Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4 Update
Winning Doesn't Matter as Long as You Learn Something
This month for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have been sharing writing advice that I have received from others this month. But what I didn’t listen to advice I had gotten back in January from Alexis Britton, a fellow contributor at The Mighty, when I interviewed her. In her interview titled, "When the Fog Clears", she talks about how when she wasn’t in a good mental state that she wasn’t able to write. When I asked her to give some advice she said:
Write when it feels natural to you, when you are in the correct mindset and when you feel like you can write to your best potential and get everything across you are wanting to say. It may be months in between when you feel you’re ready to write but that’s okay. Just don’t force it.
This past week has been crazy for me. I went from being at school about 3-4 days a week without a job to working 6 days a week. I haven’t adjusted to the schedules yet, especially when I’m doing my 5am shipment ships. It will come with time and I know I will get used to it quickly but it just wasn’t happening this month. And instead of stressing out over writing, I decided to take a break from writing my story. But that’s okay.
Camp NaNoWriMo Care Packages (Summary)
Although I didn’t achieve my goal of writing 25,000 words in my story, I do feel like I learned a lot of other people’s writing processes and am using their techniques to incorporate into my own. And that’s what I think the point of Camp NaNo is: to learn and improve as a writer.
This experience definitely made me value the input of other writers, especially ones who are different than you. Sometimes a fresh and completely different perspective can pay off. I’m not going to be afraid to reach out to other’s for help and advice because that’s when you truly grow as a writer. Winning doesn't matter as long as you learn something!
I was so stressed about fulfilling this promise that I made to myself but I had to accept that it’s okay to fail sometimes, as long as you learn from the experience. And I have learned a lot from this experience, even though I didn’t end up writing even half of what my goal was. The things that I learned are:
- Stop writing in the middle of a sentence and/or a scene to make the story easier to continue the next time you sit down to write
- If you want to write, it doesn’t have to be for long. Just write when it feels right.
- If you get stuck in writing, work on “prologue” type material to help you build a world. Part of the story could emerge from that type of writing.
Week 4 Word Count
Starting Word Count: 7,573
Ending Word Count: 8,895
Quick Day Overview
Day 14: Today I had a bunch of housework I had to do during the day so I wasn't able to dedicate some time to writing. But, later this evening, my brother came over. While they were busying playing video games (Fortnite, to be specific), I decided to try to get in about 20 minutes of writing. In that time, I was able to 617 words. It's not as much as I would ideally like to write but I'm proud of myself for getting something written.
Day 15: I had no motivation to write today. At this point in my story, I felt bored writing it. I felt like "What's the point of writing today if I have nothing interesting to say? It's been hard for me to get into just writing things down lately because I'm not even interested in them. I've been trying to figure out where my inspiration went and how I could get it back so that I can finish the month strong.
Day 16: I was busy today but was planning to do some writing on my way to work. But, sadly, I ran out of data so I wasn’t able to access my work during my commute. But I wrote for 15 minutes this evening and was able to write 56 words in that time. I'm still not in the good inspiration place so the words did not come easily today.
Day 17: Sadly I got 0 words written. I really don't like where my characters are right now. I think that I need to stop writing the scene that I'm currently in and move onto something else. What would that be? I guess that's the main problem right now and why I have been struggling the past few days.
Day 18: As the week comes to an end, I knew that I had to focus to get working towards my word count. Before I started work today, I sat in a coffee shop down the road so I could use their wifi. I had time to write for about 10 minutes. I had told one of my friends I was struggling with my story and she suggested that I work on writing things that happened before the story begins and I liked that idea. So I actually stopped writing my story and went back before my character was able to enter the story. It proved useful because in 10 minutes I was able to write 199 words.
Day 19: I had a busy day today. Sadly, I didn't have time to write. I had been hoping to do most (if not all) my writing while commuting this month. But I ran out of data (as mentioned earlier) so that was not a possibility for me. I was going to write during my lunch break since I have wifi at work, but I didn't have time to do more than just focus on eating. No time for multitasking today. When I got home, I went to the gym and ate. Before I knew it, I ran out of time so I wasn't able to write today. I wish that I had though.
Day 20: On my lunch break today, I sat down and continued to work on the "prologue" or "prequel" to my story to help me with world building, and hopefully find a new inspiration from there. During the 10 minutes that I dedicated to writing, I was able to write 123 words today.
If you have any writing advice, please share it here. If I get enough replies, I may incorporate them into future blog post.