Well, I’m leaving mentally and emotionally and metaphorically, but not physically. I just signed up to join Camp NaNoWriMo this July. As their site describes it, Camp NaNoWriMo is an “idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life.”
But only very recently did I feel this way.
For years, I thought NaNoWriMo, aka. National Novel Writing Month, was stupid.
I mean, why does anyone need to write a novel in one month? As someone who likes to take a year or more planning, plotting, and writing a book, I didn’t see the value or sense in trying to make people write a whole book in one month. Why shouldn’t writers just work at their own pace? Why just one month? I kept thinking, WHY? WHY? WHY?
But, after slowly but surely working on my novel over the past five months, and feeling lonely and discouraged for many days, I’ve reached a place where ONE, I just really want to finish my draft; and TWO, I’d love to get support and encouragement from other writers doing the same thing.
So, I’m rolling up my metaphorical sleeping bag, packing my hiking boots and s’mores fixings, and I’m headed to Camp NaNoWriMo!
During the month of July, my goal is to write Act 2 and Act 3 of my novel, and thus, finish the first draft. I’m currently at a little over 14,000 words and estimating that it will take around 41,000 more words to tell the rest of my story. That’s a grand total of 55,000 words.
My next five blog posts will be updates from camp and how the writing’s going. I don’t know if doing this NaNoWriMo thing will help. I don’t know if I’ll like my fellow cabin mates–I’m in a virtual cabin with 11 other suspense/thriller writers that I can message and “chat” with–or if everyone’s going to be weird and critical. But I want to try.
So off I go.
If you smell burning marshmallows in the coming weeks, that’ll be me, taking a break from all my writing at camp.
Peg Cheng is the author of The Contenders, a middle-grade novel centered on the question, can enemies become friends? She is currently writing another novel that is a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale set in 1980s Seattle. Peg is also the founder of Prelaw Guru, a law school application consulting company, and the author of The No B.S. Guides for prelaw students.