Some tips for writing fast for #NaNoWriMo. And any new words are an accomplishment.

If you are taking part in NaNoWriMo this year (National Novel Writing Month), or want some tips on writing a first draft faster, these are some things that help me write faster, that might also help you:

-I try to write and not stop for a good period of time, and I do NOT allow my inner editor to talk/criticize while I write. The faster I write, the less I hear the inner editor. This is great for a first draft.

-When I am stuck I do a menial task (wash a few dishes, etc) and then often the solution comes to me. If it doesn’t, and I’m still stuck, I try to skip it for now.

-I don’t have the right names for any of my characters yet, so I’m substituting words for them like “girlfriend,” “bully,” “father.” This works for other things, too; I tend to add in description and sometimes setting or weather later, so I might just put “school hallway” for now.

-If i’m stuck on a scene but I know generally what’s going to happen, I’ll write it in short hand and then skip over it – something like “Write scene about conflict between main character and bully and realization” and then I can come back to it later.

I started NaNoWriMo late this year because I’m waiting for feedback on one of my manuscripts from my agent, and as soon as I get it I know I’ll have to focus on it. But I decided to try, anyway. At the very least I’ll have more writing done on a new manuscript. And maybe I’ll actually be able to get both done. Meanwhile, I am enjoying this new manuscript idea.

I hope if NaNoWriMo is on your mind that you try it out; you don’t have to meet your goal. More new words on a new manuscript is an accomplishment in itself.

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Authors, people – please don’t say or suggest “all girls” anything, especially for romance.

I am reading a #YAlit book I am loving, even though I’m lesbian and there is a strong heterosexual romance thread in the book. As a lesbian I can still enjoy and identify with books with heterosexual romances, just as heterosexuals can enjoy books with queer romances.


In fact, most of the #YAlit books I read have a thread of heterosexual romance because there are so many more heterosexual books than queer or lesbian. And for much of my life I only had access to heterosexual characters in books, and yet still I loved them.


That makes sense to me because in reading we live within a character, their emotions and soul. But I’d have been able to identify more and not felt outsider if there had been more queer books. I am grateful there are increasing numbers of queer #YAlit, though there aren’t enough.


But as a lesbian I can still love hetorosexual character books, though when there are no queer characters at all it is annoying and can make me feel invisible. But there is something I wish authors wouldn’t do. When a book says/ suggests “all girls” would be attracted to a guy I instantly fall out of the book.


First, I don’t think you can say “all girls…” anything. We are all so different and diverse although we have commonalities. But even for heterosexual girls they aren’t all attracted to the same type of guy. As a lesbian I’m sure not attracted to the exact same lesbian others are.


And when you say all girls would be attracted to a guy, you are especially leaving out lesbian readers (and some trans readers). I’ve seen that for years in books, especially when authors are trying to say how attractive a guy is – but it makes me angry. It doesn’t just leave me out, it pushes me out.


So that’s just something to think about when you write or talk about attraction. Or about any opinion. Even if it said “some girls,” I wouldn’t I feel so excluded.


I love books that make me care about the characters and what is happening, and the book I’m reading right now does. So I’m back in the book. But I still wish that the author had somehow made room to include me more. #lgbtqia

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I am glad to be here. And healing happens in layers.

I am glad that I am still here. Glad I am alive. But that doesn’t mean everything is easy. I still have hard days. Still have days where I really struggle. Have still had days where I thought of suicide. But I will never kill myself. I am grateful to be here and to have a voice.

Trauma, especially severe, ongoing childhood trauma, leaves deep wounds on the soul and mind. I deal with severe depression, anxiety, CPTSD, suicidal ideation, dissociation, and DID as a direct result of the torture and abuse I survived. Sometimes I still have flashbacks & triggers. But it is SO much better than before.

It is SO much better than when I was being abused. I couldn’t have imagined living without constant pain & terror then, but I know it now. I didn’t really believe that I would find safety, good people, or have a voice. I am so glad I didn’t give up. I hope you don’t, either.

