  that the sense of pride and accomplishment that I imagine happens after completing NaNoWriMo will still wash over me.

So, I have set a target of 30,000 words in 30 days in order to reach my 80,000 word count goal. By November 30th, I will, like successful NaNoWriMo participants, have in my hands a completed first draft. Yay!

As far as my idea for NaNoWriMo all is not lost. Not when Camp NaNoWriMo exists! It is basically the same idea [50,000 words in 30 days], but you can participate during the month of April or July. Depending on where I am on my edit I may participate then or there is always next November.

In the mean time there's nothing like a couple of pretty little notebooks to keep my ideas in until then!  

Alright, I have to go now...I have a goal to reach! 


To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. It's a pretty brilliant idea where they bring a community of writers together encouraging them to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

Even though the reality of writing an actual, worth reading novel in thirty days is impossible, I love the idea of walking away with a first draft. I've been excited about NaNoWriMo since learning about it earlier this year. I wracked my brain trying to think of story ideas that would not only fit into 50,000 words, but also keep me motivated. 

I ended up putting NaNoWriMo on the back burner because, well for one thing I didn't have an idea and two, I didn't want to put the book I've invested so much time on to the side.  After all I am currently  over 50,000 words into my 80,000 word goal and I am truly excited by the progress thus far. I can't deny that I am pretty proud of myself, so why would I stop now?

Then a month ago I woke up and had, what I believe would be a great idea to fit into 50,000 words. Ugh...of course I did!  

So now it is October 30th and I have a big decision to make.  Stay in the world that I've been working on since April or put it on hold for a month to create a whole new one?

Decisions, decisions...

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?


Photo via

...and her dreams into plans

When I first started writing my novel I came across the quote above. I quickly made it the wallpaper background of my laptop to use it as my inspiration to keep going on days when I was feeling like an uncreative hack.

Trust me when I tell you that I had a lot of those days.

Writing is a lonely endeavor.  It’s just you, your imagination and the page.

Even when you have people that support you it is ultimately up to your desire to get it done.  Your need to jettison the people populating the world that you created out of your mind and into the real world.

Now, when you keep your work as close to the vest as I do it only helps to build the walls that isolate you.   I have only shown two of the 26 chapters that I’ve written to my husband.  If I need his opinion on something the question is so vague that often times it isn’t even worth asking.

In my defense I am writing my manuscript to completion before attempting any form of editing.  That being said there is no way that I would let anyone read it before the first edit because…I mean…yikes! I know that this method is what works best for me, but it is also what keeps me on an island.

I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by people that love and support me.  They are quick to tell me how proud they are or how great I’m doing.  As much as I appreciate the encouragement and praise, the truth of the matter is that I am the only one that knows what I’ve written.  There are days when I feel like what I’ve put on the page isn’t worth the kindness.

This is where the quote comes in.

There are many times when I am plagued with doubt.  Fear, even.  What if I’ve wasted all of these months writing something that is truly horrible?  What if I really don’t know what I’m doing?  What if I fail?

Doubt is the biggest killer of dreams and this quote reminds me of that every day.

Each day that I inch closer to the finish line I see that the doubt hasn’t beaten me.  Now that I am over halfway through my manuscript I know that the plan that started out as a dream was always stronger than the doubt. It just took dumping some of the can’ts to finally realize it.

How do you deal with self doubt? How do you keep it at bay? Comment below and let me know.