NaNo - Woes & to Knows

NaNo - Woes & to Knows

Veteran or noob, National Novel Writing Month is upon us - let the word count start.

NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, has officially begun. However, if you haven’t recently lost a friend to a computer or laptop, you probably are only vaguely - or not even at all - aware of its existence. National Novel Writing Month takes place on November first and ends on November 30th. Writers from all over the world are invited to freely sign up and attempt to type a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words during this time period.

That’s about 1,667 words each day, for thirty days.

Whether you are a veteran or a beginner, this task at first will seem doable. You and a million others are excited to enthusiastically start typing away. You practically have a plethora of ideas and interminable energy. But when the days begin to stretch, you will doubtlessly begin to regret joining this self-imposed nightmare. However, it’s okay. You subconsciously knew that this regret was going to sneak in sooner or later. So just think about the end result. Feel accomplished and in the words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, remember to:

NaNoWriMo can be an enjoyable experience. It disciplines and prepares you for future deadlines, and writing other papers will almost seem like no hassle at all; you will have written a novel in a month – you will basically become Superman/Wonder Woman when it comes to papers. Besides that, you get bragging rights for accomplishing such a feat in the first place, because not many would ever dare try such task. Whether it is because they aren’t able to or are sane enough to preserve their sanity, just know that you are unique for even trying to tackle a project like this.

Saying that, it is also common knowledge that you would still rather avoid the slumps and stress that can come with writing a novel in a month. Well worry not, because here’s a few tips to aid you in your writing.

First and foremost, make sure you have a plot in mind before November hits. Going with your “gut” might work, but for the most part, you are better off having a nice general plot stored in your head. Not to say that you should restrict yourself to it, deviating from what you originally have mapped out is fine, but going in completely directionless as to where you want your novel to go will ultimately prove very challenging - especially when you encounter that infamous, “Writer’s Block.”

Also, refrain yourself from analyzing your story too deeply and going crazy with the grammar. The primary goal of each day is to meet the word count while subsequently making sure you’re on track with where you want your story to go. Proofreading anything you’ve written in the past day or hour can prove detrimental to both your progress and mental health. You will inevitably cringe and glower at some plot holes and grammatical errors, but it is best to save that revision time for when November is finished. Typing around 1,600 words a day is tough as it is, and no one is going to expect you to have a perfect novel by the end of the month. (Unless you are some kind of writing wiz, that is.)

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should have a confidant to support and hear you out during this journey. Mutely screaming at your screen or agonizing about your novel to random people in the local café will not help alleviate the stress or burden that you may feel along the way. Take advantage of the NaNoWriMo community forums and find others to share the pressure with. Who knows? Talking to others may even inspire you.

But lastly, just enjoy.

NaNoWriMo isn’t a necessary obligation that you should trade over for other responsibilities. If you are a few hundred behind the daily word count, then just let it be. Don’t let the novel control your life – let your life control the novel! Find inspiration in the daily things you do and write only when you have time, even if it that means just a few sentences typed on your phone.

So breathe, relax, and most importantly –

write on.

Cover Image Credit: Enric Fradera

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on


I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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