CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021 – The Results

good morning, cyberspace!

The end of April is nigh upon us, and I have–once again–gone the whole month without any sort of update on the going’s on of Camp NaNoWriMo. I would love to say that this is because I have been writing myself into oblivion, diving deep into the heart of the stories which I so proudly claimed I’d be working on this month until my well of creativity simply burst with all the excitement and inspiration of which drafting a goblin book should produce.

This, however, would be a lie. Like many people, I undergo ruts of creative dryness. It’s something I try very hard to push through, and, in doing so, usually tend to scrape myself so dry that the time needed to recover thus inflates dramatically. And I think, my dear peasants, that this is what happened last month.

And potentially the first four months of 2021. Lololololol.

It’s been a slow period for my writing so far. According to my writing tracker, I’ve written 40,336 words this whole year–which, looking at as one complete sum, doesn’t seem like a grand total one should turn their nose at. But behind those words have been truly painful moments of confusion, wondering if I’m really cut out for this whole thing, and swatting at the little voices inside of my head which tell me I should simply give up, shave my head bald, and become a goat herder in northern Italy.

(for reference: my google search history now has “does italy have goat herders” plastered to it, and I’m pretty sure my personal FBI agent is wondering if I’m okay. [answer: no, bob. i am not okay.])

But I find that no matter how many creative ruts I may go through–no matter how many times I may need to step away from the world and reevaluate what’s important in my life–it seems that I always come back to the same conclusion: this is what I want to be doing. Despite how many words I write in a month. Despite how many times I fall short. Despite how many experiments and events and ideas fall through the cracks, I am a writer, and it’s pushing through those dark days which prove it. Because if I didn’t love writing, if this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing with my life, if this was just some passing phase for me, I wouldn’t keep coming back to it. I would have given up by now. I would simply disappear in a cloud of smoke and maniacal laughter and become a used car salesman.

And the fact that this has not yet happened is a testament to the fact that this–no matter how badly I failed Camp NaNoWrimo–is where I’m supposed to be.

And so, my friends, it is with mild shame and more than a few “I should have seen this coming”s that I tell you last month did not go accordingly to plan. And I realize that I technically had two plans for how April should have gone, but alas. Neither of these happened.

…at all.

Oh, I tried to follow the plan, of course. I think we can agree that I always try. But like with many of my grand ideas, things happen, Life hits, and suddenly I’m swept off my feet down a swiftly moving river towards who even knows where, only to end up deposited right back at square one three weeks later.

And this is where I am today.

But I can’t say as though I’m horribly disappointed with my progress this past month. Sure, it isn’t anywhere near the 30k I had initially planned on, but I can’t say that the whole month was a total waste. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that I’m pleased with the direction this Camp took, because it has led me to things far greater than a heavy word count ever could.

>>> <<<

CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021 – THE RESULTS

i. the girl and the goblin king

As of the moment I’m writing this (April 26th, 11:06 AM, for anyone weird enough to wonder that), my current word count for Apirl is 12,994 words. This puts me 17,006 words away from my 30k goal, which is lowkey disappointing, not gonna lie. At this point, I would have to write about 4.2k every single day till the end of camp to catch up. And since I’ve just started to gently rekindle the spark of my creativity, I’m not even considering trying this. In life, there are some things we must simply give up on.

Today, I’m choosing to give up on Camp NaNoWriMo.

bill murray comedy GIF

But not completely! I may not be able to hit my first goal of 30k, but 15k is looking preeeeeetty charming right about now. And since–as anyone who read my last post will know–I started rewriting this story right at the end of March, having 15k down during the first month of drafting is not something to sneeze at. (actually, please don’t sneeze at anything in today’s day and age.)

So my new, unofficial goal since it’s too late to change my goal on the website for Camp NaNoWriMo is 15,000 words towards Project Goblin. I only have to write 2,006 words in four days in order to hit it, and if I somehow manage to mess this up before May, you have my permission to slap me in the face with a fish.

