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In Tips, Writing on
October 29, 2017

5 Weird NaNoWriMo Word Count Tricks that WORK (Believe Me, I’ve Tried Them)

If you have known me for any small amount of time, you know that I write. It’s just who I am. So naturally, writing 50,000 words in one month for NaNoWriMo (AKA National Novel Writing Month) seems like a heck of a lot of fun and I’m all in. This will be my 4th year participating. At the end of this post I’ll also share where you watch my new NaNoWriMo webinar series, so stay tuned.

In these 4 years, I’ve come up with some funny word count tricks to help get more writing time in during the day. You are going to LAUGH but also love these hacks at the same time.

How to Exceed Your NaNoWriMo Word Count Every Day

  1. The “Bathroom Break” – During NaNoWriMo, every time you have to go to the bathroom tell yourself you can’t get your ass off the toilet until you have written 3 sentences. Now come on, don’t pretend you don’t use your phone in the bathroom. With how often we go to the bathroom in the day, this is a quick way to get more writing in.
  2. Add in a “Toddler Moment” – Everyone has tantrums every once in awhile, your characters do too. Sprinkle in at least one of these unreasonable tantrums throughout your novel to show your character’s pet peeves, fears, and how they act when they are hangry.
  3. The “Commercial Break” Workout – Similar to tip 1, don’t waste your time! Everyone needs a TV break every now and again, but don’t let it make you into a writing sloth. During commercial breaks, do word sprints. And if you are Netflix binging? Pause half way through an episode, write for ten minutes, watch the other half, write for another ten minutes, then start the cycle again.
  4. Bribe Yourself – Met that word count goal during your last sprint? COFFEE BREAK! Did double the amount of words you did yesterday? TARGET RUN! You get the idea. The key though, if you don’t meet your goal – no coffee or Target for you. Keep yourself accountable!
  5. Art Mimics Life – As you move through the month, keep a notebook or section in your phone to write down the mundane things we need to do all the time, as well as life’s surprises (hello, flat tire).  Then, challenge yourself to incorporate these real-life scenarios into your novel to aid the plot. Maybe the protagonist meets their true love by helping them with their car troubles. Having these background pieces add realism to your story and fluff your word count.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, are a few tips that help me reach my writing goals during NaNoWriMo. What NaNoWriMo tips do you have? Share them in the comments.

BUT WAIT, DO THIS FIRST – If you want to know my 5 NaNoWriMo Success Principles, check out my new Skillshare course. With this referral link you get a two months membership for free, so you can take my under 30 minute class and dozens of others before your free trial closes. Afterward, it’s only $10 a month. I’ve already taken three classes this week and love it.

NaNoWriMo Tips and Tricks

What does the class cover? The exact formula to winning NaNoWriMo, based on the patterns I’ve noticed when I’ve both won and lost the challenge over the past few years. Check it out and make sure to rate the course with what you liked and didn’t, I’d appreciate the feedback.

In Tips, Writing on
July 3, 2017

NaNoWriMo Essentials That Every Writer Needs


In the past few years I’ve really discovered my love for storytelling and now I work hard daily to make storytelling my reality and day to day. This true love became a part of my life initially because of the event, National Novel Writing Month. It happens every November, where people all around the world write 50,000 words in one month so that the world can read their stories. It’s called NaNoWriMo in shorthand, and now it’s my favorite month of the year.

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In Free Printables, Tips on
December 29, 2015

5 Tips For: Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions + Free Printable

New year, new me

Hello, Kind Friends! Today I have a fun edition of 5 Tips For that shares how you can make 2016 the best year possible and rock those resolutions you’ve been trying to conquer for years.

I used to be the resolution queen, but these past two years I’ve been having trouble making what I want for my future a priority – and that has got to change. This year I’m going back to my roots and making sure all of my resolutions fit the SMART goals system, as well as making weekly and monthly resolutions to help me reach my larger goals in an almost step-like process.

In this post and in the video below, I share with you a bit of how I’m planning on rocking my goals this year and how you can to.


What are SMART goals? SMART is an acronym for what kind of a goal you want to set.

Is your goal…

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

And here are some further explanations:

Specific: Is your goal specific enough? General goals like “I want to lose weight” are overly general, because then even one pound lost counts as a success.

Measureable: Does your goal have something you can quantify, or measure, to know if you succeeded? This could be passing an exam with a certain percentage, gaining or losing a certain body fat percentage, or any other quantifiable number.

Attainable: Attainable goals are ones that feel challenging but also in the realm of possibility. If a goal is too easy, it isn’t a motivator. But if your goals have a little bit of stress involved, enough to keep you working hard, then they are more attainable in the long run. Does your goal meet this criteria?

Relevant: For a goal to work, it has to be something you are both willing and able to do. Is this goal relevant to your current life (ie. will you be motivated to do it) while also being realistic to what you are capable of?

Timely: Goals with a time-frame are much more likely to come true because the pressure you have to meet certain criteria within a window of time is much more motivating than “someday.” Do your goals have an end-date?

Goals that fit all five criteria are SMART goals that you can make come true. If you want this shown in a more easily digestible format, with a few other easy tips to help make setting your goals easier – join my mailing list to get a free printable file on the SMART goals system. Your email confirmation will share with you the free download link.

