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Here’s a post that I can’t believe I’m writing, because it means that the end of 2018 is already here! How can that be? How has the year gone by so quickly? I suppose that, for me at least, it has something to do with being busy, busy, busy. Running to and fro and cooking a bun in my oven has kept me on my toes this year, and it seems as if half the year was lost in a blur as I was dealing with severe morning sickness (it seriously lasted 24/7) until my seventh month! (It was the worst, guys, but I’ll supposedly have a cute little prize at the end of the this journey, and I am adequately prepared for it, judging by the endless piles of outfits and bows in my nursery!)

Today’s posting signifies not just the end of 2018, but the end of an incredibly busy and epic author program! From January to December, I have featured a new author or creative mind almost every single week (excluding holidays!). WOW. Sign-ups for the program were off the charts, and I’ll be starting a new 2019 author program for next year, too! I’m already booked through March, so if you’d like to get on Writing Belle starting in April, HIT ME UP. Seriously. DO IT. NOW. Working with and featuring other writers is one of my all-time favorite things to do. gas vs electric heat EVER. Don’t be shy!

Yes! It’s happening! I’m already booked all the way through March 2019, so like I said above, I’m looking for authors/editors/artists/bloggers to feature starting in April. Remember that you have to sign up NOW to get a spot LATER. I love books, guest posts, how-to articles, crafty step–by-steps, and people who just like to chat about writing and storytelling in general. 2018 was a phenomenal year for Writing Belle in terms of author interaction and readership, so I plan on keeping that ship sailing right along into the next year!

I would love, love, love to be able to get a romance novel out in the spring. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be releasing a lovey-dovey book for women, and I’m not going to put a release date on it yet because I simply have no idea how long it will take me to adjust to being a mommy! I will say this: the book will be contemporary, and it will be set on the California Central Coast, with a focus on the San Luis Obispo area. I will be releasing the book with a pen name, Ellen Brandt.

Few people make it all the way to the end of the event. Two holiday weekends break up the month of November – and then there’s this pesky little thing called LIFE that usually gets in the way of writing time. But hey, if you really want to come out of November with a completed manuscript, YOU CAN DO IT. You are capable, my friend! Here are some tips and tricks I apply to my writing life, and that I think you will find extremely useful when it comes to making NaNoWriMo a triumph for you this year.

• Write an outline. Friend, I’m going to be honest with you. You may be a "pantser" when it comes to weaving a plot, but if you’re going for the insanity of writing an entire 50,000 word novel in just 30 days, you’re going to want to seriously consider coming up with an outline. gas jewelry Why? Because if you know what your end game is, it’s easier to chart a course to get there. So many writers burn out at around the third week of NaNoWriMo, merely because they’ve lost the direction of their story. Plan ahead. Make an outline. Know where you’re headed. It will save you not only time, but a massive creative headache. I do this with every book and it keeps me on track – it’s a method that hasn’t failed me yet!

• Don’t be afraid to skip around, pal. Here’s the thing: even with an outline, it’s easy to sometimes get hung up on a scene or a chapter that’s really killing your creative buzz. This happens to me quite frequently, actually. Guess what I do? I skip that scene! I glide right over the element that’s driving me crazy and stopping my progress. I continue with the story beyond that and then come back to that troubling plot point later, when I can see the manuscript with more clarity. It helps me to not get frozen on one frustrating element of my story and continue to make progress with the rest of it. If there’s one thing you don’t want in NaNoWriMo, it’s stagnation. You want to keep moving forward, because face it: you’ve got only a very limited amount of time to finish your manuscript!

• Make writing time FUN. electricity games It’s November! Write at the end of the day with your laptop and a cup of hot cocoa. Curl up and enjoy the anticipation of the holidays by writing a wonderful story that captures your imagination. Make writing time YOU time. Make it something special to enjoy. You’re not doing this to compete against other people. You, my friend, are doing this so that you can say with certainty and pride, "I wrote a book this fall." How many people can say that? Not many!

• Find your groove. When I say this, I mean find the writing space that works for you. Some people work better creatively by taking their writing to Starbucks or a restaurant, feeling stimulated by the steady hum of activity swirling around them. As for me? I work best in quiet environments, cocooned in my office or perched on the balcony of a hotel by the sea. You may find that you work better surrounded by people, and if that’s the case, don’t fight it! Do what you need to do in order to get in the zone and get your writing groove on.

• Plug into your local NaNo writing group. Sign up for your local writer’s group. If you’re a part of the NaNoWriMo community (sign up at NaNoWriMo.Org), different counties and zones all over the country have writing groups who meet at college libraries, coffee shops, and bookstores to talk about their manuscripts and just to have fun. I did this a couple of times and had a lot of fun with it. gas station jokes You get to connect with other aspiring authors in your area and just revel in the joy of creating a story and being able to use it as an additional excuse to order another cup of coffee.

• Yes, adhere to a daily word count. If you want to make it to 50,000 words in 30 days, you’ll need to write around 1650 words per day (at that rate, you’ll be only 500 words short of your goal on the 30th day). It seems like a small number of words until you’re staring a blank screen, void of all ideas and suddenly possessed with an intense desire to watch Family Feud. But remember: this is only for one month! Get your word count done and THEN watch TV. I’ve written 22 bestselling books in the last (almost) 6 years because I’ve been willing to put my word count goals ahead of my personal desires, and if you can do this for just 30 days, you’ll win NaNoWriMo, no problem.

• Connect with the online community. If you need encouragement with your writing, NaNo is EVERYWHERE. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook…you name it. Lots of other writers are also participating in the event. Check them out! There are also virtual write-ins that are streamed from the NaNo Headquarters. Find that here. Also, follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter if you’re interested in setting hourly or even minute-by-minute word goals for yourself.

How many of you guys have been watching Netflix’s newest show, The Haunting of Hill House? I have said loudly and frequently that I do not watch horror movies or shows, but this particular show has such an interesting story that I found myself intrigued (yes, it is based on the 1959 horror novel by Shirley Jackson that I am currently considering reading). electricity for refrigeration heating and air conditioning 9th edition pdf I’m currently a few episodes in and wondering what’s going to happen to all of the Craine siblings. Yet it’s the kind of show that I can’t binge-watch, either, otherwise I may never sleep again. Yes, I’m a wimp. I watch it during the late afternoon after work, with my dogs at my side, while it’s still light outside (ya know…because things that go bump in the dark while watching a scary show is enough to make anyone’s heart race!).

It got me thinking about the art of writing a good horror story. It’s not easy to do. Writing something scary is not as easy as it may seem. For example, telling your reader that a room is dark and terrifying is quite different than showing it. A good horror author will make the reader feel the cold dampness of the cellar, taste the salt of terrified tears on their lips, and hear the metallic scrape of chains on the floor as they beam their flashlight across the pitch-black expanse of darkness. Your hair should stand on end. You should be genuinely scared! It takes skill to do this.