Reflections on Day 1 of Camp Nanowrimo

in writing •  last year 

Camp Nanowrimo Day 1

Camp Nanowrimo started yesterday, July 1st (Note: I intended to have this published yesterday July 2nd but couldn't because of the outage). The project I'm writing is one I've been working on for many years. Yes, purist will know you're supposed to start with a brand new idea. But this story needs to be finished, so if it takes a camp in July to do it then I'm doing it.

I actually worked on this story in Nanowrimo 2012. I "won" that year because I had over 50,000 words. But towards the end, I basically vomited plot onto the screen in order to meet the word count. The story had been told, but not completely written.

So that's where I began yesterday:

With the first scene that I described but hadn't written.

The reality

But that's actually not true. I spent much of Saturday and part of yesterday re-reading what I had written.

The good news is I'm still in love with this story. I think I have some really good stuff in there. But there's also a lot of holes.

And those holes held most of my attention on the first day of camp. When I should have been writing, I spent an hour trying to pick a name for a creature. Or a half-hour sketching a picture of the creature. And despite my best efforts it always looked like a vampire bat even though it doesn't fly, is huge, and a monster carnivore.


So I let myself get distracted. Again.

This is why the story has taken me so long to complete. I give into the fantasy that I need to do the research, refine the timeline, name characters or places...all necessary but pointless if there is no story to put them in.

Technology also pulls me away from writing. The existing story, such as it is, I wrote in Word. Now I use Scrivener for nearly everything I write. Naturally I needed to move the material into Scrivener right?

I intended to have that done before the event officially started but I've been so busy I didn't start - until it was time to write.

My promise to myself

If you know my story at all, you know I write professionally for clients. Mostly it's websites, blogs, white papers and the like.

I decided when I joined Steemit, that it was time for me to focus on my writing. Getting at least one of my book projects done and published this year - the earlier the better.

So I had a tough love conversation with myself around 11:10 pm last night. I hadn't yet written a word of the story yet. I couldn't let myself down by not writing anything that first day.

Finally, around 11:15 pm I started writing it. The TV was on, my daughter was in the room and wanted to talk but I shushed her and shut the TV out of my head.

It took some time but I finally made it into the scene (mentally and emotionally) and wrote just over 400 words. At 11:56 I stopped and typed in my word count into the camp website.

I'd done it. I kept my promise and started working towards completing the project. I didn't finish the whole scene yet but today was a new day. I'll write up my summary for that tomorrow.

Amazing daughter

My amazing daughter wrote 2126 words yesterday. She's off to a great start and an inspiration to me. I'd share how brilliant, creative, and skilled she is as a writer but that all makes her blush.

This week on vacation I'm getting her set up on Steemit so you can soon see for yourself anyway.

Finally finishing

To date, my own accountability methods haven't been working. So I'll be sharing my journey to finish this story here on Steemit. Even if no one ever reads the posts, the public declaration is enough to keep me working at it.

Have you ever written a book? Did you publish and do you have advice to share for me and others looking to do the same?

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