NaNoWriMo 2014

The temperature has come down. The leaves have changed color and are beginning to fall from their trees. Football is in full swing and mustaches are sprouting up everywhere. It is November and it’s once again time for National Novel Writing Month.

Last year was a massive failure. I’ll do my best not to break my hand again, but no promises! As I write this blog post at 12:36 am, I sit at roughly 9,700 words which is slightly behind where I should be on the 7th day to reach the target. I’ve had a productive day today and I plan to try and catch up this weekend. If I don’t, I’ll be in trouble.

I wanted to use the accelerated schedule but you need to write 3,300 words on the very first day which I find very difficult. I don’t know how I did it in the past with the amount of stuff that happens at the beginning of the month (mainly Halloween, Birthday). If anything, I should modify the schedule to have the heaviest days of writing happen in the middle of the month. The beginning of the month is tough, but the end of the mouth is brutal with Thanksgiving and the beginnings of holiday shopping.

Whatever ends up happening, I’ve been enjoying it immensely. I’ve been writing short stories non-stop for a while now so writing a full novel is both tons of fun, but extremely challenging. It’s going to be really nice getting to know these characters and taking them on a long journey.

I wish I had planned a little more. I’ve got one bone in a skeleton outline and it’s not even a very big bone. I’m “pantsing” this one as they say so we’ll see what happens.

Painting Little Monsters II

I’ve already painted one of the monsters in this set of four. Here are the other three. They’re little rubber erasers. For whatever reason, I’ve really enjoyed painting them. I just primed them and painted them with acrylic paints. The paint job isn’t as smooth or neat looking as it could be but I suppose I’ll get better in time. I have three pictures below showing the different steps.

Now I need to find new ugly creatures to paint!

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Meditating and Writing

Meditation is awesome.

I had heard for the longest time that the benefits of meditation were innumerable, but I could never get myself to try it. A friend of mine would speak at lengths about how he practices transcendental meditation every morning and how he wasn’t even sure if it was helping him. It just seemed so mystical and woo-woo to me that I unfairly dismissed it.

Not anymore!

I was checking out an episode of the Random Show and they brought up an app called Headspace. Sitting down and meditating by myself? Not too into it. But “guided meditation”? That’s something I could get behind.

I downloaded the app and gave it a try. They give you 10 free lessons. Each one is 10 minutes long and each one builds upon the previous. I always imagined that for meditation to be effective you needed an hour or so of solid concentration. I can get behind 10 minutes.

I think there’s a lot of genius in the app. Obviously 10 minutes is an easy sell, but all of the other stuff that the app preaches is gold too, especially the theme of not fighting thoughts that start to creep in. The app constantly tells you to let thoughts come and go and not to worry about it. There’s even a section in each lesson where you’re encouraged you to let your mind do whatever “it” wants. There’s no pressure to have a singularly focused mind for 10 straight minutes and I think that’s key.

I’ve been waking up earlier, putting my earbuds in and firing up the app. The voice of the app, Andy, is pleasant, mellow and soothing. I’ve run through the 10 lessons three times now and I can honestly say that I feel amazing.

I’m handling my stress better. I’m energized in the mornings. I’m sleeping better. My focus and concentration are better. My creativity is flowing. All of this is boosting my writing. The ideas are coming freely and I don’t find myself getting distracted and wandering off to the dark corners of the internet as much.

I’m excited to see the long term effects of continuing meditation. Give it a try. Your health and your writing will thank you.