NaNo Update: Nearly 20k Words in!

It’s 10 days into November, and not only am I on track, I’m actually ahead!

I can’t recall a single NaNo that I have ever managed to remain caught up and in fact be ahead at this point in the journey. If you’re curious about how previous NaNos have gone, here’s last year’s graph outlining the chaos:

glass princess stats INSPIRE

I stayed behind on word count from day 2 and wrote 10k words in three days to catch up at the end…

Without words, this graph expresses the insanity that was the last three days of NaNo! I’d pretty much given up by day 20 (you can see where I went days without writing anything) and managed to pull through just in the nick of time.

Here’s my graph for today (so far):

in progress nano 2015

So far I’ve fallen behind twice (by a measly few hundred words or so.) YAY!

I’m so, so excited! This is my busiest, craziest November ever, and somehow I’m managing to write faster than ever! It’s only going to go downhill from here, I think, because this year I’m rebelling–I’ve just started a second, brand-new project that’s turning out really, really awesome. So far I’ve written 8k of it in just a few days, so I have a feeling it’ll boost my word count significantly. My goal by the end of today (which is a convenient school holiday!) is 20k, so on to more word wars and sprints!

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, how are you doing this year? Is it going better than you’d hoped, or has NaNo eaten your soul? 🙂 Keep going, even if you’re not winning! Every word you write is one more that you wouldn’t have without NaNo. I know you can do it!

Psst! You can find me on the NaNo website under the username NightWings. Feel free to add me as a buddy!

How to Win NaNoWriMo: An Unofficial Guide

Would you believe that every November thousands of writers around the world sit down and type out approximately 53 AP English essays—or 160 pages—in length of fiction? National Novel Writing Month, usually shortened to NaNoWriMo (or simply NaNo), has been a 30-day writing-intensive event since 1999. Its challenge is simple: write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. At the end of the month, winners walk home with 50,000 more words of a manuscript than before and a certificate to hang on their wall; many, though, don’t finish and walk away defeated. The challenge itself sounds simple: just write. That simplicity, however, hides the more complex truth that winning the challenge isn’t just about your typing speed—it’s about preparation, motivation, time management, and willpower. With the right mentality, any writer can cross the 50k finish line! Continue reading

Are You Settling for Mediocrity?

Today, on my first day of school as a high school junior, I realized a rather shocking thing. I’ve settled for being mediocre.

I probably should have realized this earlier. For one, I was allowing myself to feel happy with a lower grade than I knew I could get. I was also handing in things late and just generally not doing what I knew I could do. But I’d justified my less-then-great performance for so long, telling myself that since everyone else was getting a B or even C in the class that my B+ was extraordinary and those over-achieving straight-A-ers were just working themselves too hard, that I soon succumbed: I set the bar lower and lower until one day–today–I took a step back and saw just how little I was letting myself achieve. Continue reading

Vox Populi’s Debut EP Is Here!

Hey!

Two of my best friends ever just released one of the best EDM EPs ever! They go under the name Vox Populi, and they produce some pretty awesome music. Separately, they go by Krook and Aspien, but they’ve been working together so much they just have a different group name now. PLEASE please please go check out their amazing new EP called Out of the Vox (excellent pun… heh.) They’ve got some amazing songs and are really, really talented.Even if you don’t like EDM, this stuff is really good music in general. Share it around!

Here’s a link to their EP on SoundCloud! Go check out their other songs and individual profiles, as well (Krook has a pretty sick Carol of the Bells cover on his personal SoundCloud page, for starters.) Share this around if you have friends who like EDM or any kind of electronic stuff.

I’m so, so proud of them and hope you’ll enjoy their music as much as I do. EDM isn’t everyone’s thing, but it’s way more than just “noise and a kick drum,” as some affectionately term it. Give it a try if you haven’t!

TL;DR: Two of my best friends published a really good EDM EP that you should go check out here.

5 Tips for Being a Productive Writer (and being more productive in general)

As Camp NaNoWriMo begins and Spring Break ends, I’ve been thinking about how to be more productive and write a little more once school is back in session. You might be in the same situation, or you might be out of school holding down a job; you might have other things on your hands. No matter! Everyone is busy with something. The struggle of being a writer is balancing a non-writer’s schedule with writerly habits and productivity.

So how does one get productive and write, even while they’re up to their eyes in other work?

Here are my top 5 tips for staying productive even when there’s lots to do and so little time. For those of you struggling to be productive in other areas (schoolwork, job, etc.) simply replace writing with whatever you’re trying to get done. These tips can be universally applied to just about anything. Continue reading

The Perils of International Schools (or: Goodbyes are Constant)

As you may or may not be aware of, I attend an International school over here in Malaysia.

We’re an American school of grades K-12 with just over 500 students. It’s a small place, and every year we lose our seniors and countless other families. Of course more come to take their place, and the size of the school is steadily growing; but when people leave or graduate, they don’t just move upstate. More often than not, they move across the ocean. Continue reading

Debate Team: What I’ll Do Better Next Year

debate irl

This year was the first year I participated in the SEA Forensics Tournament hosted by ISKL (International School of Kuala Lumpur), and I had a blast! I was a finalist in Oral Interpretation (I read a passage from Life of Pi aloud dramatically, complete with Indian, British, and Muslim accents)… and our Debate Team didn’t even make it to quarter finals. It was our first year and we all learned a lot, and I’m not actually upset about it–I didn’t go to win. I went to have fun. Debating is something I love to do regardless of victory or defeat.

That being said, winning is fun. We came close to winning one of our three rounds, so we’re not completely hopeless! I put together a rather short list of things I could do better. So, future Kimberly–here’s some advice. Take it. 🙂 Continue reading

Why I’m Not Chasing My Dreams

I’m one of those people who had their lives pretty much in order. Whenever an adult asked little 6-year-old me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would instantly reply, “I want to be an author.” That’s been my answer for pretty much my whole life. I love to write, and I want it to be my career one day.

Slowly, however, I’ve been waking up to the idea of, “oh, you know, I’m going to have to find another career here at some point.” Continue reading

Introversion + People-Pleasing Tendencies = INFJ Problems

As I type this, I’ve been sitting at my desk in my room for over 3 hours, my favorite music playing, Tumblr open in one tab, various other social media and blog posts in others… I’m in my happy place. I haven’t been away from people for this long in I don’t know how long. It’s so refreshing–but at the same time, I feel guilty. My thoughts continue to drift to my family, the only other people around. Do they feel neglected? Am I being too reclusive? I’m not even being productive, so why am I shut up in my room?

Ah, the problems of being a people-pleaser and an introvert. It’s interesting how this works. Here I am recharged, more energized than I have been in a while, worrying about other people. I don’t even want to be around those other people… why am I worrying? Continue reading