My Reading Plans (and I made a Tiktok)

It’s been a while.

I’m sure I don’t need to talk about how crazy the world is right now. We all have been witnessing everything first hand. All I will say: while I’ve reached levels of boredom I never thought possible, it’s so important that we follow medical professional’s advice during this crisis.

But that doesn’t mean we have to be miserable!

My school is online for the rest of the semester, and my job is closed at least until the end of the month, so I suddenly have more free time.

How am I spending it?

Reading. No surprises there.

And tiktok, but we’ll get to that later.
Also Animal Crossing but I’m not here to talk about that

Read more for my quarantine TBR (I can’t believe those are actual words I’m saying), and the story behind my Tiktok.

Also, if you came here from tiktok, hi! Thank you for checking out my blog! Read more if you want more details on what I do here!

[ Related: Favorite February Reads & March TBR – A Big Reading Month ]

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So… Anemia Isnt Fun (Oversharing 2: Electric Boogaloo)

Apparently I didn’t learn my lesson after my first post where I talked way too much and probably said way too much about my medical situation.

So now it’s time for part 2.

Previously on Cait’s Life: Depression, anxiety, family stuff, school, & insomnia

This Week: All of the above, + me annoying my doctors with my bad blood.

Okay, let’s take it from the beginning.

First, if you haven’t read my original update post (Updates, Explanations, and Oversharing — Why I Disappeared) I’d highly recommend you check that out first because I’ll be talking about some of the stuff I went over there. If you don’t feel like reading that, I don’t blame you.

Okay, assuming now you’ve read that or don’t care enough (honestly, same), let’s get to the oversharing.

I mentioned before that my mental health was not in a great place, but I was hoping it would be getting better. I actually wrote that post a day before I had a doctors appointment. I had gotten some blood work done to check on my thyroid levels (I have hypothyroidism which can play a part in my depression). Surprisingly, my thyroid levels were pretty good! It was everything else that wasn’t…

Read more for all the not-so-fun details & find out why I’m even talking about this.

[ Related: This is a book blog none of my posts are really related to this. But maybe check out my Top 4 December 2019 Book Releases – Perfect Gifts for Bookworms! ]

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updates, explanations, and oversharing - caitsbooks.com

Updates, Explanations, and Oversharing – Why I Disappeared

Hi.

You might have noticed I’ve been a little absent these past few weeks. And by a little, I mean I practically dropped off the face of the Earth. I didn’t want to just go back to my normal posting schedule without an explanation, but I also didn’t want to spend to much time talking about it, so hopefully this post will do.

Basically, I just had the perfect storm awfulness. So much for enjoying spooky season.

My mom got really sick last month. She’s okay- she had an exasperation of a chronic illness she’s had for years, but because of it she has been in a lot of pain. Between school, work, theater, and trying to help her however I can, plus some family stuff that I won’t go into details on, I was very, very busy. However, what really kept me from posting as much as I wanted to, was my mental health.

I try to be as open as possible about my struggles with mental illness. It’s my small way of trying to fight the stigma against it. That said, it’s much easier to be open about it when I’m stable and my mental health is under control. That really hasn’t been the case for the past month or so.

A combination of anxiety, depression, and insomnia really hit me hard, and I lacked pretty much all motivation to do anything. I was getting no sleep (I broke my record for the least amount of sleep I had in a week at 12 hours, which isn’t exactly a positive, but it made sleep-deprived me laugh so I wanted to mention it), having frequent panic attacks, and I felt pretty hopeless. I didn’t even have the motivation or energy to read (I know, sacrilege), let alone write reviews or discussions. I really missed doing it, because this blog brings me so much happiness, but I was just in such a bad place that I couldn’t feel happy about anything.

But look: I’m posting! I’m definitely not completely better. I’m barely even a fraction of a percent better, but I’m not getting worse. I count that as a win!

