Tuesday, June 20, 2017

7 Things That Saved My Life During Camp NaNoWriMo

Let's skip the formalities.  Yes, I know it took me ages to post, but you can't really schedule existential crises and unexpected university paperwork and sudden urges to binge watch Pride and Prejudice. (The 1995 version obvs...) But let's cut to the chase...

Last summer I successfully managed to complete Camp NaNoWriMo with a full first draft of approximately 54K words.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life. (Don't judge. Or do. Just don't tell me.)  However, that was also the summer I was staying with my Grandmother in the PNW and had more than enough free time, a lovely library, park, and a few coffee shops within shaded walking distance, and a proud Nana cheering me on.  This summer will be... different to say the least.  I will be at home in AZ surrounded by siblings, working a part-time job, and to put it simply, constantly distracted by important nothings. I could go on as to why this is going to be a challenge, but as I have not the wit to do so in an entertaining manner, I will spare you the prolonged boredom.  Instead, I will share with you some of the incredible resources and tips that saved my life in July of 2016, and that will hopefully be reliable once more this July.
The thing I wrote...
1) Have a getaway: or two, or three... Mine were the neighbourhood Starbucks, the park, and the library.  All within walking distance.  Sometimes I would take my writing with me, (yay free Starbucks wifi) but more often than not, I would just bring a notebook for any ideas and just enjoy doing nothing for an hour or so per day.  If you're super busy or live in the scorching Southwestern heat this might be challenging or impossible, but there are other ways to improvise. I think mine will be my indoor, air-conditioned gym this year. Which leads me too...
2) Get some exercise:  Cliche, I know, but it helps.  Last summer mine was morning runs and pull-ups at the park jungle gym.  This summer, the gym.  If you don't have a gym membership or you don't dig hardcore workouts (tell me about it fam) maybe try doing some yoga or some other workout in your living room. One of my favourite recent resources that I learned about on Kate's blog is this youtube channel called Fightmaster Yoga.  All of their lessons are free, easy to follow, and they keep their channel updated fairly often.

3) Coffee or Tea: Maybe both. Every day.  BTW, did I mention coffee?
4) Pinterest: You know you need a Pinterest board for the aesthetic and themes of your story.  Don't tell yourself otherwise.  Yes, there is a danger of procrastination, but I can't tell you how much character and plot inspiration I got from putting together my board for The Misfit Club.
5) Set timers: Then race them.  It's fun to set a word goal of 500 words in 20 minutes (that's just an example, some people write slower, some people write faster) and then try beating it. An hour later you've probably met more than half of your daily word count!

6) Support and enjoy other people's art: If you are currently working for hours a day, pouring your hopefully figurative blood and possibly literal sweat and tears into a unique piece of art, you deserve to consume other people's art.  And on the plus side, you'll appreciate it more.  When I was visiting my Grandmother we went to see a theatre performance probably once a week.  Let me just say, there's nothing like Shakespeare in the park to make you inspired to write a masterpiece.  If you live in the middle of nowhere like moi you might have to improvise.  Read a novel, watch Hamlet on Youtube, or flip through a book of art by someone you've never heard of.
7) Make ALLL the playlists:  I prepared for Camp NaNoWriMo by making a playlist for each of my four main characters, and as I've been editing my Camp NaNo novel this year, I've been relistening and adding more songs.  If you like to have a writing soundtrack it can be really helpful to have something that matches the character you're writing for. I still listen to some of the soundtracks for fun.  Dante's is probably one of my favourites.

I hope this post helped you prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo, and if you have any tips that you'd be willing to share, please do!  Also, if any of you are looking for a cabin to join this year, let me know in the comments below and leave your Camp NaNo username so I can send you a cabin invite.

lots of love,

xoxo Lizzy
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