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Miscellaneous Monday Updates: NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo + 52WoC

Random UpdatesIt's one of those days when there are just so many things in my head, that I need to unload some of them here so I can clear some space. So, here you go...

On NaBloPoMo

So, NaBloPoMo'ers just celebrated the half-way mark over the weekend. And, so far, so good. I've only *almost* missed the daily blogging 2-3x. Most days, it has been smooth sailing.

Anyway, one of the things that I realised about having a blogging schedule with specific topics on set days is that it's easier to come up with something to blog about. Like anything in life that I don't put in a schedule, blogging can be a bit of a challenge if it's left purely as an ad hoc thing because... well... I get fooled in to thinking that I can blog about anything at any time. So, I jump from one idea to the next. Or put it off over and over. And then it gets too hard. So, I end up not wanting to blog about anything at all and/or not leaving enough time in my day to blog.

That's why I think even after NaBloPoMo'08 is over, I'm considering on keeping a blogging schedule. I don't know if I'll keep the one that I have for this month's NaBloPoMo or experiment with something different. And, I don't know if I can keep blogging daily or not. I'll probably try.

You see, another thing that I noticed over the last 2 weeks of daily blogging is that my subscriber base and pageviews/visits have gone up. I attribute the increase in numbers primarily due to the increase in blogging mostly because I haven't done anything special to promote my blog. So, that's another good reason to keep up with a blogging schedule, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

On NaNoWriMo

Unlike NaBloPoMo, I don't have the same schedule with NaNoWriMo. I just try to write when I had some "extra time" in my day - or when inspiration strikes (it hardly ever does, you know?! ;-)). That's why I'm way, way behind the required word limit. Most NaNo'ers should have about 25,000 words in their novel by now. Me - well, mine's over 20,000 words short of that number. Eeeps. So, the chances of me getting to 50,000 is getting extremely slim every day.

I'm cool with it, though. I mean, I did start out with NaNo thinking that I just want to give it a try. No high hopes or expectations. I know I'll be busy enough with work and life and everything else. But, I wanted to get in to the challenge anyway. Especially 'cause I've known of NaNo during its 10-year existence and yet I've never had the guts to try it out. Until this year, that is. So, at least now, I can say that I've given it a go. We'll just see how far along I can take what I've started.

But yeah, one good thing that came out of this is that now I have a "working novel". You see, I started out with a completely different idea for a story. Then, a few days in to my earlier draft, I ended up scrapping my initial idea and headed towards writing a young adult/middle school fantasy novel. And, I'm really excited about it. I think the story is shaping up well. But, since I don't have a lot of time to devote to it, I haven't really written as much as I'd like. Ah, well. I guess, that's okay. Maybe I'll get to finish it before I'm forty. ๐Ÿ™‚

In any case, the first one I started was a grown-up novel about a woman who was living such a disastrous existence and just envying everyone else's life. A twist of fate gave her the opportunity to fulfill 33 wishes in 33 days. Well, that was as far as I managed to conjure for that story. Since I only spent about 3 or 4 days on it (with less than 30 minutes a day!), the idea's not well fleshed out. It's fun, though. I really enjoy that part of fiction writing - generating ideas for stories and giving life to characters.

Getting the chance to do NaNoWriMo this year made me remember that I miss this part of my writing life. Sure, I get to write a lot now thanks to the nature of my full time work and blogging. But, in a totally different way.

Once upon a time, I wrote - and published - short stories in national magazines. Yep, I actually got paid for writing fiction! Some of them were even meant to be re-printed in a book anthology (got paid, but publication didn't go through). I even got to write and to publish a children's book (via a now-defunct publisher in Singapore; got my pay + book copy though).

And, even though I haven't gotten paid for completing a couple of young adult novels in the past (unpublished), I still loved being able to write them.

It feels like a lifetime ago, though. That fiction writing Shai seems more like a fictional character now too. But then, NaNoWriMo has sort of given her some life again. Emphasis on the 'sort of'. ๐Ÿ™‚

52WoC Note

Just a quick reminder that I'll be closing the Holiday Fun Swap Sign-Up on Wednesday, 19th Nov (that's going to be 18th Nov, Tue, to my Northern Hemisphere friends). So, if you want to take part, please leave a comment on that post asap. And, send me your preferred mailing address (so your "secret santa" knows where to send a pressy).

To those who signed up but haven't sent me your mailing addresses yet, please do so via shaicogginsATgmailDOTcom - or else, you'll be limited to a digital pressy from your "secret santa". ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and just to let you know what we're giving away for Round #8 of 52WoC (Weeks #31-35):

Prize 1: $25 Amazon Gift Certificate (as a chance for you to buy something off your wish list!)

Prize 2: A goodie bag with surprise items in it

Sound good? Then, do make sure you join one of our 52WoC tasks. The Holiday Fun Swap is #33. So, we have 2 more to go before the next party.

OK, I think that's all the updates for now. I wish you all a great week ahead!

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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