I used to love writing. Scratch that – I still love writing. But a lot like my love of reading, it’s rather fallen to the wayside in recent years. I put this down to many factors; a large amount of writing during my studies, the large amount of writing in my work, and the allure of a good boxset. But it’s been on my mind for a little while, and I’ve been struggling to get back into writing despite my best efforts.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and an email from NaNoWriMo drops into my inbox. And just like that, I realise that’s the motivation I need to get back into writing, and I click through to sign up for this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo.
For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, celebrated each year in November. The basic aim is to spend the month writing a novel, reaching a target word count of 50,000 words (that’s 1667 words a day).
Camp NaNoWriMo was created in 2011 and takes place each April and July. Unlike NaNoWriMo, there isn’t a set target word count, and you’re encouraged to take part even if you’re not writing a traditional fictional novel (when Script Frenzy came to an end, it was incorporated into Camp NaNoWriMo). Instead, those taking part set their own goal.
I used to take part in NaNoWriMo every year when I was younger (and the scriptwriting spin-off, Script Frenzy, during it’s short-lived run), and have many memories of late nights trying to reach my daily word count. I can’t say that anything I wrote was actually any good, and none of it has ever been shared with anyone else, but just the act of writing something for myself was enough. As I grew older, it became easier and easier to come up with excuses to not do it – mainly that I was too busy, even though the previous years when I’d taken part I hadn’t been less busy – writing time was squeezed in between classes, homework and other after school activities. But now I find myself out of work and not able to go outside, I don’t have that excuse anymore. Plus, it’s a great way to get back into writing again – I work better when I have a bit of outside accountability!
I have decided to keep the target word count of 50,000 words (although strongly suspect that I will regret this at some point). I ummed and ahhed for a long time about what I was going to write, originally wanting to stick to tradition and hoping that some fictional inspiration would hit me. But it the back of my mind, I kept thinking ‘Well, I could just write for my blog, right?’ And so that’s what I’ve decided to do! I’m going to be spending the month writing approximately 30 or so posts for this blog right here – and you’re currently reading the first one!
Don’t worry, I’m not going to be inundating you with content through the month – one of the biggest mottos of NaNoWriMo is ‘Don’t Edit, Just Write’, so they’re all likely going to need a bit of work at the end of the month. Plus, I’m probably going to end up writing things that I decide not to share! I’m also hoping to do a bit of an overhaul of the website, so that will probably take precedence over publishing too much for the moment. In the meantime, if you want to follow my progress, I will probably be writing updates over on my Twitter and Instagram.
Do let me know in the comments if you have ever taken part in NaNoWriMo or if you’ll be taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this month! I’d love to hear about your experiences and what you’re writing – just share in the comments below!