I Finally Got Scrivener

Scrivener has been a writing program that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. So many of my writer friends that I’ve met through WordPress, social media, and NaNoWriMo swear by it. Even though I typically reach my goal each NaNo session and claim a “win,” I’ve never taken the opportunity to get 50% off of Scrivener. Until this summer.

I Finally Got Scrivener | Creative Writing | Writing Programs | Writing Community | RachelPoli.com

Too Comfortable With Word

In the back of my mind, I knew I would make the leap someday. I’ve seen people post screenshots of their work using the program on Instagram and other social media. I’ve always thought, “That’d be cool to use!”

I mean, the way I write my novels are using Word document and having a large poster with post-it notes along with a notebook or two of outlines and research. It’s a lot and if you use Scrivener, all of that is in one place.

(Who am I kidding, I’m still going to use the post-it notes and notebooks because I’m visual in that sense!)

Also, I’ve been using Word since I’ve learned how to type. I feel like, if I stop using Word, I’ll be cheating on it in some way. All my novels are already on Word and I know how to use it. So, part of me didn’t want to make the switch because I didn’t want to learn how to use something new. I didn’t want to take that time away from actual writing. Not to mention I didn’t feel like moving my novels from one program to another.

Too Much Money

Silly me, I thought Scrivener was too much money. Even though I get 50% off, I thought it would still be about $50 for me because I thought the program was $100. I also thought it was a monthly or yearly subscription. It just wasn’t something I wanted to commit to.

So, after all this time, I looked it up at the end of July, early August when the last Camp NaNoWriMo session ended. I got the 50% off code and decided to check it out.

Apparently, it’s a one-time payment and it’s only $45 which means it was about $22-$23 for me. In other words, I should have made the switch long ago.

Do your research, kids.

I Finally Got Scrivener

I’ll admit, I haven’t used it much yet. I’ve mostly been exploring what I can do on the program and am working toward moving some of my novels over onto it. Needless to say, I haven’t really sat down and “wrote” using Scrivener just yet. I’m looking forward to starting something new with it though. I’ll be continuing my mystery and other novels, but I might try to start something new so I can learn the program as I go along with a new writing project.

I think I need something fresh like this to get myself back into the habit of writing again. I think, between Scrivener and NaNo coming next month, this is a good opportunity for me to get back into that routine. I’m looking forward to it.

Do you have Scrivener? How do you like it? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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Writing Challenge Update

April is over tomorrow, which is totally crazy to me. It’s been a busy month, so I’ve decided to give you guys a writing challenge update. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and it was also a Finish month for the 85K90 Writing Challenge.

Writing Challenge Update | Creative Writing | Camp NaNoWriMo | 85K90 | Writing Challenge | NaNoWriMo | RachelPoli.com

Camp NaNoWriMo

I wrote over 50,000 words on my next Wattpad story, Crossroads. However, the story is far from over and I’m going to have a lot of editing to do. Like, a crazy amount of editing. I’ve kept notes and have a better idea of which direction I want the story to go in. In fact, I don’t even know if I’ll “complete” the first draft before I start editing. I have a better understanding of my characters and know what I want them to accomplish.

With that said, I think I’ll spend the next couple of days doing a more thorough outline. In the end, I ended up with over 54,000 words for the novel, so I’m pleased with that. There will be scenes that will get cut out, but most will stay.

It was a successful Camp NaNo session and I even had the chance to throw in a 10K writing day as well, which was great.

85K90 Writing Challenge

This year-long challenge is wrapping up the first portion. “Writing” months were January through March with April as a “Finish” month. April can be used as a break or to catch up if you’ve fallen behind. I counted Crossroads toward the 85K goal, though that still left me with quite a bit left over to write.

I edited a lot during the first few months of the year so I didn’t truly start keeping track of my progress with this challenge until March. Thank goodness Camp NaNo fell on a Finish month so I could kill two birds with one stone.

Aside from Crossroads, I counted any writing I did for Sunday Morning and George Florence & The Perfect Alibi. I also counted any short stories or flash fiction I wrote for my patrons on Patreon. This allowed me to reach the 85K goal just this past weekend. My sister and I went to Barnes & Noble and I banged out the final 4,000-or-so words I had left to reach the finish line.

What’s Next

I’d like to say I have today and tomorrow as a break, but I’m still working. May marks the beginning of the “Edit” months. I’m going to start working on editing the second volume of Sunday Morning, continue revising George Florence & The Perfect Alibi, as well as edit and revise Crossroads.

