Writing challenges can be hard. I suppose that’s why they’re called “challenges” to begin with. This past November I took my first shot at slaying the fearsome beast known in the writing community as NaNoWriMo (aka- National Novel Writing Month or “Nano Rhino” if you’re absurd and silly like my boyfriend and I are). It did not go as planned.
But, hey, instead of letting it getting to me or giving up I took it as a learning experience. I took a hard look at what didn’t work for me and read people’s tips on what led them to their own NaNoWriMo success. One of the best tips I read was: Do not go for perfection. It’s called a rough draft for a reason. 😉
This month I decided to take what I learned and try again at writing 50,000 words over the span of 30 days in a challenge I dubbed The Return of the Necro Rhino. Again, because I am absurd and silly. And also morbid.
I started off strong and then hit a bump in the road earlier in the month when I got sick AND lost power for 48 hours due to some crazy high winds. Luckily I caught back up and have been going strong for the most part and staying right on track. Aaaaand today I finished the challenge by completing just over the 50,000 word goal for the month!! 😀
I still have so much work left to do on this book and the rough draft isn’t even fully finished, but a big chunk of it is, and for that I am pretty damn jazzed. I got over a major writing hurdle I was experiencing and feel liberated because of it. I’m also really, really thankful for all of the wonderful support, advice, and love I’ve gotten from you guys during this challenge (and just overall in general). You guys are seriously awesome, and you make blogging such a joy!
Well, I was going to post an update on how that pop cake I made turned out (the triple chocolate fudge / Rock & Rye Faygo combo), and then I remembered that it’s Throwback Thursday which means it’s time to post creative past endeavors. So I’m just gonna post both! 🙂
Onto the first order of business:
The chocolate/Rock & Rye cake turned out great, but the chocolate flavor of the cake definitely overpowered the Rock & Rye soda’s taste (which may or may not be a good thing). I really enjoy the flavor of Rock & Rye, but I was a little hesitant to mix it with chocolate. Turns out I had nothing to worry about since it just tastes like a plain old scrumptious chocolate cake (a very moist one at that!)
If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention “pop cakes” see my previous blog post “Let Them Eat Cake”:
I should have taken a pic of the cake when it was finished but I assure you it resembled most other chocolate cakes you have seen.
(ALSO: One of my co-workers just made the “spice cake / ginger ale” pop cake mentioned in that post and it was to die for. She ended up making it in a bundt cake pan and drizzling a homemade cinnamon vanilla glaze over the top. Would highly recommend.)
That said, now we can move right along to the second order of business: TBT!
A birthday cake from a few years back I made and decorated for my buddy, Jared. (Birthday is purposely misspelled as “burfday”.) He greatly enjoys Final Fantasy, so I made him a black mage cake.
Alice in Wonderland themed cookies I baked for a dark fairy tale themed Halloween party a few years ago. They were pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting. I’m pretty sure I accidentally baked them too long while running around like a chicken with its head cut off to get things ready for the party. Oh well! 😛
Sitting in one spot for hours at a time, staring at your computer screen or pad of paper, and trying to put thoughts into actual words can be a maddening process. Though what’s life without a little madness from time to time? 😉
Sometimes it can be pretty hard to remain focused. One thing that seems to help me, is having some sort of music in the background while I’m working. Usually (though not always) something of a more instrumental variety. Oftentimes, this might mean the soundtrack to a particular video game. I think going with instrumental music usually works best for me because I get less distracted by a singer’s lyrics and can focus more on the overall mood of the music as I write.
Today I’m all about the OST (Original Sound Track) for a game called The Binding of Isaac. It’s a fun and challenging game with great music and a creepy and oftentimes flat-out disturbing mood to it. The OST for the game definitely reflects this. Created by electronic music producer, Danny Baranowsky, the game’s music somehow manages to be both calming and motivating to me when I write. It’s helped me chisel away at writer’s block on multiple occasions and it’s definitely in my arsenal of go-to playlists for when I need something to keep me on track and working.
I find it interesting all the different methods and tools people use to stay focused and keep working when they are creating things, be it stories, art, or whatever it is they might be constructing. Whatever helps a person pry their seedling of a concept from the depths of their mind and put it onto paper or some other medium of the creator’s choosing. Caffeine and music seem to be two very ideal components of the equation for me. What works for you?