I can’t promise I’ll be back to my reliable posting schedule immediately- things are still shaky and might be that way for at least a few weeks- but I just want you to know that I haven’t given up on you guys, and I’m still here.

I have some fun things in the works. There were a lot of things I wanted to post in October that I didn’t get the chance to. I still have a half-written draft of my New York Comic Con wrap up that I need to finish up! I also have some fun things up my sleeve for November that I can’t wait to share with you! (Anyone interested in a giveaway? Stay tuned to my blog this week for more details!)

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my top 8 November 2019 book releases, and I have a couple of reviews that will be up in this next week. I also plan on having my October favorites and November TBR posted this week as well. Expect a post-heavy and fun-filled bookish week from me!

So… yeah. I’m not dead. I’m not yet okay, and I won’t pretend to be, but I’m working on it and I’m getting there. I’m just so grateful for everyone who’s been there for me, and for all of you guys who brighten my day by talking about books and fandoms and all of those things. You are part of the reason I’m fighting so hard to get better.

Thank you.

This is usually where I ask you guys a question, then plug my twitter/insta/etc. I feel like that would be weird here, but I want some semblance of normalcy sooooo…

What are some great things that have happened to you lately? I want to hear how you’ve been doing and what awesome things have brightened your month!






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My NaNoWriMo Plotting Process (2018)

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Having done NaNoWriMo five different times over the course of seven years, I have tried a lot of different ways to reach that 50k and finish my novels.

When I first started, back in 2011, I had no idea what I was doing. All I had was a vague idea and theme that I wanted to work with, a simple sketch in my head of my main two characters. For some people, that works.

I’m not one of those people.

I gave up halfway through the month at around 25k. The next year, I went in wanting to rewrite what I had written in 2011 and actually finish it. However, I didn’t think it through beyond that.

I ended that year with about 33k.

It wasn’t until 2013 that I actually won. Using a basic plot chart-– the type I was given in my English class for analyzing novels– I created a simple story structure for a dystopian YA novel. Most of the book was planned out, except the ending. Luckily, I managed to write 52k…. and then never write the ending. In 2015, I tried to rewrite the dystopian and hopefully finish it. But because I was lazy I never actually thought out the ending and stopped once I reached 55k. That same issue happened when I started a new YA contemporary book in 2017. I got through two acts, and while I had a vague outline for the third act, I still wasn’t able to finish it.

So that brings me to this year and my current method.

I got the idea for my current WIP in July, and began outlining and planning over the summer. I used the 3 Act/9 Block/27 Chapter Structure. If you haven’t heard of it (like I hadn’t), I highly recommend watching Katytastic’s video on it!

This time, I left nothing up to change. Every chapter had a distinct goal, and for all of Act I, I split each chapter into 3 scenes that each had a goal. I later changed up the scenes and how they fell, but it definitely helped to keep my momentum.

By October, I started writing (I know it was early, please don’t kill me). I began on October 9th, and tracked my progress using the Goal Trackers on the NaNo site.

My original goal was to write 20k in October, then 50k in November, and finish the rough draft with 70k. It was a little short for a YA fantasy, but I would be able to fix that in editing.

By November 1st, I had 35k.

My first act alone was 30k, meaning if the other acts are that long, I’ll have around a 90k draft.

I was hoping to use NaNoWriMo to keep me motivated to continue writing through until I finish this book, but now it’s looking like I won’t be done by the end of NaNo.

My current plan is:

  • Write 35k in October (Check!)
  • Write an additional 50k in November
  • Write 1-5k in December to finish the draft!

I’m almost at the end of Act II, with 53k words and only about 2.5 chapters left. I’ll probably either just hit 30k for this act, or fall short by a couple thousand words. If all goes well, I’ll be finishing this book by December 1st or 2nd.

And then it’s time for revisions.

 

How do you plan for NaNoWriMo? Do you religiously outline, or pants it?
Also, add me as a writing buddy!