Sunscreen? Check. Sleeping Bag? Check. S’mores Supplies? Definitely Check.
Yes, I’m bringing my laptop to camp. Why? Because this is no ordinary camp, Kiddies. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! If you’ve been following my blog, you already know the details. If not, in a nutshell, it’s a writing challenge. 50,000 words in one month– summer edition. This year, I’m in it to win it. There is no stopping me this time. Nuh-Uh.
I’ve checked in on my cabin every once in a while since they opened it and, so far, only one person has posted anything besides myself. And, I’m not sure I understand half of what they’ve said, which is sad considering this is a writing challenge. This might be similar to a chat room/board, people, but that doesn’t mean you have to write like you text. This person is nearly a decade older than me, so there’s no excuse for that teenage text speak.
Wow, I sound old….
The other cabin-mates are still silent. Hopefully they will at least say hello. It’s rather pointless to be placed in a cabin for Camp NaNo only to not talk to anyone. You could choose to do it alone instead, really. There is an option for that. I like having the virtual cabin, however, to turn to when I have questions or find myself in a writing slump. It’s also nice having that connection, especially if you live far from anyone else doing the challenge.
Now, besides “packing” for camp I’m preparing my brain for the road blocks that might be ahead. What do I do when the story just won’t come? What if one of my characters is rebelling? Stuff like that.
First things first, read as much as you can in your free time before the challenge starts. And, just because you’ll be spending several hours of your free time writing for the challenge, doesn’t mean you can’t read during that time either. When you find yourself stuck, go read something from one of your favorite authors. You can even mimic the style of that book to kick-start your own writing again. It’s okay to do that on the first draft.
Other things to do are:
- Change the view. Tired of looking for inspiration in the flat paint of your bedroom wall? Go to the kitchen table, a porch chair, a cafe. Anywhere else.
- Just go for a walk. Maybe you’ve already changed the scenery and that hasn’t worked, or you’re computer isn’t the portable type. It’s time to get some exercise, take a hike and take in the world around you. Carry some note cards and a pen with you because inspiration might hit while you’re out.
- Get elbow deep in another hobby. Take your mind off of your writing for a moment and go cook something or draw something. Do something that takes a different kind of creativity or no creativity at all.
- Go chat with fellow writers. In person, online, whichever one you have available.
- Participate in camp activities. Hey, it is Camp NaNoWriMo. Why not roast some marshmallows or sing camp songs? If you feel like the fun has disappeared from your writing, this can help bring it back.
So many things to do, hmmm. Anyways, the time is drawing closer and closer. For some, it’s already begun. I’ve still got quite a few hours to go. I mentioned this writing challenge to my young niece just last night — quite the blossoming writer — and she wants to try it as well. She was going to stay up late in order to do it too. Thank goodness she’s on summer vacation, or her mother might never forgive me.
Eat. Sleep. Camp. Read. Write.