My First NaNoWriMo

My First NaNoWriMo

Six Tips to Help Writers Survive November
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It’s that time of the year again; winter is coming, and with it comes the whirlwind of panic writers have dubbed NaNoWriMo. For those of you who aren’t familiar, NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, creative writers of all skill levels across the globe aspire to write a 50,000 worded novel by 11:59 pm, Nov. 30th.

The online platform writers sign up on helps them log their word counts and connects them to other NaNoWriMo goers in their regions; regions often hold events called “write-ins”, where everyone in that area participating can get together, socialize, and write!

If this is your first NaNoWriMo experience (like me), here are six tips on how we can both (hopefully) sludge through this crazy time. Let’s go on this journey together.

Pick a story and stick with it.

Even if your story starts out as a Young Adult novel about a girl going through the throes of high school, and morphs into a sci-fi fantasy erotic love memoir of an alien princess on the planet Ugansnorf, stick with it, you freak! You don’t want to lose words on your word count – starting a novel over after making substantial ground is a sure way to not finish on time.

Get connected at write-ins.

Not only will you meet people with similar interests as you, but you’ll meet people who can support you and give you fresh ideas. And help keep you sane. Or at least, people who will go insane with you. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

Don't edit.

*Writers gasp in the distance; one keels over clutching his heart and actually dies* NaNoWriMo is all about output; you gotta keep in mind that 50,000-word goal while progressing through your story. Editing is what December is for.

Schedule out a time to write.

I am especially guilty of not setting aside specific time to write – it’s a common downfall of the “writer”, or a person who calls themselves a writer, but never writes because it’s not in their schedule. If you want to seriously commit to this extravaganza, you’re going to have to block out some time to give your piece the TLC it needs to survive.

Set a specific daily word count goal.

50,000 words is a hella lot of words, and we only have a month to put them down on paper. It’ll be a lot easier to accomplish if you plan out how many words or pages you need to write a day in order to stay on track.

Adopt a writing buddy.

This person will endure the stress with you; all the writer’s block, the cringing over your spiraling plotlines, everything – you’ll be in it together. Not only that, but this person will keep you accountable, and be the slap in the face you need when you inevitably start slacking.

Good luck fellow writers, and Godspeed.

Cover Image Credit: flickr.com

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18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.
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Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

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10 Reasons Chicago Is The Best City In The World

If you're planning any trip, Chicago needs to be at the top of your list.

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Chicago is breathtaking. Every person needs to experience this glorious city. Here are ten reasons why, too:


1. Skyline

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Let's be honest, Chicago's skyline is breathtaking, and there's no doubt about it. Chicago is known for one of the world's best skylines. It is filled with large, high-profile buildings that are all built with significant purposes.

2. Navy Pier

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It is a place that never fails to put a smile on kids' faces. Chicago's famous Navy Pier is a pier on the coast of Lake Michigan. It is filled with shopping stores, free events, and dining restaurants year-round.

3. History

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Chicago faced a wildfire that destroyed the entire city, yet it managed to rebuild and thrive as one of the top five cities in America. Today, Chicago is known for The Willis Tower, the second largest building in the Western Hemisphere. Not only is there a Willis Tower, but also the John Hancock Center, Chicago Board of Trade Building, Marina City, and Tribune Tower. The growth of endless buildings allows Chicago to prosper after its tragic fire.

4. Magnificent Mile

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What better is it than to shop with two-story shopping stores and a windy street filled with people and laughter? Magnificent Mile is home to the luxury shops, outlets, restaurants, and hotels in the heart of Chicago. There are two to three-story shops that are filled with clothes and accessories that people love to buy.

5. The Bean

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Chicago isn't Chicago without its famous bean. You can't say you've bean to Chicago without exploring the famous bean. The Bean, also known as Cloud Gate, is a well-known architecture of Chicago where ice rinks are placed during the winter and festivals are placed during the summer.

6. The Weather

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Chicago has the best long, hot summers along with the snowy, cold winters. What more can you get if you can get two-in-one? We all know Chicago is best-known for its crazy snow storms, but have you ever been to Chicago in the summer? The summers in Chicago are filled with every day sunny days and the best summer breezes!

7. Best Food

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Chicago is known for its famous stuffed deep dish pizza at Giordano's. Also, how can you go to Chicago without going to Portos? Portos is the best Portuguese style chicken you'll ever eat, and there's no doubt about it! Lastly, you definitely want a dessert place, too, and let me just say it, Bombo Bar is the one to go to. Bombo Bar is filled with the hottest coffees, coldest frappuccinos, and the best-stuffed donuts you'll ever have.

8. Lake Michigan

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What's better than a gorgeous beach with lively laughter and people to walk and bike around the trails for early morning runs? Chicago's Lake Michigan has clear blue water and people at the beach at all times. It is the best place to go to on warm days to run, relax, and enjoy a hot summer day.

9. Sports

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The basketball Bulls team may not be the best, but the Cubs always please the people with their World Series win. Chicago Cubs won the world series in 2016. The one and only Michael Jordan was on the Chicago Bulls and lead six championships for the city.

10. The People

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Chicagoans are the most courteous, frank, witty and lively people you'll ever encounter yourself with. If you are lost in the city, Chicagoans are always willing to give a hand and help out at all times. You will definitely meet some of the most courteous people you will ever know. Don't hesitate to ask for help!

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