NaNoWriMo 2015 – Week 1

Week one of NaNoWriMo 2015 is in the books. Literally. A lot of novels have been started this past week. I’m counting my first week as a success simply because I began writing. There are also a few things about this week that I was very excited about.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Shield

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

First, I managed to write every day of the week. The first few days I hit my goal of 2,000 words each day. The other days, not so much. But I managed to write something and I’m not too far behind where I wanted to be by the end of the week. I knew I was going to lose some writing time this past week, so my goal was to be at 10,000 by the end of Saturday. I was at 8,901. Not bad. My goal today is to make up the difference and hit 12,000 by the time I’m done.

Another thing I was excited about was resisting the temptation to go back and read what I had already written and make changes. So far I have been able to keep my inner editor quiet. Yes, there are things I already want to go back and modify, but they are being saved for the editing process. I plan to go through the editing process even if I have no intention to try to publish this novel. It seems like it would be a good learning experience for next year’s NaNoWriMo.

Perhaps the thing I’m most excited about from this first week is that this novel feels like something I would like to read. I am excited about sitting down to read it straight through. Given that I’m only writing this for me, that is a great sign.

Now that week two is beginning, I feel like I have a much better idea of where this story is headed. I have just written out a super skeletal outline for the rest of the story so I can remember where I wanted to go with it.

Well, I have 3,099 words to write today. I’d better hop to it.

Good luck to my fellow NaNoWriMo participants! I hope you are having as much fun as I have been! 🙂

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Day 1

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Thank you to everyone who has provided advice for approaching this adventure. It has been quite helpful.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Shield

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

While I am still pantsing for my first year (in case you aren’t familiar, that just means I have declared that I am writing this novel by the seat of my pants), I have put in a little preparation to know my character and the general setting of the story. I also have a general idea of what I generally want to happen. Notice how general my “planning” has been?

I did have a moment of mild panic earlier today when I realized that I hadn’t bothered to figure out how I wanted to start the story. This is when it was very helpful to have my husband participating in NaNoWriMo with me. He is pretty hardcore pantsing it, as he had only decided how to start his novel, but really has no idea where he is going with it beyond that. He started writing today before I did and he said he completely changed how he started his novel.

That made me realize I just needed to sit down and start the freakin’ thing trusting that the beginning would pop into my head. After all, starting with something that just popped into my head is better than not starting at all.

My rough goal is 2,000 words a day this month. To write 50,000 words in 30 days, the daily average should be about 1,667. I already know there will be a few days when I won’t be able to write, hence the daily goal of 2,000.

So far I have 766 words toward the goal of 2,000 for today. And I have to say that I am happy with the beginning of the story that popped into my head. It already sounds like something I would want to read, which is my main goal for this novel. I’m writing it for me. If I like it enough to edit and share it, then so be it. For now, I’m writing it as if I am the only one who will read it.

Time to get back to having fun with this story and increasing my word count. 🙂

Metal Clay Jewelry

For the past few weeks, I have been in a metal clay jewelry class. So far we have been working with copper metal clay, and it is so fun.
Metal Clay Pendants
In the spring, I wanted to try working with precious metal clay, but it was a bit intimidating due to the cost and needing to work with a torch or a kiln (neither of which I have… yet). Most of what I have tried so far has been self-taught with the help of books the trusty internet for instructions. So I decided to enroll in a class and learn from someone who is familiar with metal clay.

I am so, so glad I did. In the first class I took, we started with silver metal clay. It was lovely to work with, but a bit intimidating because it is expensive. We did a little work with copper metal clay in that class, but not a whole lot. Continue reading

I Will Write a Novel

I have signed up to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I heard about NaNoWriMo for the first time about a year ago on Pinterest. In case this is the first you’ve heard of it, NaNoWriMo is an annual event in November for anyone who wants to write a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Shield

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

You might be thinking, “50,000 words in 30 days, that’s crazy talk!”

Yes, yes it is.

But it can be done. Almost 59,000 people reached the goal in 2014.

You may recall from a previous post that I have let fear stop me from trying creative writing in the past. NaNoWriMo seems like a great opportunity to force myself to get over it and have fun trying to reach a lofty goal.

To prepare, I am reading No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty. This book has been very helpful and encouraging, because, well, I have no plot. Just a general idea of a couple of main characters and a vague idea of what I sorta want to kinda happen. I would like to have this a little more sorted out by November 1, but I plan to participate this year as a “pantser” – one who dives into this with little preparation and flies by the seat of his/her pants.

I would love to hear from anyone who has participated in NaNoWriMo in the past or who will be participating this year. If you are not participating, I would love to hear any words of encouragement you might have. 🙂

No Plot? No Problem!:

Creatively Improvising

Last week, creativity came in the form of needing to improvise a little on wrapping a gift for my niece who is turning 4.

