Monday, 20 July 2015

Why #NaNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo are Perfect for Me

This month I am a very happy writer. After what feels like a ridiculously long absence, my Muse has returned, and she is raring to go. I signed up for #CampNaNoWriMo last year and my enthusiasm fizzled out very quickly. There were a lot of distractions within the family due to babies and accident-induced illness. I had to reluctantly accept that my writing would not flow while my mind and heart were consumed with other affairs. And it put me into something of a depression, I will admit.

Anyway, that was last year. This year, I am back on track. I never gave up with my writing, and it was always there, ticking over in the background, buzzing like a machine on standby just waiting to be switched on. Perhaps I needed the time to recharge my batteries. Maybe I was simply focusing my attention on my young children, conscious that they are growing fast and that my writing will still be there when they leave home as adults. Whatever the reason, I feel like I didn’t achieve very much on the writing front in 2014. I did, however, keep both of my blogs updated regularly, so I was still writing something, even it was largely what I call ‘disposable babble.’

Now, back to the present. When I began #CampNaNoWriMo this year, I wasn’t entirely certain that I could achieve my goal. I set a word count target of 25,000. That way it is not as much as the full 50,000 required for #NaNoWriMo, but it is still a good enough chunk of words to constitute a fairly decent novel. I had to start somewhere. I need new material to publish. My last novel was published in 2013, and now I am itching to get something else out there, although my methods and plans are a whole other story. And I am happy to report that my novel is growing steadily, and I am well on my way to achieving the word count goal.

I find that #NaNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo are perfect writing challenges for me. I am one of those people that works better to deadlines, and I believe that the reason I have not necessarily reaped the benefits of being a freelance writer so far, is that I have not been putting myself in positions where I have tight deadlines and people to answer to. It was quite nerve-wracking, I suppose, taking on such a responsibility, and what with the distractions of preschool children, I didn’t trust myself to do the work. Doing #NaNoWriMo is a fantastic compromise. I get to write my novels, in the way that I choose, and there is nobody to criticize. Indeed, I receive a whole lot of praise, encouragement and support from my virtual cabin mates on #CampNaNoWriMo, and there is always someone to talk to online when you need a pick-me-up. You get a whole month of writing abandon, and afterwards you have a solid piece of work that you can mould into a finished novel. Perfect!

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