It’s a official! Camp NaNoWriMo has started and I am a camper, ready to put words to the page! For those of you that don’t know, Camp Nanowrimo is an extention of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). NaNoWriMo takes place each November and each participant tries to write a novel during the month (50,000 words). During Camp Nanowrimo, each person sets their own word count goal.
My goal is still 50,000 words, and I will be working on both writing a new novel and revising the novel I wrote last November. This means I’m hoping for at least 25,000 new words and 25,000 revised words. Secretly I’m sort of challenging myself to double that goal but we will see how this month goes! I’m also working on the first draft of a serial story that I hope to publish on Wattpad.
Falling back in love with writing has been one of the greatest things I have experienced this year, and it makes story telling that much more enjoyable!
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard from professional writers is to work on multiple projects. It may seem like it would be best to focus on a single novel or piece of writing at a time, but having at least a few projects can be helpful for many reasons. If you get stuck on one piece, you can easily set it aside and work on something else. You may also find that if you keep your creative juices flowing as you transition back and forth between projections, it becomes more and more easy to keep the muse at your side.
I personally don’t wait for the muse. She can be very fickle, so I tend to sit at my desk and work, and figure if she shows, fantastic. If she doesn’t? That’s okay too, because I still got some work done. Most of the time I find that my work is pretty comparable, whether or not the muse felt like joining me that day. I enjoy that free flow, that feeling of inspiration as much as the next writer, but I’m not going to wait for it to strike. I’ve got work to do, and I am betting that you do as well.
I always wanted to be a writer, stories have sort of always been my life blood. I used them to help me fall asleep at night, to escape to when things got hard and a way to express myself. It was not until I attended a writing workshop in Casper last fall that I got serious about it though. I attended a session and a workshop taught by Kelly Sue DeConnick, who had no qualms about telling us how hard we would have to work if we wanted to be writers. We had to start publishing, keep doing what we loved and work at it like it was a job. She also introduced me to “The War of Art” by Robert Pressfield, which along with his other book “Turning Pro”, changed my perspective on my writing.
I had done what most people starting out in this age did. I wrote fanfiction, I roleplayed with other writers. Both of those communities taught me things about my craft but it was not until I “Turned Pro” that I started to realize they would not get me anywhere (Okay, I kind of stopped fanfiction years ago, except for a dabble here or there), I realized that roleplay was just that, something to do for fun. It wasn’t “real” writing. It was words down the toilet. Don’t get me wrong, those words generally taught me something or I picked up bad habits I would have to later correct, but all in all I regret none of it.
The other thing that I learned from that workshop was that I could submit to anthologies to start building my writing resume. I did, and sure enough the piece I wrote got accepted. It’s a little slice of my soul I’m now nervous to share with anyone who isn’t a stranger, but I’ve noticed that is sort of how it goes with writing at times. So even though this journey began long ago, I think I am finally to the point I am ready to take it seriously and find my path with it. Sure, it won’t be easy, but the good things rarely are.