Thank Goodness It’s December

Annnnd…November is over. Nanowrimo is finished. That went fast!

It’s kind of cool to think that all around the world, people are like me, collectively sighing with relief that the madness of National Novel Writing Month is over. We’ve fried our brains, deprived ourselves of sleep, and typed letters and words and sentences through the worst of our writer’s blocks, striving for that ever elusive word count.

Now it’s over. And I don’t know, but I think I kind of miss it.

Sadly, due to tests and essays and the sudden development of a social life (wait, what?), I did not reach the 50,000 words. However, I can hardly say I’m disappointed with myself. I did end up with 100 pages and 36,193 words. That’s about 99 pages and 36,000 more words than I would have written normally. So, I’m calling this month a success.

I still have plans to finish my book. I had a TON of fun writing it, and I feel like it’s worth finishing, if only for myself. And my parents, because they want to read it too. I’m also feeling inspired to write another one. 

So I guess that most important thing that Nano taught me is that I really might be able to write novels! Yay! Nanowrimo may be complete until next year but I don’t have to miss it because I can keep on writing.


Novel In Progress!

Well, we are nearing the midway mark of the month. Today is the thirteenth day of my NaNoWriMo journey, and I must say, I am loving the experiences.

Today I will hit 21,666 words. Roughly 58 pages. Right on track to hit 50,000 on November 30th. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever written that much before in my life, and here I am, doing it in thirteen days! 

That isn’t to say it’s always easy. Sometimes, I really hate my story. I stare at the words I’m writing and catch imagine how anyone could write anything worse than the words spilling from my fingers onto the screen. I have to force myself to go on. Just a couple hundred words today will be enough, I tell myself. So long as I write something, the story will progress.

Usually, on those days, a couple hundred words turns into another couple hundred, into “I can hit one thousand for today”, until I hit my word goal. Sometimes it pays to be naturally determined. I won’t allow myself not to write, even when what I’m writing feels like total garbage.

But the best days are the days when I wake up, sit down with my laptop, open a blank Word document for the day, and the words spill out without effort. On those days, it’s almost magical feeling. The plot develops itself, new characters I never anticipated introduce themselves, unexpected, exciting situations pop up. That’s when I feel like the story is writing itself, not me, and I’m just here to make sure it gets told. And I love it. I’m loving everything about this process. Even the bad days.

Guess I chose the right major. 😉


I know I am a writer because sometimes, I feel all the words inside me fighting to get out.

This happened today in my Lit Analysis class. We were analyzing a play – “Master Harold…and the boys”, looking at all the similarities between the play and the author’s life. The play is nearly autobiographical, and that is intentional, but it got me thinking. Anything written is going to carry bits and pieces of it’s creator. 

Whenever I write anything, to me, it’s like I’m putting a little piece of my self down on paper, in ink. That narrative, no matter what it’s about, carries my ideas, my voice, my beliefs, my morals, my emotions, my dreams, my hopes, my goals.

And when I think that, the words inside me get excited. They all want to be written, so that the world can see them. And suddenly…I wonder how I will ever write them all. There’s just not enough time to get all those words onto paper. I feel like once I start to write, I will never stop, because I will never run out of words.

That’s why I’m a writer. There’s too many words to write, and they’re all inside me, just waiting for a chance to make it on to paper.

So for Nanowrimo (2 days!!!!), I WILL reach that 50,000 word goal. Because I want to give as many words a chance to get out as I can.


That’s a mouthful, huh? 

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. They challenge you to write a novel – or 50,000 words – in the month of November. 50,000 WORDS! But I’m intrigued. I love to write. I do want to be a writer. So…I’m giving it a shot. Ahhh!

But yeah…if my blog lags a little in the next month, that is why. I plan on spending as much of my spare time as possible writing. I don’t know if it’s possible for me to hit the 50,000 word count with school work and stuff, but I’m sure going to try and come close! 

Wish me luck as I start this journey in…9 days!!!

Here’s To Another Year Of My Life

I have this weird personal tradition every year the night before my birthday where I stay up to watch the clock click from 11:59pm to 12:00 am. I don’t know why I do this – it’s not like anything special or exciting happens in that minute. Nothing changes. I don’t look any different. I don’t feel any different. I don’t gain any profound knowledge. But every year, on the eve of my birthday, I find myself watching the clock and counting down the seconds I have left until I officially turn another year older.

This year is especially big. This year, when I watch the last minute tick away, I’m not just greeting a new number; I’m saying good-bye to childhood, and hello to the rest of life as an adult. 

