Tag Archives: Camp NaNo

Slow Your Roll

In the midst of challenges, pushing yourself and reaching for ambitious goals way above what you’d set for yourself, there’s a need to slow down and take things easy. That need is often overlooked.

I’m not unique. I’m not the first person constantly looking for challenges to round out my writing and make it better, and I doubt I’ll be the last. Usually, my option, and my desire, is to go above and beyond, that when I decide to relax, to go slower and pick up an easier prompt, it feels like cheating. Or I simply feel bad for going easy on myself instead of using all of my ability.

But sometimes, you need to slow down and be good to yourself. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not going to be work.

The inspiration from this comes from Camp NaNoWriMo being around the corner. My choice for next month is to pick up a mild story, something short. I love writing, but being able to sink into it at my own pace instead of gunning for fast and furious feels good. To enjoy what I’m writing and mold it how I feel fit.

Like many of my other posts– though probably not enough– I stress that it’s good to slow down, to take a break. You’re allowed. It doesn’t always have to be push and shove and ambitious reaches for the sky. Breathe and let your writing flow, or take the day off.

I realized a little too late that most of the motivational things I’ll see aren’t very good at reminding you that some days, you’re not going to have the push. You won’t be able to get behind the ball you’d been rolling and keep it going. Some days, that ball is going to feel like a ton and others it’ll feel like a feather.

And consciously choosing to make sure the ball is light is perfectly fine. You know yourself best. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you should be doing more, because they don’t know what your disposition is like. They’re like Jon Snow in that they know nothing!

Nothing is saying you won’t crank out quality work if you go with something simpler, either. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking to be good.

If you want to write a short story about vampires, go for it, find what works, and what you like best, and run. Just because it’s been done by other writers– and made worse by some…– doesn’t mean you can’t try it yourself.

The point of Camp NaNoWriMo, and any writing in general, is to enjoy it. Whether that means pushing your limits or kicking back is all you.

-The Novice Wordsmith

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Mish Mash Part Two

That’s all today is. I’m not feeling very wisdomous today so it’s just going to be a bit of everything.

I had a goal for the month going, based on a prompt list I made back in February. These are just all sorts of different ideas I’ve come up with and been given in the months, along with novel goals and the like, to go back to on days where I want something to do. Altogether, typically the number is around 45-40. I started at 30, in Feb/March. But it keeps growing, For every one that I take off, two more get put on.

So this month was 15. Last month there was none because of Camp, and the month before was 15. I’m sitting at 45 today. And after my writing frenzy, I’m just feeling like going a little slower. So I’ve made up to 10 so far… And there are three days left in the month. And I’ve spent a few hours so far just playing in Scrivener instead.

Scrivener, by the way, is very nice. It’s huge, but it’s nice. I geeked out to the max when I got it, I was so excited. There is a way to transfer things over to Scriv, but I’ve been doing it manually. It is a heavy program, like I said; every time you create something new, it’s a project. It’s not RTF, it’s a scriv file, that gets its own folder. So it’s not like notepad or Roughdraft where you can just open it up and start writing. No, this is all about commitment. Not bad, but can tend to be a little intimidating.

That said, there are still a lot of good features to it that are definitely worth the money and the effort. If you ever get flustered or don’t know what to do with something, don’t worry, the tutorial is HUGE. Absolutely enormous.

I wanted to get my novel is ship shape for Scriv, which, maybe I should have just transferred, but it’s going well. I still have yet to use all of the tools and really do it up– probably do that tomorrow or later tonight– but I’m working on a different project for now.

Even if you can’t afford Scrivener, and you want to give it a look-see, you can trial it for a month and see how you like it. If you’re a big project builder, I recommend it. If you’re someone who has lots of smaller projects, maybe not. Something that Friend pointed out was that since it’s not RTF it doesn’t have much flexibility on where you can read it, if you have a machine that doesn’t have Scriv. So that’s kind of turning me off, but I still like it, overall.

I’ve been slacking, but this month has been kind of a bad one. Next month will be better. And then it gets cooler and I don’t have to worry about sweating buckets when I take the trash out.

I think next month also starts the NaNo prep, officially. Know what you’re going to write yet? Because I sure the hell don’t. I thought about pantsing it, but I am so not a pantser by nature. It’s one of those, “challenge yourself” deals. Just in case I ever need to pants again, which I did a lot of in July. But I have a few ideas, one which came from a really strange but awesome dream, in fact. We’ll see which one wins.

I was looking at thought bubbles the other day, at a particularly hilarious post she made about Camp Nano, and there was one thing that stuck with me after that. We strive for 50k words during that month, but no, it’s not technically a novel. Novels are a lot bigger. They take more time and energy and thoughtfulness and care and all sorts of things, but, there are some that are within the 50-100k range. Young Adult novels, novellas especially. I imagine Ocean at the End of the Lane by Niel Gaiman was somewhere under the 100k mark, since the book was 180-190ish pages long.

At that note, though, I do want to write something that I can finish in a month. I want something I can see the end to without breaking it into a trilogy. Friend has made a few of those, but never went back to the stories to revise or edit anything. I want something I can manage in that month, and work on, that’s malleable and finish-able in under a year, even if the intention is not to publish it. I like finishing things. It feels good.

Lazy day abounds, though. I think I’ll finish my work in Scrivener and then work on the chores of the day. Tomorrow will have some kind of wisdom, I think.

-The Novice Wordsmith