July is over, and with it my latest attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo. Technically, I didn’t win. In fact, I only got about a quarter of the way through my original goal of 20,000 words. It would be so easy to be discouraged by that, particularly as I know I can write more. Or rather, I know that in a similar amount of time, I have written far more than I did just now. So, yes, by that metric, this last month wasn’t a particularly resounding success.
However! There’s another metric. Specifically, the metric of how much I wrote this month compared to the last few months. And by that measure, this month was a smashing win. I averaged over 100 words a day. I made progress on mapping out a story I’ve been wrestling with (in one form or another) since last November. I knocked a bit of rust out of my writing gears. And for now, I’m happy to count that as a step forward.
Keep an eye out for some excerpts in the next week or so!
I didn’t used to get excited about writing more than one day in a row. But oh, how the might have fallen. Because I am excited that I’ve written at least a little bit for two days running, and that’s two more days in a row than I’ve done in longer than I’d care to think about. Thank God for sisters: they make awesome motivational speakers/writing coaches/literary border collies.
Let it here be recorded that sisters are dangerous. Sisters, you see, talk you into things like Camp NaNoWriMo. Which, come to think of it, is just another way of saying that sisters are the sort of people who keep you responsible.
In other words, one of my own dear sisters convinced me to try my hand at Camp NaNo again this year. On the one hand, I didn’t need that much convincing. But even if I had been disinclined to try for it again, that would have required me to say no to the challenge put forth to me in a letter written in invisible ink. And you just don’t say no to something like that.
Check back in next time to see just how much this endeavor is kicking my butt! Ha!
First, the bad news. My final wordcount for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019 came in at about 3000 words… so, nowhere near my ambitious goal of 75,000. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed, in myself if nothing else, since I know I can write at that pace, I just didn’t this month. However! If that’s it for the bad news (and it is!) I don’t have much to complain about.
As for the good news, there’s a couple pieces! First, my final wordcount came in at about 3000 words, I wrote almost every day, and I kept working on it all month long. Compared to my other attempts at Camp NaNoWriMo, that’s a resounding victory, and it’s absolutely a step in the right direction. The second has to do with the fact that I may have found another way to help motivate myself. It’s come to my attention that I’m actually a fairly competitive person. Gasp. That being said, when I find ways to harness that competitiveness, things tend to go pretty well. To that end, I’ve made a deal with my dad that for every mile he rides his bike during the month of August, I’ll write a hundred words. As my father is an avid bicyclist, the next thirty one days could prove very interesting. Check back in next Wednesday to see how I’ve fared the first week!
It’s so nice to feel like the bones of a story are decently solid. Most of what I’ve been doing so far this month is “editing”/fleshing out some sections that I’d already done some scribblings on, and the result has been very encouraging, if still moving slower than I’d like it to be, ideally. I’m proud of a couple turns of phrase in particular, actually, so by way of showing off, I’m including a quick excerpt below. Those of you who have been following me for a while might recognize this as very similar to the beginning of The Verdant Wildlife, which is because I’m in the process of completely reworking it so that it can take its place as the first story in the upcoming novel.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the promised snippet.
Our client had arranged to meet up with us at a small mining outpost near the drone’s last known coordinates and had offered to transport us out there on one of her company’s atmo-sprinters. It was a welcome gesture that cut our travel time down to a fraction of what it would have been otherwise. I spent the half-hour ride alternately teasing my brother and staring out the window as semi-developed plains gave way to wild cliffs and canyons.
Even before the sprinter’s pilot started edging the craft down between a couple of jagged cliffs, there was little doubt in my mind that our destination was less a spur of civilization than a small collection of humans trying to do without it. In Coville, I’d gotten the impression that the occasional showdown at high noon was a distinct possibility. Looking down at the approaching outpost, I would have been more surprised to find that such confrontations didn’t happen there with some regularity.
I leaned towards my brother. “I thought you said we weren’t going to get shot at. This looks like the sort of place that gets us shot at.”
“What, the mining camp?” He looked out his own window. “Good thing we won’t be spending much time there.”
I scowled. Now that our hike was more imminent, I found myself less excited about the prospect of tramping around the wilds of a new planet than I had been the day before. And given that I hadn’t been all that enthusiastic about it in the first place, that was saying something.
Tanner winked at me. “It’ll be fun. Like those trips we took growing up.”
I grunted, non-committal. “I hadn’t spent the last eight months crossing the galaxy when we hiked the Sierras.”
“We won’t be moving too fast. There’s a ton of nooks and crannies out here, and that drone could have crashed in any of them. You’ll be fine.” The look on his face was the same one he’d worn when he’d suckered me into exploring an old “haunted” warehouse with him. At night. About three weeks after I’d pranked him in front of all his buddies. But bringing that up wasn’t going to do me any good.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You just managed to make me feel better and worse at the same time.”
He winked. “I aim to please.”
Lucky for him and despite my complaining, I did still enjoy a good hike, if not under these exact circumstances. Not that I’d be caught dead admitting that to him just now.
Not much to report, so far, save that I am definitely running behind for Camp, but I’m optimistic! Reaching my 75K word goal will be a… challenge. But I like a good challenge– and I have a couple of days coming up that I plan to use for writing and pretty much nothing else. Check back next week to see how it goes!
In the meantime, anyone else doing Camp this July? How are your projects doing? How are you doing?
It’s July, also known in some circles as one of two Camp NaNoWriMo events. Personally, I’ve always had great success in November, with all its official 30-days-50,000-words madness, but every time I’ve attempted to do a smaller project (or at least one with less ambitious goals) for one of the Camps, I forget that I’m participating half a week in and don’t make much progress at all. So this month, I’m trying something different.
Based on the theory that it doesn’t go well for me because it’s too small a goal, I went the other way and am going to attempt 75,000 words in the month of July. On Tanner and Miranda, of course.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Best case scenario? I finally finish that draft I’ve been poking with a stick since last November!