3 Reasons Why You Should Do Nanowrimo in the Year 2020

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Nanowrimo in the Year 2020

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, participants from every town, city, and country come together to write a 50,000 word novel. It probably sounds like an impossible task, to write a full length novel in just thirty days. But for those in the know, it is only 1667 words a day, or about 3-4 pages, depending on the font and margins. It is hard, certainly not easy, but definitely not impossible. Sometimes the things that seem nearly impossible are the ones worth doing.

Whether you know for a certainty that you are going to do Nanowrimo, or whether you are still debating, straddling both sides of the fence, this post is for you. In this article, I will give you three good reasons why you should do Nanowrimo in the year 2020.

1–Join The Writing Community

In the years that I’ve done Nanowrimo, I’ve come to find that the writing community on the Nanowrimo website and Twitter is absolutely phenomenal. Over on the Nanowrimo forums, you can find support both for yourself and your work-in-progress (WIP). You can use the forums to seek help on a plot device that you’re struggling with or to take a short break by playing some word or roleplaying games. But most importantly, I’ve always felt accepted by the community at large.

In addition to the Nanowrimo forums, I’ve also found incredible, vast amounts of support on Twitter, both in November and during the rest of the year. On Twitter, there is a thriving, positive community of writers who are ready to support you by giving advice, answering questions, promoting books, but most of all, having fun. You can access this community by simply using the hashtag #writingcommunity.

2–Unleash Your Creativity

With the busyness of the daily grind of work, sleep and paying bills (not necessarily in that order), it is hard to find the time to devote yourself to the arts. Fortunately in the year 2020, there has clearly been an explosion of creativity by artists, writers, bloggers, vloggers, and more. So let’s continue to champion this creativity by writing a novel in November. Let’s take a break for an hour or two a day and write a couple a thousand words about another world.

It’s no secret that this year has been the strangest yet. We’re definitely not living in the most normal of times at the moment. So, let’s create a new world, a new normal, that we envision for ourselves, our children, and the future. One way that we can do this is by writing. By writing a 50,000 word novel in November, you get either continue to unleash that creativity or release it after keeping it bottled up for so long. What better time to do that in November, the month that writers get to party by having write-ins and celebrating writing as a wonderful medium of creative expression.

3–Write a Best-Selling Novel

Haven’t you ever wanted to see your name on a book? While there’s no guarantee that your Nanowrimo book will turn out to be an international bestselling novel, you won’t know until you try. If your Nanowrimo book turns out to be a horrible, poorly written first draft, then that’s okay. The important thing is that you finished writing a book. Badly written first drafts can be edited and revised again and again to perfection. A badly written first draft can still be a number one bestselling book.

While writing a bestselling book seems kind of farfetched to many of us, it is not impossible. If this year has taught us anything, it is that life is short and that we should embrace every moment. We should take chances. We should take risks. We never know what’s going to happen next.

So go out and do what you’ve always wanted to do. Success comes from trying again and again, and just maybe, you may be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.


No matter what happens, I think that we should all take a leap of faith and try. Go forth and write a novel in November. You will find a dedicated community of writers and you will be able to bring forth that creativity from within you. Go write the best that you can because life is amazing and so are you.

Do you have anything to add to this list?

Go to the Nanowrimo Official Website and sign-up!

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5 Editing Tips That Every Writer Should Know

I have always loved to write. I have also always loved to edit. But, I didn’t always love editing my own work. I used to feel squeamish and intensely uncomfortable whenever I had to sit down with a red pen and start marking things out. I think I felt this way because it felt weird to read out loud what once existed only in the dark abyss of my mind. To read something that no one else has seen or even looked at before is such an intensely strange moment. But also incredibly magical.

Now, however, I love editing my own work. Sometimes I feel as if editing is my favorite part of writing. For one, I am exuberant because I am finally done with the writing part. It is a reward wrapped in a pretty box with a ribbon on top. For another, I love to read my own writing out loud, and just marvel at what I created.

Nurturing that first idea and turning it into a draft is like having a child and then watching that child grow up. Similar to a child, that draft must undergo several stages in order to get where it needs to be. Editing is the process of helping it get where it needs to go.

So, here are five editing tips that I think every writer should know.

1–Take a Break

After you finish writing, step away from your computer and go do something else. Studies from this Scientific American article show that people who take breaks can increase their creativity, productivity, and mental awareness. Breaks allow us to be able to step back from the piece. We can take a breather. We can relax. We can focus on something else.

