The first time I attempted writing a novel was for NaNoWriMo 2015. I was a winner that year – and I ended up finishing that manuscript, polishing it, and querying it. (That was my project that garnered a bunch of partial requests, a smattering of fulls, and one R&R. Even though it didn’t make it all the way to a contract, I’m still super proud of that story.)
The next two manuscript attempts had a much rougher time in the query trenches, and between discouragement and all my health issues that cropped up, I took a break from writing fiction for quite a while.
But there’s this story idea that won’t let go of me. I had about 20,000 words written, but never could quite nail down the entrance into this world. It keeps coming up in my dreams and daydreams, though; it feels like it needs to be written.
Last month, I was laying in a dim room having a back massage. (When you have chronic pain and your occupational therapist goes on summer vacation, you need to prioritize self-care!) I have no idea what caused my mind to wander back to this story, but all of a sudden I had it: a whole new character, a new timeline, and a great connection to the world I want to write. I came home super excited, pulled up the old files to see if anything I had written previously could be used or if I’d need to start completely from scratch — and that’s when I realized Camp Nano was about to begin.
Camp NaNoWriMo happens in April and July, and the main difference between the Camp events and the main NaNoWriMo in November is that for camp, each writer sets their own goal. You can make it about word count, you can make it about editing; you can start a fresh project or finish an existing one. And there’s no official “winner” badge for camp months.
Finding a consistent chunk of writing time in the middle of summer is tricky, but even if I don’t finish the first draft of this novel in July, I’ll still count my Camp as a success if I get back into the groove and joy of it again!
In other writing-adjacent news: I deleted my Twitter account in October of 2022, and the one thing I missed about it was the writing community over there. Authors, readers, agents, & publishers all shared and interacted so much! Even as a mostly-lurker, it was a lot of fun. So, I was an early adopter on Threads (although, really, aren’t we all? The numbers over the first five days have been completely bonkers) and I’m looking forward to making bookish connections. If you’re Threading, hit me up!