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

14 comments:

  1. YAAAAAAS TO ALL OF THIS!! OMG SUCH GOOD ADVICE. <3 It's amazing how a change of scenery can really help get the creative juices flowing! Unfortunately I am within walking distance to nothing (except the woods *cries*) BUT I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WRITE IN A COFFEE SHOP. :'')

    PINTEREST IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. ABSOLUTELY. *high fives* AND PLAYLISTS!! YES!!! I make playlists for my characters too! ESPECIALLY CHARACTERS WITH LOTS OF BACKSTORY OMG. I grow to love them so much, I'm eventually like "wow this character needs a whole book to themselves" but y'knOW WHERE IS TIME I NEED SOME MORE OF IT PLZ.

    Also exercise definitely helps! YOGA. AND A SHOUTOUT TO MY SIS!! :D omg yoga videos on YouTube have CHANGED MY LIFE. :') So good. So good.

    I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH I COULD EAT IT. <33333333

    rock on,
    abbiee

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    1. ABBIEEEEEE!!! You are the sweetest thing evah! But woods though.... I would kill to live near the woods. <3 (Also, coffee shops are THE BOMB DOT COM for writing.

      And not gonna lie, girl, I get so much inspiration from your SUPER AESTHETIC pinterest feed. #GOALSFORDAYS And YES! I get so sad that I can't write all about every character's backstory because I <3 their crazy, broken, adorkable little selves and I want everyone else to too. YOU FEEL ME?! XD

      Also, I LOVE your sweet and enthusiastic comments so much, Abbiee, they ALWAYS MAKE MY DAY!

      xoxo
      Lizzy

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  2. This list will help me a lot! This is the first time I'll be doing Camp NaNoWriMo, do I need all the advice I can get. :)

    I really like the idea of creating playlists for the characters!

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    1. OMG, Ekaterina!!! I CANNOT WAIT TO DO CAMP NANO WITH YOU! <3 <3 <3 This is gonna be so much fun and you will crush it, I know it.

      Ohhh dude, if you make playlists can I get a sneak peak? Depending on the novel, I either have one for the entire novel, or one for each major character. It's an addictive hobby. Plz send hlp... XD

      xoxoxo
      Lizzy

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  3. LIIIIZZZYYYY!!! <3 SO good to see a new (and inspiring) post from you! First off, totally NOT judging, because I can so relate: for a writer, my goodness, completing a book gives you this unbelievable feeling of accomplishment (and being on top of the world) that nothing else can give you. SO GO YOU. And all the tips you gave are A+. I've never really tried just taking a break for an hour and going somewhere to chill with a notebook. I usually take my laptop with me, but sometimes I'm just like...AGGHH I NEED A BREAK. XD I am going to give this a try. And I'm so touched that you got something out of the yoga post!! Omg <3 so blessed.

    Happy summer, girl!

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    1. KATIE!!! Your comment made me do a squirmy-dance with happiness, you're so sweet! Ugg, right? Finishing a novel is one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world, IMO. <3 And dude, I get soooo many ideas from just procrastinating, it's weird. XD
      Thank YOU for that post. It was seriously something I needed, and it got me into doing yoga, which has been a real blessing in my life. So I'M the one who should be feeling blessed. #namaslay <3

      Happy summer to you too!!!

      xoxo
      Lizzy

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  4. These are great tips, and I love that most of them are things I already enjoy doing! Missed you on here, glad your back! Oh and finishing a book is a huge accomplishment. Congrats!

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    1. SKYE! You don't know how much it means to me to have you still commenting despite the fact that I am the world's most sporadic blogger. XD HEYYYYY GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE, AMIRIGHT?! *highfive*
      Thanks, it DOES feel so fulfilling <3

      xoxo
      Lizzy

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  5. Good luck with camp NaNo this summer. Despite distractions, I'm sure you're going to slay. I've never been able to be successful at NaNoWriMo, but these are great tips for if I ever give it another chance.

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    1. Hannah! Sorry about the late reply XP AWWWW, you're so sweet! You should definitely try Camp NaNo. I've never been able to do NaNoWriMo in November, but last summer Camp NaNo was perfect for me. Who knows...? *hugs*

      xoxo
      Lizzy

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  6. This is such good advice! I'm going to try Camp NaNo for the first time this year (eek) so this is really inspirational! 😁😁

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    1. EeEEP!!! Good luck, Maddy! Tell me how it goes, won't you?

      xoxo
      Lizzy

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  7. AHHHH. MY DESIGN!!πŸ˜‚ I totally just got this huge grin on my face when I saw that photo!!πŸ˜‚ THANK YOU. <3

    And also this post is all sorts of fabulousness! I loooove these tips. I like setting goals for myself particularly. Like I need to have such-and-such amount of words before a coffee break or something. (Speaking of which: coffee = crucial.) And playlists and storyboards on pinterest are definitely a must. They help me get into the mood/headspace for writing and it's so helpful!

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    1. Aasfdjkljasdfkl CAIT! YOur comments always make my day. (OMG I totally flaunt that mug too much. Idk literary mugs are like MY DOWNFALL)

      Thank youuuuu!!! YOu are serious goals though when it comes to setting writing goals, idk how you write so fast! XD Yassss coffee... It's my life force during Camp NaNo, no joke. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Cait!

      xoxo
      Lizzy

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Please share your thoughts with me! I LOVE to connect with my readers, and I promise I don't bite.

xoxo Lizzy

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