I can’t wait to share with you everything I have in mind for the new year. You’ll probably be surprised by a few of them!

What goals do you have for 2016? Let’s talk about them in the comments, I’d love to check in with you guys.

[Original image source for photo unknown]

In Tips on
December 22, 2015

5 Tips For: Reading More

How you can find more time to read

Hello, Kind Friends! For the next few weeks my Tuesday posts in the #5TipsFor series are going to cover different topics or goals related to common New Year’s Resolutions. Today’s post will go into how you can read more in the coming year. I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments your thoughts on this topic and what other ideas you’d like me to cover in this series.


Tip #1: Listen to audiobooks


It’s a given, having someone read books to you while you work on other projects will help you read more than you normally would have. I love listening to audiobooks while I clean, run errands, get ready for my day, drive… It’s calming and fun to have a story with me at all times. You can also get your first book free with my referral link, so it’s not a big deal if you end up not liking it. Check out my initial Audible review if you want more details, it shares how I was very skeptical of the idea of audiobooks but completely changed my mind within a few minutes of joining Audible.


Tip #2: Carry a book with you always


Whether or not you carry an audiobook or an eBook on your phone, or even a small physical book, having a book with you at all times gives you more opportunity to read. Instead of endlessly scrolling on Instagram while you are in a long line at the supermarket, read a book! That seems like a much more enlightening and fun activity than hearting cute photos of pets (though I am guilty of doing that before bed).


Tip #3: Use your library card


Renting audiobooks and eBooks through your library is easy, saves a lot of time with the use of their apps, and saves money. If reading were always free, wouldn’t you do it more? I’ve read dozens of books this year through the Overdrive app, which connects to my local library. Now that I’ve finally started using Overdrive this year, I can’t look back. It has made consuming literature so much more convenient.


Tip #4: Set a monthly or yearly reading goal with friends


Having a goal that follows a list, say 10 of the best young adult books, the Popsugar reading challenge, or even joining a book club like the Perusutopia book club will help motivate your book reading throughout the year. Reading with peers is important because it’s a lot more engaging, you pay more attention to the words so that you have something to share with others, and so much more. It’s wonderful to connect with people over a story.


Tip #5: Set a time every day for reading


Even if it’s only for 15 minutes reading a little bit everyday, at the same time every day, is a great way to get more reading done overall. Try to pick a time where you know you will always be available, say at 7 PM every weekday, to spend a little time in another world. I said this in my 5 Tips For: Staying Inspired post, but working on your goals a little bit every day will make long-standing progress.

What books have you been reading lately? Do you have any book-related goals for 2016?

Leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts on this topic, what books you are reading, or anything else you’d like to chat about. I’d love to talk back and forth with you.

In Tips on
December 15, 2015

5 Tips For: Getting Free Books

Get piles of books with these 5 tips

If you’ve known me for any measurable amount of time, you know that reading and writing are my favorite things to do. So as a follow up to my 5 Tips For: New Writers post, I also have created a tips article on how you can get more book to read for free. New tips are uploading to my blog every Tuesday, so make sure to keep up with posts through email if you want to stay on track of my regular content.

So, you love to read but can’t afford new books? Here are five ways to get free books so that you can keep feeding this hobby.


Tip #1: Join Book Bub


Book Bub is a website aimed at helping readers find cheap and free eBooks. There are already hundred of free books on the site to choose from, though they specifically have a plethora of books in the Harlequin theme, meaning a lot of romance, period pieces, wild west and pirate romances, and other similar themes. I love cheesy and dramatic romances, especially when I’m stressed. So if that floats your boat, definitely check out Book Bub. They have many other kinds of books, but I definitely see more of the romances being marked down to free versus others.


Tips #2: Follow your favorite authors on Wattpad


Many published authors are joining Wattpad as a way to share content with interested users for free so that they can get you hooked on their books. I follow Scott Westerfeld, which is how I got to read the first book in the Uglies series for free.


Tip #3: Take advantage of free trials


I have a referral link to Audible that you can use to get a free audiobook and many other websites have similar programs, like If you are good at making sure to cancel these services before you are charged, I definitely recommend you try them as a means to get some free reading content. I absolutely love audiobooks, despite being skeptical about them in the past. If you want to see my full thoughts on why I now completely recommend audiobooks, check out my skeptical review of Audible.

[Pin this video for later]

Tip #4: Sign up for Overdrive


Overdrive works in conjunction with your local libraries to give you free eBook and audiobook rentals. You can’t technically keep these books, but it’s an easy app to use so that you can get free reading material wherever you are, even if you don’t have time to go to the library. All you need is a library card to get started.


Tip #5: Try the Little Free Library


The Little Free Library is an adorable movement where people around the world set up small book exchange boxes where you take a book for free, the only thing they ask is you leave a book. So if you have a book you no longer want, trade it in for a gently used book. You can check if you have a little Free Library near you with their location finder.

How do you find amazing deals on books? What is the best book you have read lately? Let me know in the comments!

[Original photo source unknown, let me know if you are the creator of this content so I can credit you.]