7 days

14 Days of NaNoWriMo

About a week ago I did a 7 Days of NaNoWriMo post, covering the beginnings of an attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo. The extraordinary National Novel Writing Month takes place in November, but the Camp is a smaller sibling project that takes place during April and it gives authors more freedom in comparison to the first. Yet, despite providing you with choices, some flexibility in what you write, how you write, and at what pace, do not delude yourself that it’s any less of a difficult or demanding task.

Writing in its self, no matter the form and purpose it takes is  an excruciating and agonizing assignment lead by an exhausting process of brainstorming, planning, and organizing plots which you’ll then spend day and night splattering with ink over paper, only to wake up in your sleep and burn out all the nonsense you realize you’ve written. But pain, misery, agony, and all the tragedy in life produce emotions, they stir our imagination and once those vanish, you’ll have in your hands the impeccable fruits of hard labor. Whether a short story, a group of poems, or the start of a novella, you’ll have at least the foundation for a written piece of work that speaks this is brilliant and must have taken effort or talent. Or maybe that’s just something I tell myself to help me sleep at night?

Either way, grab a pair of goggles as we’re flying off with a steampunk hot air balloon to revisit day 8-14 of Camp NaNoWriMo.

  • Day #8: Ugh, my Wednesday is a Monday?!

The strong victory feelings you had the day before seem faint and distant, as if they were a million light years ago. Any remote sense of accomplishment evaporated with the realization that another heavy seven days are ahead of you. Begrudgingly you push everything and everyone aside and attempt to turn the table and be productive.

  • Day #9: What do you mean it’s my birthday tomorrow and this is the Easter weekend?!

Not only are you behind with your word count, but with this coming avalanche of events in the next couple of days you’re well aware you’ll be buried under deep snow and your word count will remain as frozen as the Antarctica. Will you ever recover? Will you be able to dig your way up to see the sun again? Are you capable of rising from the ashes like a Phoenix? No one knows, especially not yourself, but this seems like the perfect time to start panicking.

  • Day #10: Time to pretend I’m interested in festivities and non-writing things.

Stuff such as socializing, small talk, long conversations with people you barely know are so low on the list of things you wish you were doing at this very moment, one is quite certain that even breaking things, running around naked on the streets, and murdering anyone nearby, rank higher. Yet when there are celebrations there’s usually fancy delicious food, various selections of drinks, and hopefully a cake big enough for one to drown in it. You can never say no to all wonders that feed your soul and you’re certainly not saying no to cake. In some ways this helps you survive and put on a manic laughing face as you’re internally screaming to sit down and write.

  • Day #11: Wishing it was a lazy Saturday and that you had a few less drinks the previous day.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, wash down your thoughts in alcohol and hope they never reappear again. But those little demons turn out quite the swimmers, and while you’re trying to get your head straight they decide to punch you like a boxing bag, repeatedly. You’re so swamped you’re contemplating the idea of saying screw it and taking a nap. Resistance is usually futile, but you try your best not to give in on the temptation.

  • Day #12: Stop the holidays, stop the celebrations, for goodness sake stop the people!!

You feel holidays is the name given to some supernatural beings sent on planet Earth to beat you up, devour all your energy, creativity, and leave you exhausted, bloated, unable to do anything remotely productive. Doesn’t look like you’ll be doing any writing today.

  • Day #13: Please shoot me and make sure you don’t miss.

The holidays keep going, which can’t really be said about your word count. More food, drinks, too many people and conversations for your taste, no sign of that glorious cake you recently had, and for all you know your brain has left the station. It may not have reached its new destination but it has definitely started the journey of leaving your head.

  • Day #14: Remind me why I do this to myself every year?

The festivities might finally be over, but they’ve left you feeling like you spent the last few days running marathons, yet it doesn’t appear that you’ve won any of them as you see no trophies nearby. All you see is the obvious lack of writing, a plethora of plot points you have yet to plan out and write, while your mind says go to bed and don’t wake up till the end of April. Apparently, the weather finally left its Winter mood and embraced the Spring temperatures, but you’ve been so busy typing you haven’t even had the time to look outside.