I searched through my wrapping paper only to find that the only thing I had that was close to birthday paper was plain, cobolt blue paper. Not ideal for a girly girl who likes sparkle, but I needed to get the gifts wrapped and ready to ship that night. No time to run out and buy more wrapping paper. Fortunately, her favorite color at the moment is blue.

So I grabbed some silver, gold, and copper metallic paper and some of my Stampin’ Up! punches. Then I punched out several metallic hearts, butterflies, and flowers and put them all over the blue wrapping paper. I wish I had remembered to take a picture because it turned out pretty cute.

Before wrapping her gift, I didn’t really have an idea in mind for a card yet, Butterflies Birthday Cardother than wanting to put 4 of something on it for her fourth birthday. An added bonus of decorating the gift with the punched shapes was that it gave me an idea for the card.

The butterflies in silver were my favorite shapes on the gift, so I punched out 4 more of them. It’s tough to see in this photo, but they are shiny and placed on the card with dimensional tape.

Keeping with the “4” theme I put 4 strips of paper behind the butterflies. They are cut as not perfect rectangles so they look a little more interesting. The card turned out cute and I liked having the card kinda coordinate with the wrapping with the silver butterflies.

While it would have been nice and a lot quicker to have actual birthday wrapping paper on hand, it was a lot of fun finding a way to make what I did have work.

Creativity = Energy

For me, working on creative projects is very energizing. 

I noticed this week that I’ve been tired and lacking in energy. I realized this morning that I have done almost nothing creative this past week. I didn’t even write on my blog. A couple of migraines certainly contributed to the tired, but I let them keep me from doing much this week. 

The idea for this post hit me this morning. Just the thought of it felt energizing. So here I am typing away and feeling better already. 🙂

This has been a good reminder for me that exercising creativity is as important for me as physical exercise (still working on that, too). 

I’m already thinking about what projects I’ll be working on this week and feeling pretty excited about it.

Havig It All Logo

Don’t Be Afraid Of Mistakes

“Nothing will stop you being creative more effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”
– John Cleese

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when it comes to creativity.

Throughout my life I have had a tendency to be a perfectionist. A little over a decade ago I decided to try stamping. My friend Debbie who introduced me to the art pointed out that it is impossible to be perfect while stamping. She was absolutely correct.

I decided to make a hobby of stamping and that helped quite a bit with my tendency toward perfectionism. I learned to enjoy the little imperfections and realize that sometimes mistakes can change design plans for the better. I’ll always be grateful to Debbie for introducing me to stamping because it is so fun and has been helpful to me.

However, I continue to struggle with the fear of making mistakes in some ways and have let it stop me from trying things like creative writing. Still working on that one, but I have at least signed up for a creative writing workshop next month.

The fear of making a mistake can be a tough one to conquer, especially for those of us who tend to be perfectionists. But it is not impossible to overcome.

Painting Abstracts – Exercise 1

Recently I shared my first attempt at painting and it inspired me to learn more about abstract painting. So I grabbed my copy of Painting Abstracts by Rolina van Vilet and decided to start going through the exercises.

Abstract Painting Exercise 1

I had already read through the first set of introductions, which provided an overview of abstract painting. The first exercise was intended to introduce expressive shapes and to just get used to putting paint on canvas/paper. I picked 5 different colors and 5 different palette knives (cheap plastic pack from Michaels,  but they worked).

The main goal was to start going through the exercises because I kept putting it off for a variety of reasons. I was super excited to have finally started going through these exercises. Continue reading

When Designs Change for the Better

When making a Mother’s Day card in May, I had the design all planned out. I was very unhappy with the initial result, but it led to a design that I liked even better.

The design was going to be super simple using an acrylic stamping block and re-inkers for the background with a silhouette image stamped in black over it. I used white watercolor paper and stamped the inked background on it. It looked so lovely that I did not think about the texture of the paper.

Upsy Daisy Card

Stamped image by Stampin’ Up!

When I stamped the image over it, the texture became obvious and I just didn’t like the result. Naturally, I had waited until almost the last minute to make the cards, so I was in a mild panic trying to quickly figure out how to tweak the design. I decided to use some velum to stamp the image on and attach it over the background, because the colors would still show through pretty well.

The problem was that I had recently “cleaned up” my crafting area and couldn’t remember where I had placed the velum. Eeek! My husband saved the day by suggesting that I use tracing paper instead – and I actually knew where I had stashed the tracing paper. Shwew.

I stamped the image on the tracing paper, tore the edges, and attached it to the background paper with brads. The result is pictured here and I was so pleased with how it turned out. Continue reading