Some things that helped me: therapy; facing my abuse memories with support; talking honestly with people; getting it out safely through writing and art; EMDR; EFT and tapping. Positive distraction like books and music. Connecting with other people. Knowing I wasn’t alone.

I am scared of taking drugs because my abusers used drugs on me and the other kids, so I usually avoid them. I did try some meds for depression but mostly they made it worse for me. But I know they help many people and are something to try. For me, I use natural supplements.

And they help. But sometimes they’re not enough. And when they’re not enough I make sure that I get help. I talk to my therapist and the people who love me. And I try to climb back out of the depression and the despair. But most of the time? It is so much better and I am glad to be here.

Lately I’ve added other things that help, too – like meditation through Sahaja Yoga (which is free worldwide), hypnotherapy through Marisa Peer, healthy eating. And always, always connecting with good people. It all makes a difference.

I didn’t used to be able to see the beauty in nature. I only saw fear because nature was one of the place my abusers tortured me in. But I can see it now. I can see and appreciate the beauty in the sky, trees, flowers, in our world around us. Healing happens in so many layers.

And it gets better. It gets so much better. So if you are a struggling, I see you. I hear you. And I hope that you hang on to see it get better, and then even better. Keep reaching out. Keep connecting. There is beauty and love and healing. There is joy. #SuicidePrevention #suicideawareness #MentalHealth #MentalHealthAwareness #SurvivorStrong

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I thought about suicide a lot as a teen. But I am grateful I am here now.

I thought of suicide a lot when I was a teen. I couldn’t bear the extreme emotional pain, depression, despair, & terror from the abuse & torture I was living. I needed it to end. I tried to kill myself several times. But I am grateful to be alive today.

What I needed most was an end to the pain. I needed safety, love, and compassion. It took me a long time to find that. But I got it in little bits from people over the years. I kept reaching out to people until I found ones that heard me and truly cared. That helped.

Therapy also helped me. Facing my trauma and abuse, working through it, remembering my abusers and getting safe. And finding real friends. Getting out my emotion in safe ways. Writing and drawing it out. Disappearing into books. Writing my own.

I think of how desperately I wanted to die when I was a teen (and some other times). But if I had I wouldn’t have written SCARS and gotten it published, a book that’s helped save lives, helped readers stop cutting, and to know that being queer is okay.

If I had killed myself then, I never would have had the incredible love and support that I get from my therapist who is like a mom to me, my closest friends who are my chosen family, and my sweet little dog/s. I never would have known what safety feels like.

I am grateful now that I am alive. So if you are struggling with pain and trauma and mental health issues, if you are struggling with suicide, I hope you realize that things can get better, but only if you are here to experience them. Keep reaching out to people. Stay alive.

And if you need it please read my Reasons Not To Kill Yourself. They are things that have helped me. I hope they will help you, too.
http://www.cherylrainfield.com/reasons-not-to-kill-yourself/

#SuicidePrevention #suicideawareness

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It’s important to give ourselves positives

It’s important to counteract the negative messages from others – to give yourself positives – to heal. Even more so for those of us who were abused and who had words and our sense of self used against us. We need to be the encouraging, compassionate, loving cheerleader and parent we never had.

Today I’m reminding myself that I put good into the world, and that I matter.

What do you need to tell yourself today?

positivevibes #positivemessages #positiveaffirmations #iamenough #mentalhealthquotes #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealth

cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist #csa #abusesurvivor #trauma #healing

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I am honored to be part of YOU TOO? a #MeToo anthology for teens

I am honored to be in YOU TOO?: 25 VOICES SHARE THEIR #METOOSTORIES, along with fellow YA authors Jennifer BrownBeth G RevisEllen HopkinsC. Lee McKenzie, Saundra Mitchell, and edited by author Janet Gurtler. I think it’s an important anthology that speaks honestly and openly about sexual harassment, abuse, and rape, and healing.

You can find it and put it on your to-read list on:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ljeRKj
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40612161-you-too
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335929082
Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/…/y…/9781335929082-item.html…
and more!
Published by Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/…/books/9781335929082_you-too.html

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I love that My Little Pony is bringing a lesbian couple onto the show just in time for Pride week!