It’s going to be a busy month, but I have a calendar for the month on what I’ll be working on which days. May, as far as I know, should be a fairly quiet month too. There are no major holidays, no school vacations, or anything of the kind. It should be a smooth month for writing.

Have you participated in any writing challenges? How are you doing with them? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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My Camp NaNoWriMo Goals

2019 is already a quarter gone. Which is totally weird to me, but hey! It’s the first Camp NaNoWriMo session of the month and I’m super excited to be working on a new project and some old ones. So, here are my Camp NaNoWriMo goals for the month.

My Camp NaNoWriMo Goals | NaNoWriMo | Creative Writing | Blogging | Wattpad | RachelPoli.com

Crossroads

This is a working title for my next Wattpad novella. It’s an RPG-style fantasy. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before. It was inspired by the video game Octopath Traveler. I created my own world and characters. I made great outlining progress on it in March and have been breezing through the first few chapters in this past couple of days. I can’t wait to see how the first draft turns out! Crossroads will be coming to my Wattpad on June 3, 2019.

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

George and Lilah are killing me. We’ve been together for so long at this point that they really just need to find their own place and get out of the nest. Don’t get me wrong, I love them to pieces. But this book, the first in a series, has been a work in progress since 2011 – give or take. So, this month, I’ll be continuing the revising stage. I’m only going to work on it during weeks two and four of Camp NaNo though. I don’t want to work on too many projects in one day for an entire month straight. In addition to revising, I’ll also be continuing my timeline for the whole series and planning the other books. I need to get my head on straight with this one.

Sunday Morning (Vol. 1)

Of course, I’ll be working on some finishing touches, marketing, etc. This collection of flash fiction will be here at the end of the month! More information is on my Patreon Page and I’ll also be talking about it more in-depth on the blog tomorrow, April 4. Yes, this means a release date (which you might already know if you head over to Patreon).

Sunday Morning (Vol. 2)

There is a title for this one that I’m not sharing yet. The first volume compiles the first 53 stories I’ve ever posted on my blog, revised and remastered. I’m taking the next 52 stories from the blog and putting them into volume 2. I’ll spend the final two days of Camp NaNo putting this together before I begin the rewriting stage in May.

What are your Camp NaNoWriMo goals? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Ready For Another Camp NaNoWriMo Session

Camp NaNoWriMo is so close and yet so far. I remember always being eager for NaNo in November and now, with the two Camp sessions, I feel like I’m prepping for NaNo all year round. The dates come up quickly and only stick around for just as long.

Another Session Is Here | Camp NaNoWriMo | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

I usually have the whole year of NaNo sessions planned out ahead of time. Of course, it took me a while to decide what I wanted to write for Camp NaNo in April. I’ve been working on a lot of projects, but it took me a while to figure out which ones to focus on for the month.

April is a “Finish” month for the 85K90 Writing Challenge, which worked out in my favor. I can take a break from that but still get some writing done.

I’ll talk about which projects I’ll be working on for Camp NaNo more in-depth at the beginning of April, but I’ve been doing some prepping.

Getting Ready

I created a new calendar for myself. I wrote down what I’ll be working on in April for each day and highlighted them according to what I need to do – outline, write, edit, whatever. Of course, for April this year, I’ll be writing the first draft of one project and rewriting a whatever-draft (I forget how many I’m on) of the other project.

I’ve been doing a lot of outlining and prep work these past two weeks. I’m eager to get started on something new while continuing something old.

I look forward to any NaNo session throughout the year and I’m excited April’s session is right around the corner.

Are you participating in Camp NaNo next month? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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The 85K90 Writing Challenge

2019 is going to bring a lot of new and fun things. I’m excited about what I have planned and I can’t wait to share them and implement these ideas and try new things in general.

One new thing I’ll be trying is the is 85K Writing Challenge.

85k90 Writing Challenge | I'm Participating | Creativing Writing | RachelPoli.com

I had originally heard of this challenge from Ari a while back. It was something I had looked into from time to time always telling myself I’d do it and then I never did. In 2019, I’m finally going to do it.

What is the 85K Writing Challenge?

This is a year-long challenge catered to writing, editing, and publishing a book. Of course, I supposed you don’t need to participate in the whole year. If you already have a novel needing editing, you could only do those months if you wanted.

Here’s how it works… every step of the challenge is done in 90 days, which is three months.

January, February, and March are “Write” months. This is where you get your writing done. Duh. You have 90 days to outline (if you outline) and write the first draft of your novel. April is used as a “Finish” month in case you need some extra time or you’d like to take a break.

May and June are the “Edit” months with July being the “Finish” month. So, you have two to three months to get your editing and revising done plus room to take a break before you move onto the next step of the challenge.

