writing

Back At It With Camp NaNo

I’m baaaaaaacck.

And trying to develop my writing routine for a regular basis. Though my past two weeks have been crazy, which is as-per-usual in my life.

The most recent forms of chaos have been from my new position at work (you are reading this blog from the newest page at the library), attempting to plan my next few travels, and even the return of my shows: Jane the Virgin and (eventually) Game of Thrones! I am really excited about all that my future has to offer, once again, which is a very nice feeling.

camp 2019

In addition to all of these changes, I am primarily writing this blog post to share about Camp NaNoWriMo and my writing progress.

The first day of April is not only known for April Fools, but also the first day of Camp NaNo, “An idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life,” as their slogan says.

Camp Nano is different than the actual NaNo as this event is run, inspired by the flexibility and lightheartedness of an actual summer camp, but still contains all of the writing inspiration and companionship of NaNo. Unlike NaNo, however, Camp does not have a rigid structure of needing to write 1,667 words per day in order to finish on time and declare yourself a winner. Instead you select your own writing goals, tracked in whatever format you choose from words, hours, minutes, lines, and pages, on whatever sort of project you wish…meaning it does not have to be only a novel to count.

My camp project this year is a revision of my last NaNo novel from 2018, Heroic Night. I set a goal to write 30 pages within the month…thinking that one page per day would be an achievable goal and one that would help me to write the missing scenes from my story without adding too much stress that could cause writer’s block.

The title is still a work in progress…as well as the entire plot, characters, and even the point of view. And especially the whole middle of my story. As of bedtime of April 3rd, I have ONE almost Full Page typed out.

Along with following many of the prompts and advice in Camp nano emails and messages, and sharing with my cabin mates (aka the chatroom of fellow writers I was sorted into), I have come up with a theory to resolve my stress from the enormity of the editing project I have set out for myself. Which is to start with a blank page and write the missing scenes for my story and then figure out where they fit into the huge manuscript later.

gold kettle pouring hot water on cup of tea
Photo by NIKOLAY OSMACHKO on Pexels.com

Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator.

Really not ready for a full read-through any time soon.

But, as I proceed with caution for this month’s brainstorming and writing and adding important details, I struggle to make this story something that is exciting to read and something that I look forward to reading and writing.

And while I get back to writing and finding the balance, I thought that I would share my latest addition to Heroic Night

NaNo Book Cover
This is around what my cover would look like… with the beautiful cover art found at Pulse Gallery and the text added by me.

[Days after sneaking into a ball that she was certainly not supposed to attend, Vivian discovers a present left for her inside her bedroom, with the fake name that she gave as her own…]

Worrying about any possible evidence was not the thing that stopped Vivian in her tracks while she was getting ready for bed later that evening.

What did stop her was the package left on the table in her room with a note wrapped in the ribbon. Before she opened the package, or before she even panicked, she tried to decipher the sloppy scrawl of who the note was addressed to.

And to her horror, her best guess at the writing was that it was addressed to the name “Grace”.

Exciting and kind of suspenseful, right?

 

For me too, especially since I am not even sure what is supposed to come next. Stay tuned and feel free to ask about more of what you want to know!

AND I would love to hear your thoughts or if anyone else is participating in Camp, too!?!?

 

Until next time…

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writing

Always Wanted to Go to Camp?

The start of April brings Camp NaNo! Yay!

For those who don’t know, there is this organization, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that encourages people to write an entire novel (50,000-60,000 words) each November. It is a fun, motivational organization that really makes people focus on writing, and creating that (horrible) first draft. That you can then build on. And edit. And edit. And edit. Until you are left with a semi-decent story.

This same organization has something similar going on for the month of April: Camp NaNoWriMo! This will be my first year participating in it, so I don’t know too much about things yet. It is set up as a writer’s retreat and we are sorted into cabins with other writers, giving us our own writer’s group.

If you have a creative personality, or want to be a more creative person, this is a great organization to encourage you to write it down. You don’t need to submit your writing, you do it on your own word document and just submit your word count. Every single word you write down is a win––and way more than you had yesterday. You set your own goal in Camp NaNo rather than trying to get yourself to write an entire novel.

Hopefully they can motivate me to push through my writers block that I already have from day 3. I am not counting my blog writing in it yet, so my current word count is a big fat 0. With a goal of 20,000 words. Yikes.

But in my defense, I was traveling the last couple of days (and re-reading ACOTAR again). And coming up with even more ACOTAR theories for the next book that comes out in May! (In exactly 28 days!) So maybe I will start another day, like tomorrow…

So, I just created my “camper profile,” added my project and just selected my “cabin settings” to be added into a writing group with up to 19 other writers. I will officially have a writing group! And I have to catch up on some of the messages from my cabin mates already! They all seem to be a really cool and very diverse group––with people from around the world, working on all sorts of different writing projects from poetry to novels to copy for their webpages. I think it will be really nice to get some feedback from other campers.

For those of you who are like me, and love to buy souvenirs from every minor activity I take part in, there is a gift shop too! You can purchase a winners shirt if you succeed (and any word that you write is a success) or a coffee mug to drink straight caffeine for when you need to push through the writing slump (like me).

Writing Resources: Camp Counselors and Events

An amazing feature of participating in NaNo or even Camp NaNo are all of their amazing features and programs to inspire writers. It is such an interactive and supportive community no matter your skills, involvement, or even fundraising ability.

There are “Prep” resources to assist in planning out your novel beforehand and then “Now What?” resources to help with the aftermath of your first draft––all complete with helpful tips, advice, and inspiration from authors, editors, and fellow participants. And you shouldn’t forget the inspirational power of having a group chat to connect with all sorts of writers! I know it will help to inspire me, when I see how real people are actually making progress. And we can even help each other by throwing ideas around. You never know when one word or comment or silly idea will jumpstart someone’s creative juices.

Twitter: @NaNoWriMo and @NaNoWordSprints

One of my favorite aspects of NaNo, and one that they have already brought back for Camp, is the word sprints on twitter. Anyone who follows my twitter will see me participate in these every once in a while, and now you can finally understand what my “WC” with a bunch of random numbers after means. (Hint: it stands for word count not water closet).

They occur at all times of the day for different lengths of time, allowing anyone to participate whatever their availability, free-time, or even time zone is. When I get inspired at 2am, it is motivating to be participating in a “sprint” with many other people around the world. The admins sometimes even provide a whole variety of prompts, that you can take and mold to inspire your own story.

And then after the organizers like to chat with us after about the favorite lines we wrote or most surprising thing our characters did. I really love the tweet chats.

Honestly I think I probably discovered NaNo because of Twitter. One of my favorite authors (I want to say it was Miranda Kenneally, but I don’t 100% remember) was participating in it while she was working on her next book. And I saw her tweeting about her word counts and about the sprint so I had to look up what she was talking about, and I think I signed up right there.

I hope that this blog post might inspire someone else to sign up too. The world needs your novel, but you really need to get it out there. So, sign up now! You have 27 days left to write!

And incase you need the link again at the bottom, the organization is Camp NaNoWriMo!

 

*Ok I am back to procrastinating my writing for fun.*