You tell yourself to keep going, you’re already halfway there — you can definitely survive another two weeks of this, right? Somehow you’re not really sure, but you’re dead set on trying and you go grab another cup of coffee.

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7 Days of NaNoWriMo

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, lately I’ve been slacking somewhat (for example I didn’t get to do a Short Story this past Sunday). However, as far as excuses go I have the second best one — I’m attempting to do Camp NaNoWriMo. Which is the evil twice-removed cousin of NaNoWriMo, which would then be the stepmom or mother of evil and the very best possible excuse for slacking. If you’ve never tried either of the two, the best way for me to describe them to you is as monthly tortures composed of coffee, stress, self-loathing, coffee, random tantrums, mood swings, coffee, keyboard bashing, self-bribing with cake, and did I mention coffee? But if you do get through all of that, you’ll probably have the joy of owning a written piece of a decent length and very crappy quality. That’s why usually we take a short break to replenish our batteries, after which we continue the torture but now by editing instead of writing.

If you’re extremely fortunate you’ll have an amazing product to be proud of that you can show off to others who’ll look at you with awe. If you’re less fortunate you’ll find comfort in the fact that you’ve done the impossible — you’ve produced a novel in a month’s time. Sure, it may be something that you’ll hide in the most secluded corner of your computer forevermore because it doesn’t deserve to see the light of day ever again, but you’ve had fun and experience and those always come in handy. I’m getting off-topic though, the idea of this post is to illustrate how usually the first week (which I’ve now survived, woo!) tends to go.

  • Day #1: Like stealing candy from a baby.

It starts as in the fables, this new land you’re discovering is gorgeous in every way and as peaceful as it can be. There is no sign of trouble anywhere and it’s a beautiful day so you even do your writing with as much leisure as possible. You’ve been preparing mentally for this for a while now and you’re quite sure in your capabilities and the plot you’re going for.

  • Day #2: Everything is great and whimsical.

Another day of productive work, you haven’t come across any issues yet and you feel this is your year. This is the year when you out-write all your friends and produce the best story humanity has ever seen.

  • Day #3: A few bumps on the road can’t stop me.

It can’t all be that pretty, you must have some rough patches and at least they make for a good story. You reassure yourself you can make it through this and a small drawback isn’t stopping you.

  • Day #4: When I set my mind to it, I’m unstoppable.

You’re ready to move beyond yesterday’s trouble, you sit yourself down with a bucket of coffee by your side and you do some quality catching up. Heck, you even get ahead so you have less to write tomorrow!

  • Day #5: Okay, maybe I lied a bit yesterday.

You already start feeling the weight on your shoulders fingers. It’s day 5 and you want to keep going strong but you desperately need a break so you attempt writing what you can without pushing your limits. You’ve earned some comfort and you can always catch up the next day, right?

  • Day #6: Why is this happening to me.

I’ll catch up tomorrow is the most basic mistake, yet somehow you manage to throw yourself under that same bus every year. You even fall for that multiple times in the same month. You’re tired, you have other things to do, your mind is blocked, you feel like the whole world is on fire, and you start regretting you decided to do this.

  • Day #7: How am I doing this, and can I please keep doing it for another 3 weeks?

You have no idea how you managed it or where you found the will from, but you sit down and catch up for the whole week. Was it the fact that you hate losing this early? Was it because you’re competitive and you wanted to show your friends you’re not a loser? Or was it simply because you promised yourself a whole big pile of awesome pizza which you’ll eat all by yourself? Doesn’t matter, so as long as the job gets done.

I guess it also doesn’t matter that by the end of the first week you’ll already be suffering from typing disease, where you’re prone to do some ‘typing‘ no matter where you are or what you’re doing.