Little Things and NaNo Update

Early this morning, I remembered that today marked a year exactly since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that disrupted our lives and the lives of thousands of people here in New Zealand. Wow. Amazing how many changes can be made in a year, and how two minutes at midnight has created challenges for people to this day. One main road still hasn’t been opened yet as a result (although the current hope is that they will be able to open it within a month).

So much in such a little time.

Little Things and NaNo Update

I was listening to a podcast earlier today as I cleaned a few windows in my bedroom that have been bugging me for weeks. Michael Hyatt, a well-known leader in the business world, was talking, and he said something about how our words and actions can influence people either positively or negatively, depending on how we use them. He went on to say that our attitudes and perceptions of life can, in some cases anyway, be huge determining factors in how others relate to us—or even if we end up keeping our jobs or not! Again, another case where little things can influence huge changes, either good or bad.

Lots to ponder there.

The main project for me these last two weeks has been writing. Since I signed up for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been writing at least a little each day. It’s been so, so fun. And while I know that we shouldn’t just do life for the fun aspect, I do think it’s okay in the creative sphere to really challenge yourself to turn up each day and get something done. The challenge is good, but it’s also fun to do.

Last week, I finished the first children’s story I was writing, and began a second that I’ve been pondering off and on for a little while. I’m almost to the end of the second now, and I’m not sure where I’ll be going from here, as I’ll still need nearly 23,000 words of something to write in the next fifteen days in order to win NaNo.

One thing that I have found fascinating over the course of this challenge is the fact that my creativity levels can be depleted. Some days are better, some are worse, but overall I’ve witnessed a general slide in the creativity to a not-so-full state. That’s fine, as I know I’ll be able to tank up over the next few months again, but it has been an interesting trend to follow.

I also have been amusing myself greatly by how much I forget to include one particular character in my more recent story. It’s a dragon, who is supposed to be a little bit on the arrogant slash snarky side, but he keeps forgetting to act his character or I forget he’s even there…this is when I’m looking forward to doing some editing so I can put him back in later. 🙂

In all, NaNo has gone a lot better than I expected so far, I’ve loved (almost) every minute—except for the few times when I realize I’m writing an extremely boring scene!—and I’m looking forward to the final sixteen-or-so days.

Now, I’d better go see if I can figure out another story to write, or else make some good progress on planning out the story I’ve been wanting to write for years!

What projects have you been working on lately? Have you ever listened to podcasts by business leaders? What is one useful tip you have picked up or been given recently?

November’s NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge

Last Wednesday, I did something crazy that I’m hoping I won’t end up regretting (I don’t think I will): I signed up for NaNoWriMo this month. (NaNo, as in National Novel Writing Month, or the crazy challenge writers take to write 50,000 words in 30 days.) I’ve participated other years—and even managed to get to 50k in 2013!—but since then, I’ve gained a lot of other responsibilities, so this is proving to be an even bigger challenge than it was back then.

But it’s been so, so fun as well. It’s thrilling to watch a story develop under your fingertips; to “live” in another place and try to put all five senses that you’re discovering there in word form so that someone else can experience it as well.

November's NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge 01

Pre-food near-starvation mode

As an aside: One thing I’ve discovered about myself (to my surprise!) is that I tend to write a lot more clearly than I speak. That’s become a continual annoyance to me, because words flow so well through my fingertips, but not necessarily through my lips. But that’s okay. It’s always good to have at least one thing to hone in life, right?

Back in 2013, and again in 2014 and 2015, I believe, I participated in another month-long challenge in November: GiveThanks x7. It was hosted by a girl’s magazine, The King’s Blooming Rose, with the goal being to write down seven things I’m grateful for every day of the month of November. It proved to be a lovely time of creating a habit of thankfulness, a frame of mind I’d love to be in constantly.

This year, although the magazine isn’t hosting the challenge, they do encourage us to do it ourselves. So I thought I’d share my “thankful” lists from the last three days.

November's NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge 02

Post-food relaxation mode (at this point, I’m thinking there are probably some interesting and useful parallels between sheep and humans, as the Bible often points out).

November 1:

  1. Haunt Fox by Jim Kjielgaard—a fascinating nature book!
  2. Peacocks—they’re so pretty!
  3. Beautiful mornings
  4. November
  5. A new dresser for my little sister
  6. NaNoWriMo
  7. Work away from home!

November 2:

  1. Summery days
  2. Motel-quality sheets (what luxury!)
  3. Stories to write
  4. Roses
  5. Bible memory verses
  6. Pitcher plants—fascinating things, especially when wasps get stuck in them!
  7. Dear friends who are willing to help when it’s difficult to get something done ourselves (oh, that I might be a friend like that to other people!)

November 3:

  1. The quails I heard early this morning
  2. Brothers that I can delight with stories
  3. My happy little sister
  4. God’s faithfulness
  5. The color of fresh spring green
  6. Taking walks with my little sister
  7. Her delight in nature

Have you ever written fictional stories and/or participated in a writing challenge? What are some things you are thankful for today?