Category Archives: Blog

NaNoWriMo 2017 Winner!

November 30 marks the final day of NaNoWriMo and I think it would be fair to say that I’m quite happy about it!

It has been a month-long struggle paired with caffeine surges and writer’s slumps, but I can truly appreciate what I’ve learned from it all.

Though I am proud to say that I’ve accepted and overcome the challenge, it’s not about the win – it’s about the experience.

To date, I have three first drafts of novels written, not including the one I chose for the NaNoWriMo challenge. Each one has taken me a number of years to actually get finished. NaNoWriMo taught me how to get it done in 30 days.

Was it easy? Of course not. However, I did learn about fast drafting – just writing the story, no matter how bad it sounds. Forget grammar, forget the rule of “show, don’t tell”. None of that is relevant yet. The key is to get the story down so you can go back and polish it later.

Can anyone write 50,000 words in 30 days? Of course! It does take commitment and perseverance, but most of all, it takes inner peace. As writers, we want our written words to be golden right from the start, but NaNoWriMo teaches us that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Just figure out your story and write … the magic will come later.



The 5 Biggest Cliches in YA Romance

This … this says exactly what needs to be said!

A Writer's Path

by Annmarie McQueen

Recently, I’ve spent some time working my way through the bestseller list of YA romance fiction – everything from John Green to hit debuts such as ‘Everything Everything’ by Nicola Yoon, which was recently made into a movie.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. But for now I’m done with YA fiction and going back to my usual genre of world lit, classics and general gritty depressing stories that leave me in existential doubt for days afterwards. As charming as it sometimes is to indulge in the idealistic world of manic pixie dream girls (MPDGs), deep conversations under the stars and passionate, obsessive love affairs, it’s all starting to feel a bit fake. Here are the 5 biggest cliches that I think have been way overdone in YA these days:

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The 10-Day Journaling Challenge

I’ve run out of steam…again.

It’s not an uncommon problem in the world of writing—in fact, I believe we all encounter it at one time or another. The question is—what am I going to do about it?

I could sit quietly twiddling my thumbs and beat myself mentally for giving up. This will inevitably lead to aggravation, moodiness, and lots of moping around the house. I owe it to myself (and my family) to do better than that.
Therefore, I have decided to take on the 10-Day Journaling Challenge inspired by Emily Gould (see her class on Skillshare). I encourage everyone to try it out.

Every day for 10 days I will write. It won’t be a long post, nor will it be epic. It will simply be my thoughts for the day written in a 10-minute sprint. The purpose of it all is to keep those creative juices flowing even when I’m feeling like I have nothing to offer the world.

I could easily just write these entries out in my notebook, never allowing them to see the light, but this is a challenge and I need to feel obligated. For that reason, I’ll be posting my entries here each day. I apologize in advance if my innermost thoughts create boredom or controversy…my mind can be a frightening place.

Stay tuned!