We are nearing the end of this month's Camp NaNoWriMo, which I decided to join at the last second (this seems to be a trend for me). For anyone who doesn't know, Camp NaNoWriMo is an offshoot of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), an event in November that challenges writers to write 50,000 words in one month. Camp takes place in April and July, and allows writers to choose any goal they would like.
I set a word count goal for April's Camp NaNoWriMo in the hopes of digging into my witch WIP, but the craziness of my last semester in college kept me from reaching that goal. I hesitated to try again this month since I would spend 10 of the days in Japan, but my critique partner, Juliana Xavier, invited me to her cabin and I thought, "Why not?" This time, I set a goal of 30 hours to work on revisions of a different manuscript, and jumped in.
I left for Japan on July 4th, only four days into Camp NaNoWriMo. Just as I seem to have a habit of taking on these challenges at the last second, I also have a habit of regaining my writing fervor just at the moment when I lose all time to write. I wanted to enjoy my trip and my time with family without glueing my face to my computer screen, but I was also itching to write. Revisions are hard--sometimes incredibly so--but it's also addicting to watch your story improve little by little.
My compromise was writing in the mornings before we went out, and the evenings after we returned. I was often tired from walking around in the burning sun all day, and it was rare that I managed a full hour at a time. This left me making strange notes to myself of time spent here or there until I had an hour to log into the website's counter (which unfortunately doesn't accept partial amounts of time). Perhaps it wasn't the image of ideal writing productivity, but it was something, and it was something that did not take away from what mattered more--my vacation.
All of this time added up. By the time I returned from my ten days abroad, I had finished most of my first round of revisions. I realized along the way that when you're trapped on an 11-14 hour flight with very few distractions and the inability to sleep on planes, it's quite easy to rack up a few hours of edits, assuming you have a laptop and a source of charge. Below is the image of my Camp statistics after my return flight.
Overall, I'm glad I pushed trepidation aside and joined in on Camp NaNoWriMo once again. It inspired me to push through these current revisions and, perhaps more importantly, introduced me to a new group of writers that I have thoroughly enjoyed talking to over the past twenty days. Maybe attempting this challenge while abroad wasn't the easiest, but it was certainly more memorable. If I can't sit around a campfire with my cabin-mates eating s'mores and sipping hot cocoa, I might as well be thousands of feet in the air or tucked into a hotel room.
There were less bugs this way, too.
I write YA fantasy and contemporary fiction. This blog is dedicated to thoughts and advice on writing and publishing, as well as various interests related to the world of Young Adult.