This is both exciting and depressing. Being an adult is what we wait for our whole young lives, right? But, as everyone finds, once we get here, we kind of wish we could go back to those less complicated, carefree years.

So as I was pondering this, how in approximately a half hour, I will officially become an adult,  when, I had a moment of insight. My age doesn’t make me “grown up”. Tomorrow will not be what makes me a real adult. No, I think I hit adulthood somewhere along the way to 18.

What I realized is that a birthday isn’t about how you change from 11:59pm to 12:00am. It’s about celebrating and reflecting on all of the change undergone from the past year to the next. Everything I have experienced in the past year is what makes me an adult tomorrow.

And it’s been one heck of a year. Definitely not what I would have expected for my 18th year. I’ve seen an incredible amount of change. I’ve been through some of my highest points, and some of my lowest. I’ve met people. I’ve deepened relationships. I’ve moved away from home. I learned a great deal about myself, my talents, my weaknesses, my dreams, my goals. I’m learning how to let myself fly.

Not everything is clear. Nothing is perfect. But I’m in a good place, and I’m loving my life. I’m ready to take on the next crazy year. 

Bring it on.

Live For Today

Love this quote from my Institute teacher , Brother Reese, today!

“Stop looking so hard for the tomorrows that you forget about the todays.”

Life is for living. Appreciate the “now”, because it might be what your future self wants and misses.

It reminds me of another quote, by Gordon B. Hinckley, I think? “Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured”.


“Writing is the process of thinking.” My very wise Literary Analysis professor. 

Basically…you don’t have to have something completely planned out to write. Just starting to write is going to help you plan it out. And I think that’s why I like to write…it helps me see things clearer. It gets all the abstract ideas and thoughts and feelings out of my head and onto paper where I can analyze them and understand them better.

Advice from Someone Inspiring

So today for my Utah State Connections class, I got a special opportunity to meet the author of our assigned reading at a breakfast with about 20 other students. I’m sure you’re think “oh yeah, that’s cool” or whatever, but you don’t know this guy, or what he did! 

William Kamkwamba is from Malawi, Africa. When he was 14, after enduring famine and dropping out of school due to money issues, he discovered, on his own, how electricity works, and built a windmill to power his home. His entire village now enjoys the benefits of his inventions and he currently attends Dartmouth. In a nutshell. (If you want to know more, his book is titled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.)

Anyways, at the breakfast, we all got to ask questions and get our books signed and take pictures (see my Photo-A-Day page!) and William gave some great answers. I’d like to share some of my favorite advice from him.

A few people asked about how he stayed motivated and kept persevering even when some many around him doubted he would succeed. I liked his advice he gave. He said “When I saw the picture of the windmill in the book, I thought ‘someone else has already built that, so I should be able build it too. Humans have already built windmills. I know it is possible.'” And I think that’s great! I know sometimes it is easy to be intimidated by others’ successes, but  William let us know that instead, it is an opportunity to be inspired.  “Besides,” he added, “there’s nothing to lose if you try something. You can only gain. Even if you fail, or if people make fun of you for trying.”

My single favorite question asked was from a girl who wondered if William had seen any problems in America that he’d like to fix. It kind of stumped him for a moment, then he simply said: People here complain a lot. We all had to laugh, because we know it’s true. He continued: “I don’t really see the point. It’s small things you complain about. In Malawi, we have so many big problems, the little ones don’t matter.”

Writing Quote for the Day

One more post for the day! Heard this cool quote from some famous contemporary writer:

“I treat writing like a job. Therefore, I write 8 hours a day.”

Okay, obviously it’s ridiculous for those of us who aren’t full time writers to write 8 hours a day, but it just goes to show…great writers are only good because they practice. Re-emphasizing my point – to get better, you’ve got to do it every day. 


Time Management Skills for Life

So, today, my instructor for freshman orientation taught my class what I think is an awesome time management formula. I’m just going to recap what he said and share the secrets with you. (By the way, this works for any part of your life, not just school)

1.  Capture. Have a strategy or way to capture ideas, info, data, and tasks right when they come at you. My instructor referred to it as keeping an “inbox for your life”. Examples include planners, lists, email, sticky notes, ect.

2. Process. Take what you capture and make decisions about it.

3. Review. Set aside time specifically to review what you’ve captured and at what stage of the process it’s at. This is the step most people tend to skip, but it will prevent missing or overlooking important information . This is a good tip for me, because I am known to be spacey! 

4. Do. Pretty explanatory. Get your stuff done. Break up big projects into lots of little pieces and work on it over time. You’ll get better quality results.