Camp Nano + Updates
I won Camp Nano! Kinda… April did NOT go as planned (When does it ever?) due to quarantine homeschooling. Teachers, parents, and students were kept busy working out an entirely new system of education and, naturally, there was a learning curve. I barely wrote anything for a couple of weeks because I was focused on helping my son with his work. My Camp goal was only 20,000 words, which would normally be a breeze, but it seemed like an insurmountable feat given how little time I actually had to write.
By the last week, I had managed somewhere around 6,000 words and I was finally optimistic that I would be able to meet my goal. We’d worked out a decent routine for homework which actually allowed me some time to focus on my writing, and I knew I could finish the last 14k before Camp Nano was over. I’ve written up to 10k in a day before, so 14k in a week was definitely doable.
Fast forward a day and my computer FLIPPING DIED! I’m fairly good at correcting computer problems and have brought mine back from the brink dozens, maybe even hundreds, of times throughout my life but this was different. I had no clue how to fix it and no time to figure it out. I also lost at least 3 chapters that hadn’t been backed up yet. (Forgot to do it due to the craziness of homeschooling.)
Amazingly, I didn’t melt down or feel sorry for myself at losing more of my work. (I’ve lost entire drafts, backed up in multiple ways, many times over the years.) I didn’t even let myself panic at the thought of missing my self-imposed publishing deadlines. I took a moment to breathe and walked away from the problem for a few hours. I accepted that I wasn’t going to finish my goal this month, which would be the first time since I started doing the Nano challenges that I haven’t finished. I’m definitely a perfectionist, so this would normally feel like huge failing.
Then, my boyfriend did something that I didn’t expect. He scraped together some money and ordered a refurbished desktop for me. In a moment, I went from wondering how I was going to meet my publishing deadlines without a computer to realizing the only thing I was going miss was the Camp Nano goal. With the bigger problem handled, my brain felt a little spark and kicked into gear to figure out a new plan for the month.
I jumped onto the NaNoWriMo website on my phone and I changed my goal from 20k to 10k. A small part of me took it pretty hard to have to reduce it to such a small number since I’ve done the 50k twice now. It felt like I wasn’t doing what I knew I was capable of but, honestly, no one expected a worldwide pandemic that changed everyone’s routines and gave parents a new workload with teaching classes at home. And I certainly wasn’t planning on losing my computer either.
With my goal updated, I sat down and started writing by hand. I don’t typically write this way because it takes me far too long if I want it to be legible. Since I was not focused on clear handwriting this time, I was able to get a lot more down in a short period of time. (I really hope I can read it later!) I did have to do some averaging when counting since I couldn’t count every word on every page in time, but I ended April 30 with just over 10k and I am completely shocked that I was able to make it this time.
So, I “won” Camp Nano. It wasn’t the way I had planned back in February or March when I announced my project, but I did pull off a different type of win and that was pretty cool. My new(ish) computer arrived on May 1, so I’m back in business again in terms of editing. I’m spending this weekend getting my workstation reset and then I’ll be back to my normal schedule on Monday. I’m feeling even more motivated after almost being derailed and I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’m able to meet the rest of my deadlines this year without further interruptions.
Speaking of deadlines, I’m still not quite ready to announce a release date for my debut novel yet, but I am hopeful that I will be publishing later this year. The pandemic situation set me back by at least a month and I’m doing my best to catch up again. On days when I couldn’t write for my Camp Nano goal, I worked on the plot and the world-building in my head. I figured out a few more plot holes that I can fix while editing, and I’m thrilled to see all the pieces fitting together and connecting all the different elements of the story.
I’ve discovered that this story is very much character-centric, which means that I’ve written it with a focus on the characters’ inner journeys more than the outward plot. I do plan to flesh out the plot a lot more when I do my world-building edit, but I have a feeling it will largely remain about the personal journeys. Those were always my favorite kinds of books growing up and I’m sure that’s why I gravitated toward that type of storytelling.
I genuinely hope I will be able to announce my release date in the near future. It’s driving me crazy that I can’t share more yet. Chronic health issues have been the biggest culprit when it comes to delays, but a few recent changes are helping to reduce the amount of fatigue and brain fog I used to feel and that should make things easier. It’s been a long journey and I’m ready to publish already. I want my book baby out there in the world! No matter what else life chooses to throw at me, I am determined to succeed and I will continue forging ahead.