A rotting fish, specifically, as I find those are most suitable for proving a point.

ii. project sunset

i did absolutely nothing towards this goal for the entire month of April, and I have no shame since I am not quite ready to jump back into this story quite yet

The Girl and The Goblin King decided to take up all of my story brainpower this month, and while I’m disappointed that I couldn’t reenter the world of Shelby and Ed as quickly as I’d have liked, I’m extremely excited for the twists which TGaTGK has taken, and look forward to reading through my trash draft of Project Sunset in the future.

Also read as: ASDFGHJKL THIS MONTH WAS A MESS LOL

in conclusion…

…April’s Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t the 30-day creativity-filled writing retreat which I had planned on it being. Instead, it was a bumpy, messy, “holy guacamole, what’s happening” kind of time, and while I’m extraordinarily thankful for all that it has taught me and all the many things I’ve discovered along the way, I can’t shake the slight disappointment within me that says I should have–could have–done better.

And maybe you’re a bit like me. Maybe your April wasn’t quite what you’d expected, either. Maybe your plans were stacked so high that the weight of them crashing down nearly crushed you. But the truth is, if given the chance, I wouldn’t go back and change anything about the past month. Yes, it was chaotic. Yes, it was messy. Yes, I made wrong decisions and mistakes and should have chosen different paths than what I did at the time. But the fact remains that all those left turns and obstacles brought me to this moment right here, where I can honestly look you in the webcam eye and say, “I wrote 13,000 words this month. I have 13,000 more words in my pockets than I did 26 days ago, and I am proud of those words, because I know I poured every bit of my heart and soul into them.” And while it isn’t 30k, it is 7 chapters of a novel which I’m excited to be writing. It is 13k that I didn’t write just because, but which I wrote with intention and passion.

So could I have done better? Maybe. But I know for a fact that what I did do is work that I’m proud of, and my wish is that, at the end of this crazy month, you can look at the work you’ve done–however big or small that may be–and say the same.

talk to me, peasants!

to all the ones who participated in NaNoWrimo: how did your month go? were you able to write all of the words, or did you, like me, learn valuable life lessons instead? XD

to those who didn’t participate in NaNo: what sorts of adventures–or non-adventures–did you get up to during the month of April? have you been reading good books? journeying to new places? discovering new hobbies?

Let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below, and until next time…

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

12 thoughts on “CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021 – The Results

  1. GIRL. I needed to read this whole first section of this wonderful post. I keep falling into that writers existential crisis trap too–second guessing EVERYTHING I do, wondering if I’m wasting my time, definitely considering moving to Antarctica and raising penguins, yadda yadda. But seeing you say that if writing wasn’t for you that you WOULDN’T KEEP COMING BACK was like a punch of love and sense into my brain. Because YES. YOU’RE SO RIGHT. Stories is one of THE most important things on this earth to me, and it’s really not even about all the successes we make. Because just WRITING is a success. Just living and breathing the beautiful power of STORIES. God put this passion in us for a REASON, and I firmly believe there are no wasted words. Every single thing we do toward our writing is progress.

    So just…THANK YOU! Thank you for this reminder. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. <333

    AND KENZIE. YOU'VE WRITTEN 13K WORDS!!! That is a LOT, girl! Especially in the midst of such a chaotic month! I'm so sorry this month has been so wild, but the fact that you STILL made time for your story is 100000% something to celebrate and be proud of! I'm certainly proud of you!!!

    I do hope this last stretch of getting those final 2k words in goes WONDERFULLY! YOU CAN DO THIS!!! *throws confetti and sends motivational cookies*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness!!! I’m so so sorry that you’re struggling with these same thoughts–since I know how crippling and hurtful they can be–but MEEP. IT IS ALSO SO NICE TO KNOW I’M NOT ALONE. Sometimes it’s hard to trust that I’m walking the path that God wants me to write, but I have to believe that He is sovereign and, no matter what, will guide us to the places He wishes for us to go!!! And THIS > “I firmly believe there are no wasted words. Every single thing we do toward our writing is progress.” < CAN I JUST SAY HOW MUCH I ADORE THIS. You are so so right. No words written are wasted, even if they're eventually scrapped for something better. Every time we put pen to page–or…?? fingers to keyboard???–we grow stronger as writers, and THAT is an encouragement…!

