That’s what stands between me and a successful first day of Camp NaNo, otherwise known as the month I, and many others, dare to write fearlessly. And continuously. Probably a bit recklessly.
Since the demise of July Novel Writing Month (RIP), I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if trying a different summer WriMo would be worth it. Some “experienced” writers apparently don’t see the value of cranking out a certain number of words in a fixed amount of time.
They’re entitled to their opinions. I have a close relationship and deep respect for WriMos (“writing months”). I first joined the NaNoWriMo community my sophomore year of high school. This November will be my eighth consecutive participation year, and hopefully my eighth win.
This month is technically my second round of Camp NaNo—if you were following me back in April, you know I hit a 10,000-word goal and had a pretty rough time doing so. But most of the completed works I can vouch for have come from WriMos. There’s something about the numbers game for me. It makes me pay more attention to my story and characters. It makes my brain feel, well, alive.
322 words. That’s all I need to write every day this month to hit my goal of 10,000 words. That’s not so bad. Fairly manageable, right?
A significantly lower mark than usual for me, though. Considering that one summer I wrote an 130,000-word novel in 14 days. According to my TimeHop this morning, I was passing 8,000 words already today, four years ago.
How did I do that?
Well, I was just an English major back then. I was home for the summer with no job or internship or classes. They yanked my wisdom teeth out. I was growing apart from my high school friends (as most post-freshmen do). I had a lot—a lot—of down time. And the words just kept coming.
It won’t be like that ever again, and honestly, that’s fine with me. This is the same book I’m still thinking about sending queries out for, by the way, which isn’t the worst idea—I wrote it fast, but my mind was on over-creative drive or something. I’ve gone back and read a few pages. It’s not terrible.
But I have other things to do now, besides write, which is why I picked up a second major and internships galore in the first place. I love writing, but not all day long. Besides, how can I help you figure out how to balance time, relationships, work, school, etc., and writing, if I don’t practice myself?
I’d love to crank out 50,000 words (or more) this month. But it’s just not necessary.
I’m looking forward to getting to know my cabin mates, something I didn’t take advantage of this past April (it was my first time “camping”—I don’t think I knew what cabins were). I’m looking forward to getting better at writing a little every day, and more than just a paragraph or two. It tends to be all-or-nothing for me. I want to work on that. I like having multiple goals.
I also want to continue posting here every day (June was successful, mainly because I haven’t had a job … it’s fine) and focus more on mainstream content rather than the plethora of blog posts you’ve been getting lately. It’s taken a little bit for my brain to recover from exam mode. I have a lot of ideas for posts in my notes app. As always, you’re welcome to suggest ideas, if there’s something about your writing process you want to improve this month (or any time).
Oh, I’m also participating in Problogger’s 31 Days of Building a Better Blog. If you’ve read our About page, you’ve probably noticed we know what we’re doing, but have yet to nail down a decent elevator pitch. Thanks to yesterday’s podcast, I’ll be updating that page shortly so you don’t have to sift through the fluff to figure out why we exist.
It’s going to be a good month. I have a goal of hitting 100 followers here, too, so if you like what we do and know someone else who might benefit, pass our posts along. I love writing, but even more than that, I love helping other people write better. Ideas aren’t hard to come by, but getting them on paper, well, is.
That’s not the elevator pitch. It’s being—ha—revised.
322 words. On top of everything else on my ever-growing to-do list. I can do that.
But first, let me publish a blog post.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.