This time when Camp NaNo rolled around again, I once more debated with myself whether or not to participate. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my writing, and I wasn’t at all sure I had it in me to complete this challenge this time.
It was a near thing, I almost didn’t sign up. I didn’t want the big pressure of a looming deadline forcing me to write without enjoying it. I was already on the edge of burn out. In the end, I decided to go for it anyway, but I wasn’t going to set my word goal too high. 25,000 words sounds ambitious enough.
My next dilemma was choosing a project. Did I go with one already in progress and work toward completion? Did I try for something new? Neither choice sounded like much fun. Inspiration just wasn’t there.
I’ve been working on one novel for so long, it sometimes feels like I will never finish it. And I suffer from the “shiny new idea” syndrome that has resulted in some other unfinished works. As Camp drew closer, I just couldn’t decide what project to focus on. I set my project title as “Random Stories” leaving things open for whatever happened during the month, whether an old project or a new one.
I wanted to focus less on a high pressure project and I wanted to have more on fun. I desperately want to finish my novels already in progress, but I think that desperation has been working against me. I’ve lost something in the drive to finish, and my writing has suffered as a result.
The day before Camp was to begin, I finally hit on an idea that would work for me. Something that would be fun, wouldn’t lock me into a specific project, and I didn’t even have to change my title!
Inside this pot…
…are a bunch of tiny slips of paper. Each slip has a writing prompt. Every day through the month of April I’ll pull out a new prompt and that’s what I’ll write about for the day. For example, today’s prompt was:
Everyone has heard that somewhere in the world there is someone who looks like you. Write a fictional account about this person. Where would your “twin” be?
I ended up putting my doppelganger into a scene in one of my novels. Turns out, it was a lot of fun.
My goals with this month long exercise are:
- To write 25,000 words,
- To have fun, and
- To hopefully make some real progress on one or more of my writing projects.
In the end, I had to sign up for Camp. If I didn’t do it, I’d probably regret it later. This is my plan then, for April. I’m looking forward to see what all I might create. I’m excited to find again the wonder in writing fiction. I won’t pretend it will be easy. NaNo never is. But it will certainly be fun.