August and September are known as the “Prep” months while October and November are known as the “Publish” months. This includes all your planning and prepping for publishing, actual publishing, along with marketing and the like.

December is then, of course, a “Finish” month. Whether you’re finishing up your publishing step or you want to take a break before the new year and a new challenge.

Yeah, so? What makes this so special?

The 85K Challenge website has blog posts, forums, and a writing tracker to aid you along the way. There’s encouragement and support on the website but also ask around and see if anyone you know on your social media and within the blogosphere is doing the challenge.

We’re all in this together and it’s great to have others keep you accountable. Having a website and a tracker definitely helps as well.

Why am I doing this?

I need to get into a better routine with my writing. I know I say this a lot, but I always try different routines and none of them end up sticking. When I said routine, I mean I need a timeline and deadlines for myself to get things done.

I have so many different ideas and want to do them all. Sometimes I end up working on multiple projects and ones that are close to being done get pushed to the back burner. I need something to keep me accountable to follow through for every single novel I write through the end.

This writing challenge starts at the writing stage and ends at the publishing stage. With this, I could have a book a year out.

This is my first time doing this challenge, so we’ll see how it works for me. I’m eager to start though! I can’t wait to get into a better timeline and have deadlines throughout the year. I make deadlines for myself, but… sometimes I don’t always keep them because there aren’t any true consequences.

What about NaNoWriMo?

I still plan on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNo. Those months are April, July, and November. April and July for the 85K challenge are “Finish” months. So, it won’t exactly be a break for me but it’ll be a break from that current project. I can work on my Short Story Sundays or Wattpad.

November is a “Publish” month for the 85K challenge, but again, I can work on other things while I do the technical side of publishing for the novel I can work on something else.

Ambitious, I know. But I always give myself way too much to do, so the tradition needs to continue.

I have five days (holy crap, 2019 is in five days!) to come up with a plan of action for both the 85K challenge and NaNo throughout the year. I need to figure out my self-publishing schedule along with Wattpad because I do want to stay active on there.

So, I’ll be coming up with writing goals for the new year. That will be its own blog post though in the new year… which is in just a couple of days… so you’ll know it soon.

Are you participating in the 85K writing challenge in 2019? Have you done it before? Are there any other challenges you do? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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November 2018 [Wrap Up]

2018 November Wrap Up | Blogging | Creative Writing | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I feel like I’ve been in such a reading slump for a while now though I haven’t missed a book review. This month, I started catching up with a series that got me into reading in the first place and now I want to read all the books in the world, which is a great feeling. With that said, I’ve read and reviewed four books for this month. You can check them out on my Reading List.

Writing

NaNoWriMo was successful! I wrote 50,000 words of Short Story Sundays for 2019 plus editing and revising of some other projects. It felt good to get all that writing done. I feel like I haven’t written like that since the last NaNo session. So, that was great.

Blogging

December posts as well as new and updated ideas for 2019 are a-go! I’m excited and it’s been taking up the majority of my time (my poor writing!) but hopefully it’ll all work out and you guys will like it. I’m looking forward to the new year!

Posts to Remember

1. Meet Annette Rochelle Aben, Author
2. November & December 2018 Writing Submissions
3. My Writing Space

How did November treat you? Are you looking forward to November? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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NaNoWriMo 2018 Wrap Up

NaNoWriMo 2018 Wrap Up | Creative Writing | Blogging | NaNo 2018 | RachelPoli.com

Usually when I do these updates for NaNoWriMo I’ll list my daily word counts. Except I don’t have any word counts for this past week.

Well, that’s kind of a lie… I was determined to reach 50,000 words by Thanksgiving and I did exactly that. On day 21 I wrote 3,802 words and on day 22 I binged writing in the morning and wrote 3,952 words which gave me a grand total of…

50,121 words!

I haven’t written anything since. Thanksgiving was busy and then I went away for the weekend. I didn’t write at all the past couple of days because I was catching up with other work.

According to NaNo, my lengthiest novel was from 2016 at 52,000 and change. I’d love to beat that which means I’d have to write another 3,000 words or so by Friday.

I’m not sure if I’ll get the chance to do so. Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas festivities haven’t quite set in, yet this week has been kind of busy. So, we’ll see what happens. I’m not going to validate my win on NaNo just in case.

Short Story Sunday 2019

Thanks to NaNo, I’ve written 52 shorts for my Short Story Sunday in 2019. So, that’s great! It’ll save me a lot of time next year. Some of the stories are certainly better than others, but I’ll edit and proofread them before they go live and it’ll all be good. Hopefully.