After you finish writing a chapter of your book or an entire article, go do something else. Go on Facebook or Twitter and chat with some people. Grab your sketch book or canvas and paint a picture of the view outside. Go fix yourself some lunch. Finish knitting that sweater you’ve been working on for months. Go check the mail or take the trash out. Go clean your bathroom.

Whatever it is, it will get your mind off of your writing. Once you are ready to tackle your writing again, you will feel more energized and afresh with a clearer mind so that you can look at the writing from a fresh perspective.

2–Read It Out Loud

I don’t know about you, but I find that I do my best editing when I can read the words out loud. When I don’t read out loud, I feel restricted or contained. When I can read the words out loud, I feel this sense of freedom as the words and ideas take shape before my very eyes. It is probably at this moment that my words take on a life of their own. I guess you could say that the life of these words begins after first putting fingers to the keyboard, but I say they begin after they can be spoken by the writer.

Usually reading out loud once is not sufficient. I find that I have to read out loud twice, three times, sometimes even ten times. I read out loud to make sure that the writing makes sense and fits the overall message.

3–Use Different Colors

Whether you choose to edit on the computer or by hand, you can still use different colors. Use a different colored marker to show the revisions on paper. Use a different color font to differentiate from the main text. You could even assign different colors to the different edits. For example, use red to show grammar edits and yellow to show spelling corrections.

The reason why you should use different colors is so that you can clearly see the edits and revisions at first glance. Later, when you have to go back and rewrite the text, you can easily see the corrections and correct them accordingly.

4–Have a Dictionary Nearby

Whenever you are editing, you should always have a dictionary on hand. That dictionary can be a print one or an online one. I personally just use online dictionaries to check for the correct spelling of the words. Besides checking the spelling, I also like to double check the meaning to make sure that I am using the right word in the right context. It doesn’t hurt to double check.

5–Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Sometimes when you’re editing, you may find that you have to delete a sentence or two or even an entire paragraph if it seems like it doesn’t really fit the overall message of what you’re writing. And that is okay. When you do have to delete, you can just delete it or you could even save the sentences in a separate document. Perhaps those sentences could be the source of inspiration for another piece of writing.

The point is that when you are editing, you should be ready for anything. Edit the text while keeping in mind that it is just a first draft. The first draft is proof that you actually wrote something. Editing prunes that draft, making it be more effective by pruning out the weeds. It’s possible that you might have to trash the entire draft. Or it’s possible that that draft is pretty much perfect and you don’t have to do any huge revisions, aside from a spelling or grammar error here and there.

Editing is a skill that is necessary in cultivating good writing. The best books or articles weren’t written overnight. The idea was born and from that idea the writer nurtures and raises it to its fullest potential. It is almost like having a child, rearing it until you can release the child out into the big wide world.

What is your best editing tip?

Why Do I Blog?

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In mid-March 2020, I watched for the first time as the entire country came to a standstill. I watched as people were forced indoors, not able to go to work or to school. I watched as people frantically ran to the stores to stock up on basic household essentials. It was as if the apocalypse was here.

But one positive effect to the coronavirus pandemic is the sudden explosion of creativity. People suddenly found themselves with more time than they ever expected. Suddenly, they were given an unlimited amount of time off from work and school. This meant that people were now free to do things that were on the backburner previously. They could now pursue hobbies that were on their bucket list. Some chose to plant flowers; others chose to learn how to knit or crochet. Some decided to write a book; others drew pictures.

Me? I remembered my old blog from college. I decided to revive my old blog. I had started this blog five years ago, after a Social Media class I took in college. I had started this blog then as a way to document my thoughts and feelings. I had named it Crispy Confessions because these are my confessions. Ultimately, I chose the adjective “crispy” because I thought those two words sounded just fantastic.

During these past four months, I have used the social media marketing and content creation skills that I learned from my college class. The hope is to cultivate a brand that is both positive and inspiring, filled with content about living your best life on both social media and in the real world.

Since re-starting this blog, I have enjoyed the entire process immensely. I enjoy the writing part in that it allows me to express my feelings in the best way that I know how. At first, writing felt really awkward for me. I knew how to write, but arranging the words in the most elegant way was a challenge. I would just stare at a blank screen, at a total loss for words. Why? Because I haven’t written for so long that it felt so foreign and different.

Now that I’ve been writing nearly everyday for the past four months, I feel a lot more confident in my writing abilities. I feel like my writing has improved tremendously since taking a rather lengthy and unintentional writing hiatus. There is definitely some truth to the saying that if you don’t use it, then you lose it. That is what happened to me.

Now that I’ve rediscovered my love of blogging, I am more determined than ever to keep blogging. I want to explore the very ends of the blogging world and beyond.

