If you follow my YouTube Channel, you know I’ve been participating in a slower paced National Novel Writing Month challenge. For full details, watch this video I made at the start of the month! I wanted to talk through an update here, because I have no other post ideas for a start, but I also wanted to remind you of my channel and tell you to check out some videos and my NaNoWriMo writing streams (all saved and archived, available to view again if you wish) and join in before the month is finally up.
With 10 days left, I have 2 more streams on the channel scheduled (subscribe and turn notifications on to get the alerts) I have been keeping up with my word counts. I aimed for 100 words a day for the 30 days, 3,000 words over all by the end, but also let myself have the flexibility of catching up if I didn’t write for a few days. Won’t lie, I have not written every day and each of my writing streams have been catch up streams. I have managed to write roughly 500 words each go, so now I’m at 1,500 (hopefully 2,000 by the time this goes up as I plan to have a stream earlier in the day) and I am pretty pleased with myself and the ability to sit down and write when I set down an hour and a half for streaming.
This has opened up my eyes to possibly doing this more often, either with editing or writing other things, maybe even reading or studying? I see people do most of these on YouTube and didn’t really get it before. The more I think about applying for a Masters the more I think using this streaming system will be handy for my focus and motivation. While writing personal statements? Writing and editing the submission pieces? Whenever I actually start the course, reading streams for course books or studying streams for essays etc. A side of University and the internet I didn’t know existed when I was last at uni and might actually be a beneficial study hack!
I know it must sound a bit barmey but I think it’s the accountability of people being on the stream and recording yourself live to stay on the channel. It’s like being able to study with people at the library, or dedicated class time. It helps me feel like I have accomplished something if at the end of an hour and a half I have 500 words added to my WIP. It reminds me of being in Uni doing my Bachelors, writing to a deadline. The deadline here is the end of the month, but there’s no grade depending on my perfectionism. It’s all just about getting the words down for a first draft. I think this is something I’d like to incorporate into my YouTube Channel more often. Maybe a couple of times a month? I’m not really sure, but It’s working out almost twice a week, once every five days. Maybe I’ll set up a schedule? Honestly, who knows. This is all very new and a big experiment and kind of exciting. It has a similar feel to the virtual writers retreats I have done before, but there are more people involved in those, I hope my streams will grow to be something of this size. I’d also like to go to a real like writers retreat sometime, I had my eye on Ruckus Retreat run by a YouTuber I met a while back at a small book event. Sadly all of that has been put on hold because of Covid, but it has been nice to see more web based organised events popping up like Underrep’d Writers Fest.
As a chronic procrastinator, I’ve had to constantly find new ways to work around it and figure out techniques that help me focus. I am diagnosed dyslexic, I talked about this a little very early on in my blogging journey, but I am pretty sure I have something else going on that I am not entirely comfortable discussing at this time. My physical disabilities also impact my abilities to work and study and have given me barriers I had to learn to tackle and work with. Chronically fatigued and brain fogged can make ‘doing the words’ hard to do. If you know me in person, you know I often struggle remembering the names of things and we have to do a mini game of charades, and I’m useless with names, I made a tiktok recently joking about my habit of binging shows and having next to no idea what any of the characters are called even when it’s 6+ seasons long and 22 episodes a series. I talk a lot about these kinds of barriers in my recent video, and how chronic illness can often make me feel like I can’t do anything I want to do. (cw: mental illness talk, suicide ideation, lots of crying, discussion of some medical trauma)
Will I be doing this next year? I’m not sure, but it’s not a no. I may do another more chill version of NaNoWriMo like I’ve done this year, or just incorporate the habits I’ve picked up this month year round, maybe I’ll set out to complete my WIP or another novel within the month. Who knows, the possibilities are endless right now. I have definitely learned some new skills and a new appreciation for taking time out of my week to talk to people and write my story. Finding an enjoyment in writing again has been really important.
That’s all from me for now. Subscribe to the channel to keep up with this particular journey, I hope you join in for some livestreams.