NaNo Camp, Oh NaNo Camp.
About as much as I likewise hate thee.
Yep, that’s right. I have a Love/Hate relationship with NaNo Camp. That’s because it’s a self-induced period of manic bossy-hood. And we all know how I feel about bossy-hood, particularly when it’s directed AT me and FROM me.
Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Not even Baby.
But the bossy-hood produces results. Most of the time, I mean.
Where “results” means I add a few more words than I had before starting at all.
So there’s this thing.
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, and takes place every November. I typically fail at achieving its primary goal — 50k words in 30 days — but I always go back for more, and I get better over time. Some might not think that’s good enough — that maybe I want a gold star for just showing up — that I should get a participation trophy.
You know what?
I do get a fkn gold star, you guys. And I do win a participation trophy. Because it hurts no one and only involves myself. Much like with my 2-year degree that took me ten years to attain, or my 30-day AtoZ Challenge that I didn’t finish until two months later, I’m not worried about other people.
I’m not competing against others.
I’m competing against myself.
My daughter is in her first year of swim team.
She goes to practice Monday through Friday, and has competitive swim meets twice a week. This summer the n00bs are learning certain strokes, correct form, and general rules of swim meets and judging. Abbie-kins is not even aware that her times are compared to other swimmers. She doesn’t realize that how she performs during races impacts how well her team places against other teams.
What she knows is this:
- Her time for each event improves with each race — like, dramatically.
- She has cut over ten seconds off her freestyle. That is HUGE, you guys.
- She is perfecting the backstroke, and usually comes in first in her heat.
- She now knows how to do the breaststroke properly. It’s hard for her because of her long legs, but she loves it.
- Oh, and she has also learned that the 50m freestyle is NOT her event. Like, AT ALL.
She isn’t competing against other swimmers.
She is competing against herself.
There are times when it pays to worry about others.
During competitions that ultimately MATTER in the long run, like when scholarships are at stake, or when jobs count on it, and serious deadlines are imminent.
In between those worldly pursuits, it’s best to concentrate not on how OTHERS are performing, but on how we as individuals are improving to reach our peaks.
So yeah. I’m doing NaNo Camp.
NaNo Camp is not as stringent as NaNo ACTUAL. I don’t have to hit 50k to “win”. I can set my own goal. And I don’t have to start a new project. I can pull my incomplete novel out from under my desk, dust it off, and add some more words.
Because I’m not doing it for anyone but myself.
At the beginning of this year I chose the word “Completion” to represent 2015. And I have completed some things. Other things I have left incomplete. My work-in-progress was one of them. I’d hoped to finish it by, well… today, actually.
Instead of beating myself up about it and further avoiding the project, I’m giving it another go. I probably won’t finish it. I will probably be a NaNo-Rebel and work on it some more during NaNoWriMo this November. And that’s okay.
Forward motion means standing back up. Taking one more step. Going just a bit further. Reaching toward the next milestone, even if it’s only cutting a second off my time or adding one more word.
If you want to buddy up with me at NaNo Camp, my username is andrejia. I’ll save you a seat by the fire, but you’ll have to bring your own blanket.
- Are you participating in NaNo Camp?
- Do you have plans for NaNoWriMo this November?
- What’s your daily word count goal? For now mine is 1000. But I’ll take 500.