As someone who has been blogging since the early 2000s, you would think that I would already be an expert. I have had blogs on many different blogging platforms, but wordpress is the one that I have always come back to, much like a trusted and loyal friend.

What I love about blogging is that you can write and express yourself to a seemingly unknown audience of peers. It gives you the freedom to publish your thoughts on the Internet for random strangers to read. It also gives you the validation that I believe is part of human nature. Let’s face it, humans crave validation. We need to be accepted. Without acceptance, then who are we really? Without acceptance, we are just here, struggling to live our very best lives.

When we feel accepted by others, our entire outlook on life changes.

That is what I hope to ultimately do with blogging. I hope to use my words to change or influence someone else’s life. I hope that my own experiences will influence other people. I hope that other people will be able to leave my blog with the tentative thread of hope surrounding them.

For without hope, we have nothing.

I blog so that we will no longer have nothing. I blog so that we have hope. I blog so that we can all be validated.


What new hobby did you learn during the Coronavirus pandemic?

5 Ways You Can Create a Stellar Blog Post

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The very concept of writing a blog and publishing it for the masses to enjoy has taken off since the beginning of the Internet era. I think one huge reason for that is because people like to express themselves, to be heard, and to be liked. We seek validation from people, even from those we have never met.

When we do meet someone in real life, presentation is important. We want to look or dress a certain way. We want people to like us, to compliment us, and to validate us.

Similarly, presentation is important when blogging. Having a killer blog post is everything.

Now I’m not talking about being a good writer, but about making the blog post look beautiful. Sometimes the most well written blog post can be easily turned off if the font or formatting is not attractive to the readers.

Conversely, a blog post that is mediocre in nature could potentially go viral with the right images, fonts, and spacing. Of course, that does not mean that you should skimp on good writing. It just means that how you say it is just as important as what is said.

In this blog post, I will give five ways that you can create a stellar, amazing, one-of-a-kind post.

1–Keep It Short and Simple

This is the KISS method. No, it’s not about kissing, though you certainly can. We do need more love in the world, after all. KISS stands for Keep It Short and Simple.

I don’t know about you, but I am put off by a post that is long winded and monotonous. I love blog posts that have short paragraphs, concise sentences, and lots of spacing in between. It makes the blog post less intimidating and overwhelming. It makes it more interesting, enjoyable, and readable.

Otherwise, they might think where is this going? and that thought is one step away from clicking that giant X button in the upper right corner of the screen.

2–Bullet Points Are Your Best Friends

Short paragraphs are needed. This can further be aided by using bullet points or numbered lists. People like lists. I mean, think about it. We make grocery lists, school supply lists, chore lists, to do lists, etc, etc. Our entire lives are driven by lists.

Having lists or bullet points in your blog posts helps the reader to see the main points and the sub points more clearly. For example, this post is about writing a great blog post. Then, there are the subheadings to show what each mini section is about.

That way, the reader can quickly and easily skim over the post to decide if it’s worth their time before delving in. Having a numbered list is like glancing at the table of contents in a book. You need to know what you are getting yourself into before fully committing to the post.

3–Visuals Are Essential Workers

In the blogging world, visuals are like essential workers. They are absolutely needed. Not having at least one great visual can make the post look unappealing and unattractive. Having a fantastic visual can lure people to your site. People like pretty things and when we see something that is beautiful, we tend to go to it.

Furthermore, pictures can help to illustrate the ideas that you are trying to express. After writing your blog post, step back for a moment and ask yourself what is the theme of this blog post? Once you come up with one or two words, go take a picture of that item. Or, if you are using WordPress, you have access to a gallery of thousands of beautiful, free images available.

4–Get Fancy With The Font

I cannot tell you enough how important it is to have a font that is legible and easy to read. Moreover, it is important to make sure that the font color goes well with the background color. Having a well-written post means nothing if they can’t read it.

Another technique you can use in your posts, though sparingly, is by going bold or getting a bit fancy. It helps to liven up the sentence so you aren’t just reading regular black printed lines. It makes it seem as if the words are dancing and having fun. And isn’t that what you want your readers to feel?

5–Balance Is Key

As in all things in life, it is important to use good balance in your blog posts. For example, if you use an image at the top of your post, consider using an image toward the bottom of the post. Consider making all of the paragraphs similar sizes and lengths. Consider using a color scheme that is complimentary to each other. Make sure that each element in the post not only has a purpose, but that it looks good in the post.