I love that My Little Pony is bringing a lesbian couple onto the show just in time for Pride week! I think that will help open many young minds, helping them be more accepting and inclusive, maybe see themselves reflected, and help decrease homophobia. Yay! Happy happy Pride! 🌈 🏳️‍🌈 #lesbian #lgbtqia #lgbtqiapride #lgbtq #mylittlepony #igauthorshare

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Readers, I have a treat for you: Get a new 38-page SCARS story

Readers, I have a treat for you: Get a new 38-page SCARS story that picks up where SCARS left off – ONLY for my newsletter subscribers.

Sign up at www.CherylRainfield.com/YAlit/newsletter and you will be able to download and read FADED SCARS right away.

Find out how Kendra and Meghan are doing!

I hope you enjoy it. Happy Pride! 🏳️‍🌈 #yalgbtq #yalgbtqbooks #lgbtqiapride #lgbtqiabooks #lgbtqiaYA #scars #selfharm #selfinjury #csa #SAAM #traumasurvivor #incestsurvivor #trauma #healing
#cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist #yaliterature #yaauthorsofinstagram #yaauthor #igauthorshare #authorsofinstagram

that picks up where SCARS left off – ONLY for my newsletter subscribers.

Sign up at www.CherylRainfield.com/YAlit/newsletter and you will be able to download and read FADED SCARS right away.

Find out how Kendra and Meghan are doing!

I hope you enjoy it. Happy Pride! 🏳️‍🌈 #yalgbtq #yalgbtqbooks #lgbtqiapride #lgbtqiabooks #lgbtqiaYA #scars #selfharm #selfinjury #csa #SAAM #traumasurvivor #incestsurvivor #trauma #healing

cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist #yaliterature #yaauthorsofinstagram #yaauthor #igauthorshare #authorsofinstagram

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If you are struggling with suicide and despair, you can order this free Find Your Anchor box

If you are struggling with suicide and despair, you can order this free Find Your Anchor box which includes 52 Reasons To Live cards, stickers, poster, resources, and more. @findyouranchorbox They offer hope. 
They rely entirely on donations, so if you can afford to send them some money that will help them, but if you can’t and are in the US they will send it to you for free any way. If you’re outside of the US they need $15US or more to cover the shipping costs.

If you or someone you love has struggled with suicide, this can be a resource that may help. And if you can afford it, please consider donating to them.

Find them at http://www.findyouranchor.us/boxes

#suicideprevention #suicidehelp #despair #depression #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness
#cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist #igauthorshare

which includes 52 Reasons To Live cards, stickers, poster, resources, and more. @findyouranchorbox They offer hope.
They rely entirely on donations, so if you can afford to send them some money that will help them, but if you can’t and are in the US they will send it to you for free any way. If you’re outside of the US they need $15US or more to cover the shipping costs.

If you or someone you love has struggled with suicide, this can be a resource that may help. And if you can afford it, please consider donating to them.

Find them at http://www.findyouranchor.us/boxes

suicideprevention #suicidehelp #despair #depression #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness

cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist #igauthorshare

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Reader Casey Anne sent me this gorgeous handmade Pride greeting card for #PrideMonth

Reader Casey Anne sent me this gorgeous handmade Pride greeting card for #PrideMonth with a lovely note inside! You can see more of their cards on @brimmercreations on Instagram, and they’ll soon have some for sale  in their Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrimmerCreations. Happy Pride! 
I hope you have pride in you. 🌈

#lgbtqia #LGBTQ #lgbtqiapride #lgbtqpride

#cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist

with a lovely note inside! You can see more of their cards on @brimmercreations on Instagram, and they’ll soon have some for sale in their Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrimmerCreations. Happy Pride!
I hope you have pride in you. 🌈

lgbtqia #LGBTQ #lgbtqiapride #lgbtqpride

cherylrainfield #YAwriter #LGBTQwriter #booknerd #bookworm #ireadYA #survivor #feminist

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