Overall, NaNo went well for me this year. I’m pleased with the work that I got done. I have to admit, I’m glad it’s over for another year though!

How did you do with NaNo this year? If you liked this post, please share it around.

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NaNoWriMo 2018 Update Three

NaNoWriMo 2018 Week Three Update | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

As most of you know, my daily goal is to write 2,000 words a day. If I write at all I always hit at lest 2,000. Thought I have skipped a few days here and there.

Word Count

Day 15: 2,193
Day 16: 0
Day 17: 2,080
Day 18: 0
Day 19: 4,148
Day 20: 2,048
Day 21:
Haven’t written yet this morning!
Week Three Total: 
10,469

Week three wasn’t too bad. It was busy since the majority of it was me trying to balance writing, blogging, and prepping for Thanksgiving. I’m definitely in the home stretch now though. I’m hoping to hit 50k words today and take a break over Thanksgiving weekend.

Projects

I spent the whole week working on Short Story Sunday 2019, which is 52 shorts/flashes – one for every Sunday of 2019. These will be under my Short Story Sunday category next year. I’m just about done with the whole year, which means 2019 will have about 50,000 words word of flash fiction.

NaNo Week Three

Week three is officially over. It’s hard to believe NaNo has one week left. It’ll be here before we know it.

How did week three go for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Writing 10k Words In One Day [NaNoWriMo]

Each year, during NaNoWriMo, I always aim to write 2,000 words in one day. This is for two reasons: I like even numbers and I go away Thanksgiving weekend, so I lose writing time. I aim to finish my 50k total by Thanksgiving and a great way to do that is to have a 10k day. Writing 10k words in one day isn’t easy but it can be a lot of fun.

Writing 10k Words in a day | nanowrimo 2018 | creative writing | writing | RachelPoli.com

Give Yourself The Whole Day

Whenever I decide to have a 10k day I always choose a day where I know I have nothing else going on. Usually, for November, this happens on or around Veteran’s Day. I don’t have to babysit and Kris doesn’t have to work. So, we usually plan the day to write a lot. We typically go in with a plan as well. Sometimes we’ll write for about an hour and then take a break for an hour and so on. Other times we try to get as much done as possible in one sitting before taking a break.

Start Early

I meant it when I said give yourself the entire day to write the 10k words. Starting early is the best way to do it. I’m an early bird and work best in the morning so this isn’t usually a problem for me. However, no matter what time you wake up in the morning, give yourself an hour or two first thing and write. You’ll get a good chunk done and you’ll still have the majority of the day left.

Take Breaks

This can be easier said than done, especially if you’re on a roll with your writing. However, it’s important to take a break and give your eyes a rest from the computer screen. Not to mention give your fingers and mind a break.

Plus, you want to give yourself time to relax, eat and hydrate. Maybe a take a shower too. That helps.

Do It With Others

Writing is always fun when you have other writers to do it with. If you’re going to commit yourself to writing the entire day away and aim for 10,000 words, then its much better (and easier and more fun) to do it with friends. I have my sister Kris to do it with. We keep each other going throughout the day. We check in with each other and even sometimes compete against each other a little. A little friendly competition never seems to be, but we’re encouraging and supportive nonetheless (because that’s how it should be).

This year we even went out in the morning and met up with a couple members from our writing group and we got the day started with writing then. It was a fun time. We wrote, we chatted, and we got out of the house for a bit. A change of environment is good for writing as well.

Overall, it’s not easy to write 10k words in a day. It’s doable though if you focus and put your mind to it. You feel really good after it too.

Have you ever had a 10k day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day before? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [November 2018]

WIP Wednesday November 2018 | Work in progress | creative writing | writing | nanowrimo | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been making great progress this month with the help of NaNoWriMo.

Word Count

Day 8: 2,551
Day 9: 2,008
Day 10: 2,022
Day 11: 2,276
Day 12: 10,231
Day 13: 0
Day 14: 0
Week Two Total: 19,088
Overall Total: 31,898

All of those words are for Short Story Sunday 2019.

I was pleased I was able to give myself a 10k-day. My sister had work off that day so we got together with members of our writing group early in the morning. I ended up writing about 4,199 words with them at the cafe. I took a break when we got home, but then I wrote some more. I took another break and then hit 10k by 9:00 pm.

I was exhausted by the end of it and I really had to push myself, but I was determined and I did it. I also beat my “wordiest day” from November 10, 2017 which was 10,103 words. Next year I’ll plan on writing 10,232 words (at least) to beat it again.

This month, so far, has been great for my writing. I’m looking forward to continuing it throughout the month.

How’s your writing going this month? How was week two of NaNo for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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