The foundation of a good blog post is not just the act of writing, but how each element in the blog post works together in a way that makes sense. You want the blog post to look good overall. A blog post that is well written, and looks fantastic, is bound to keep your readers happy, entertained, and engaged.

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What do you think makes up a stellar blog post?

I think I lost my imagination

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I’ve never written a children’s book before. I’ve always written stories about rebel teenagers going on magical adventures. I’ve written stories about college kids struggling with identity issues. But never a children’s book. I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate, that the plot would be too simple, too playful, too something.

But fast forward an odd number of years and two kids later and I find myself sitting on the floor reading a children’s book. In fact, I’ve probably read more children’s books these past few years than I have “adult” or YA novels. Now, I find myself engrossed in the pictures. I find myself varying the tone of my voice as I read aloud to the kids. I find myself asking them what’s going on in the picture. What do they see? What are the characters doing?

I guess it’s only right that I write a children’s book now.

But the thing is, I’m stuck. I wrote a few paragraphs the other day. Reading it now, I don’t like it. I want to delete it and start over. The characters are in my head. The basic plot is too. But I just can’t get the words out.

So, what do I do? Previously, I would just push forward and do what I do best: RAMBLE. Oh my, how I do love to ramble on and on and on.

I think what the problem is is that I feel a bit more restricted writing a children’s book, or even attempting to write on. Children’s books are shorter than an adult or YA novel. According to Google, children’s book are about 1000 pages. Only 1000 pages. I’ve written essays in college that were way longer than that. How am I supposed to be concise enough to write and get my point across in only 1000 pages? It seems impossible.

I think the only solution here is to just write. Just write. I shouldn’t worry about how long it is, or if there is too much detail. I should just write, get the story out, and then edit it later. I can shorten it in the rewriting/editing stage.

But another thing! I feel so much pressure. The only thing I’ve written lately are blog entries. I’ve barely written fiction. I think the last time I wrote fiction was Nanowrimo a few years ago.

So, I’m a bit rusty. I remember being in school and I would write pages upon pages of stories for English class. I used to just love dreaming and imagining the characters and plot. Sometimes I would let the characters run away from me. I used to be so proud to have an overactive imagination. Now, I don’t know where my imagination is. I feel like it ran away from me. How do I get it back?

5 Top Things You Must Do Before Sitting Down to Write a Book

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So, you’ve done it! You’ve decided that you want to write a book. You sit down at your desk, in front of your computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, but then you pause. You stop. You think. All you have is a wish, a want, and a dream. You want to create. You want to write a book. But that’s all.

Well, I have news for you ladies and gentlemen. It’s not enough to just want to write a book. You need something more. You can’t just want it. You’ve got to be prepared. After all it is when preparation meets good writing that a great book starts to take shape.

1–You Need a GREAT Idea

Perhaps the most important thing you need is a GREAT idea. You need inspiration. You need to activate that imagination. You need to dream. Dream of another world with people who have wants, needs, conflicts, all that stuff. Become a part of that world. Turn that GREAT idea into a world fueled by electrifying imagination.

2–You Need to Research

Once you have that GREAT idea, you need to do your research. If you are writing from the perspective of a cancer patient, it might be a good idea to jump on the internet and research cancer. Read books and articles about the doctors, patients, and their family members who have personally experienced this devastating tragedy. Literally put yourself into their shoes. Feel what it feels to be in that situation. Do what it takes to learn as much as possible about what you plan to write. After all, the best writers should always write what they know. Don’t speculate or guess. Fact check and fact check again. And then write with your emotions.

3–Get To Know the REAL MVP’s

Sit down and list the names of the characters, particularly the main characters. Who will be the main characters? Write a paragraph or a draw a diagram of their likes, dislikes, and personality? What do they like to do? What makes them angry? What do they behave the way they do? Get to know your characters the same way that you get to know a friend. After all, these characters, these people, will be in your head and out for the next three… six…nine months, or possibly several years. They will be like family to you. In fact, closer than family. So definitely take the time to get to know them. You won’t be sorry that you did!

4–Outlining

Your teachers have probably told you again and again the importance of outlining before writing that killer A+ essay. Well, writing a story or a novel is no different. It is just as important to write an awesome outline. It doesn’t have to be very detailed. Though the more detailed the better! But at least write down what you hope to write or cover in each chapter or section. Most importantly, write down where you hope to begin and where you hope for the characters to end up. Sometimes knowing where you are heading to can be very helpful. That way you are leading, or writing up, to the end. It can help to keep you on track so that you won’t deviate your plot too much throughout the writing process.

5–Write!

