Friday’s Essay – Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo Participant BadgeOkay, here I go again, attempting to write 50,000 words in one month.  The trick, of course, to Camp NaNoWriMo is to have the 50,000 words form some sort of coherent story.  Otherwise, NaNoWriMo would stand for something other than ‘National Novel Writing Month’.  I have tried this before.  Last November I failed miserably.  I’ve heard from somewhere – I can’t remember if it was a NaNoWriMo blog post or a friend – that the trick to this exercise is to not be too invested in the story or the outcome of the story. The problem with this, well my problem with this, is that I am not what you’d call a ‘pantser’.  I don’t write ‘by the seat of my pants’ – I don’t do much of anything ‘by the seat of my pants’, really.  So, I feel the need to plan and have a very good idea of where the story is coming from and where it is going.  I have no interest in dropping aliens into my werewolf story simply to get out of some kind of writers’ block.  I don’t want to have a competition with other participants that involves using the words ‘cat’ and ‘banana’ in at least seven of my next fourteen paragraphs.  Then I think, maybe that’s my problem.  Maybe my problem is that I am a highly self-contained, regulated grown up.  I am afraid of letting go.  Letting go of what?  Letting go of myself.  What would be so wrong with just writing or just opening up to the unknown or just buying some cute guy a drink?  I don’t know but that all seems very scary.  And, then I realize that is exactly what my story is about – letting the wild out.  There are underlying environmental themes, too, but at its heart it is a coming of age story about keeping one’s soul wild, at least a little.

I don’t know where this story will take me, but I’m going to remember to stay open to all the wild possibilities my mind can conjure.  I might even include the words ‘cat’ and ‘banana’ seven times, just to see if I can.  I might also buy that cute guy a drink and see what happens.




2 thoughts on “Friday’s Essay – Camp NaNoWriMo

  1. I don’t do the writers groups that come with NaNo. I work on my own mostly with a story I take very seriously but require the monthy grind to get there. Otherwise I’d just keep editing what I’ve already written and not think about how much I still need to tell. Good luck! Keep writing!

    • I haven’t relied very heavily on the folks in my ‘cabin’ yet and I may not, either. I agree, the idea of being accountable, even to the NaNoWriMo word count website, is proving good incentive to write. Good luck to you as well!

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