NaNoWriMo: A Stressful Week 1

Welcome back to another recap of my NaNoWriMo journey! As most Americans could tell you, this past week has been stressful. This entire week has been as draining as it has been exciting. For the past week, I’ve gotten home from work and attempted to stay as far away from the news and social media as I could. I tried to limit checking for updates and searched for something to distract me. There was a sign saying “hey, writing your NaNoWriMo story might help”. Surprise, that was not how it panned out.

Instead of focusing on my writing, I took a deep dive into other distractions. YouTube? I was there. Knitting? You bet! And, of course, social media took its place as the number one distraction. On top of this, I was getting home every day from work with a brain that felt like mush. A mushy brain is not my ideal when it comes to writing, and I couldn’t figure out how to overcome it. I was on a roll for a few days, pushing through to get a few paragraphs in at the very least. Then things started to pile up, and I lost my ability to power through. Instead, I became an Emily burrito of stress and the mushy brain feeling only grew worse. Needless to say, I did not get much done.

This continued on for most of the week. An endless cycle of stress and a lack of productive work. If you were in the same boat as me, it is okay. Many people were stressing over events and were channeling that stress. They channeled it into outlets other than writing. My favorite outlet was the meme format. Many created funny and sassy memes about Nevada and other states who appear to be slow counters. These memes made me laugh and helped me get back into a good enough mindset to write again. The good side of the internet strikes again! 

Thanks to this newfound determination, I was on a roll at the end of the week. Fingers were flying, words were flowing out of me like honey. The ideal writing situation! I knew that this wouldn’t be a frequent feeling for me during this year’s NaNoWriMo. I don’t have that gift at the best of times, let alone during a year where stressed out is my default state. I’m grateful to have this inspiration while it lasts. It might hold me over until December 1st, or it might tank tomorrow. Either way, I’m glad to be doing this challenge. It reminds me that I can write. That I could someday join the ranks of published NaNoWriMo participants. You can too if you keep pushing through and keep striving to improve your skills.

How are y’all doing with NaNoWriMo so far? Any tips you’ve picked up to help power through the hardships of writing? Let me know in the comments below! This year has gotten me excited to be a part of the writing community. I’d love to continue expanding my list of writing buddies. If you want to be writing buddies, let me know and I’d be happy to beta your story. Thanks so much for reading everyone, and happy writing!

Goodreads: Challenge Accepted

A new year is dawning tomorrow, full of new promises and exciting experiences. Like most people stepping into the new year, I have goals for my 2020 self. One of the goals on my list has to do with one of the most popular reading sites: Goodreads. I’ve done their yearly reading challenge for the past three years. While the first year wasn’t a success, for the past two attempts I’ve been over my book goal. This year I’ve read 35 books and my goal was only 30! 

I want to use this momentum to go into the new year with my 2020 goal. I want to read 40 books by December 31st, 2020. While this is only five more books than what I read this year, it feels like a strangely overwhelming amount of books. It’s odd, because when I was little I could knock out 40 books like it was nothing. Now, with my job and the distracting pull of the internet, it feels almost impossible. However, when I do the math it adds up to about 3 books a month, plus a few extra here-and-there. That, readers, is a great way to make your goals more attainable. Narrowing it down to a month-by-month basis has helped me accomplish my reading goals, so it might help you accomplish yours as well!

Another way I’ve helped set myself up for success is the “want to read” list on Goodreads. When I’ve reread my yearly novels and am out of ideas, I can consult that list and find some great stories to check out. Last year I had it pulled up every time I went into the library for inspiration. I can also keep track of the books coming out this year that I want to read. I would’ve forgotten the release date of Maureen Johnson’s new book if it wasn’t a part of my list! I can also use it to vett what I want to read, so that I don’t waste my time with books that I end up putting down. 

However, I’ve thrown a wrench into this plan that makes it a bit more difficult. I want at least five of the 40 books I’m going to read to be either non-fiction or classic literature. I don’t think that the classic literature challenge will be that difficult, but the non-fiction side of this challenge makes me nervous. Since I could read, I’ve been a fiction-obsessed reader who rarely dips her toe into the non-fiction world. Non-fiction can be fun, but the writing style of most novels in that genre make me want to slam my head on a table. I’m hoping that this challenge will remind me that there is a good side to non-fiction, and maybe even find some books that I want to reread in the future.  


The books are piling up in my mind, and my “want to read” list is rapidly growing. With that in mind, I have a feeling I’ll be sipping champagne and thumbing through a book when the clock strikes twelve. What are your reading goals for 2020? Are there new books you want to read, or old ones you’ve been meaning to read again? Let me know in the comments below! If you have any book recommendations for me to check out in 2020, you can fill out the survey found here. Happy New Year everyone!