No, no, no, it’s not time to start writing the actual story or book yet. Instead take the time to write an epilogue or the last paragraph or chapter. Where do you hope the character(s) will be? What will they be like after journeying through the pages of your book? How much will they have changed? Will they still be alive? Will they be happy?


What do you do before writing a book or a short story?

It is all coming full circle

My baby boy.

I can’t remember the exact moment that I wanted to be a writer. I do know that my first short story happened when I was in fourth grade. It was about a little boy. I can’t remember the details now. But it was a very generic, less than one page, double-spaced story. It wasn’t very good.

But ultimately my interest in writing became more pronounced after reading books such as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, The Baby-Sitters’ Club series, The Dear America Series, and, of course, Harry Potter. These were hands down my favorite books from the elementary to the middle school era. I loved these books for very different reasons.

I loved Anne Frank’s Diary because she really spoke to me at that age. I was a soon to be teenager who was trying to figure out my place in the world, like Anne Frank who was doing the same but in much, much more trying, difficult, devastating circumstances.

I loved The Baby-Sitters’ Club series as well as The Baby-Sitters’ Club Little Sisters series because these books were fun, engaging, and so relatable. I was able to either relate to Kristy and Mary-Ann and I wanted to be like artistic Claudia and sophisticated Stacy. I wanted to start a babysitters club like them, never mind the fact that I had no first hand experience with babies, being an only child.

And then there was the Dear America series. These books featured a fictional historical figure. I loved reading these books and learning about what had happened in America thousands of years ago from the point of views of girls like me. These books probably gave me my love of historical fiction.

These books were all very important to me and my childhood. I tried to emulate these books as I started to write longer stories than the short story I wrote at the tender age of eight or nine. I came to find that I really enjoyed it. I loved writing and getting lost in a story. It gave me the same satisfaction as reading a book. But the only difference was that with writing I was in control. I was the captain of this ship and I could steer it any way I chose.

But I’ve never written a children’s book. I’ve always written a YA book or short stories. I’ve always written books about teenagers and young adults and their families. But this time, at this point in my life, writing a children’s book seems fitting. It even seems fitting that I got my inspiration from my nearly seven month old baby boy.

It is all coming full circle now. And I love it.


If you are interested in the books mentioned above, please check them out here:

What is Writing?

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Writing is an art. Like all forms of art, writing lets people express themselves. People can express their opinions, thoughts, and dreams. It is a release, the kind that expires and explodes after a long hard at work. It is what you do when there is nothing to do. It is like a companion that never goes away, but is there. Its very presence is even more important sometimes than the very act of it.

Ever since I was young, I always wanted to be a writer. I didn’t know if I was good at it. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a writer because people said I should. I wasn’t really good at drawing or painting, but wanted to be good at creating something, even if it’s with words.

Creating with words is such a beautiful thing. It can sometimes be as powerful as a tangible piece of art. Something that is created with words takes shape in the most powerful instrument of all: the mind. Anything that is created, shaped, and formed in the mind has got to be pretty influential. Anything that is then passed from mind to mind is mind blowing and breathtaking and just so amazing.

Writing allows us to share thoughts and opinions with others. Thanks to this blog, I can do just that. I can write without fear. I can write with courage on things that I like or feel passionate about. I can write to strengthen my own writing skills. I can write just for me. If other people read my words, then that’s just a bonus.

I’ve been feeling like I need to write a book. I’m 31. I thought I would have been published by now. But that’s not it. I want to write something and spread my message around to the world. But what can a left handed 31 year old multiracial/Hapa woman tell people? What valuable message can I share with the world? What kind of book can I write? Should I write fiction? Non-fiction? An autobiography or a memoir?

What is right for me at this stage? Or am I trying too hard?

These are the thoughts that are going through my mind.

What do you think? What should I write about? What do you like to write about? What message would you share with the world?

Writing is Magical

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Throughout the life of this blog, I’ve mentioned (time and again) that I love to write. I’ve told you about my experience participating in Nanowrimo. I’ve told you about how much I love to make-believe. And, believe me, writing is a big part of make believe.

But more than that, I enjoy the feeling that I get when I sit down in front of my laptop or my pen poised over paper as I prepare to write a word, a paragraph and the beginnings of a story. It’s a wonderful feeling of anticipation. I feel as if I am standing on the edge of a cliff about to jump without knowing what’s below.

Writing is the same way. When you write, you take risks. You start off with a single word, a single idea, or a short snippet of dialogue. This eventually grows larger as you write. It eventually fills out as you create a new world composed of an entirely unique set of characters and places.

And this all came about from a single word, a single idea, or a short snippet of dialogue. This is why writing is truly magical.