      Oh my GOODNESS. You are literally the sweetest human in the whole entire world, I cannot. (are we sure you're even human? you're like a magical fairy, tbh.) Just….thank you, Christine. Your encouraging words always mean the world to me, and I honestly don't know what I'd do without you in my life. <333 I absolutely adore you!

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  2. I’m sorry you had a hard time with writing during Camp! But congrats on the words that you did write–13k/15k is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, especially if every single one of those words was hard-won!

    But also, if you do decide to become a goat-herder in Italy…please take me with you. I love goats. And Italy.

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    • Thank you so much!! And OOF, yeah. The more I think about it, the more pleased I am with the 13k that I did write! (especially since I’ve written more this month than any of the other months this year!) But it’s still difficult not to look at my 30k goal and feel a tiny smidgen of regret, even if I DO know that I was so much better off in the long run by not pushing myself to the breaking point. XD

      Oh my goodness, you’ve got it! XD I love goats and Italy, too, so like…this seems like the perfect fall-back plan. XD

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  3. 13k is nothing to be ashamed of! Sometimes the muse just comes and goes (where, no one knows). I’ve been working on one chapter for err… months now.

    April for me consisted of terrorizing my kitten, attending prom, realizing that I hadn’t posted a blog post in a month, and getting another story idea.

    I didn’t do NaNo, but I’m thinking about doing it in the summer or in November. Maybe.

    Wish you all the luck and inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you so much! It UGH you are so right. 😅 That darn muse is constantly moving. I feel like we need to set a trap and just hold him hostage for a while… XD

      OH MY GOODNESS YOU HAVE A KITTEN?!?!?!?! That is SO cute!!! (Also oooh! Congratulations on the new story idea and prom! Those sound like so much fun… [also blog posts are overrated, obviously. *sweats nervously at my lack of posting lately*])

      Summer is the perfect time to NaNo! November is one of my favorite times to participate, but for me, it’s one of the WORST times to actually try and write 50k. Which is unfortunate because I love NaNo. XD If you do happen to participate in July’s camp, let me know! I’m considering participating myself, and I’d love some company if/when I do decide to!

      Meep! You as well!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 13,000 words!!!! That’s AMAZING!!!!! Nicely done, you!!!! :)

    Like you, I often wrestle with that second-guessing little voice in the back of my head that says all sorts of ridiculous and crazy things. (Being a penguin herder in Antarctica sounds more and more attractive lately… maybe I will go join Christine down there should she take the plunge). :) :) April didn’t go so well for me, either. I didn’t plan anything for Camp, but I did have PLANS. Plans which went awry almost instantaneously with birthday celebrations (2 this month), holiday, homeschool group, a sudden and unexpected need to cram 8 weeks of school into 5! (We are managing… by the skin of our fingernails… barely… but it has meant longer school hours!), everyone in my family getting a cold (except me… lucky me), and then a low-key migraine that attacked my head and lasted for an entire week. Ughhhh.

    But… the forced break was not BAD, either. I’m feeling a little behind on my editing progress… especially since we have a LOT going on over the next two months that will probably leave me without nearly as much time to write as I would like. Buuut… I also do better under pressure sometimes… especially when that pressure isn’t just my own deadline in my own head. So we shall see.

    Congrats on all the words you wrote this month! And thanks for writing this post and letting us commiserate with you and cheer you on. You often put into words so many of the things I (and other authors, as evidenced by the other commenters) often feel… YOU ARE NOT ALONE! WE SHALL PRESS ON TOGETHER!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my word, Jenelle, this whole entire comment means so so much to me…. That little voice is so annoying, especially when I know it’s lying, but it still manages to make me believe it.

      And OOF!!! Colds and longer school hours do NOT mix well together… I’m absolutely praying for you guys, and I hope everything calms down soon!!! And also I hope that pesky migraine leaves you alone. Those things are NOT fun, and I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that… :((

      I also understand what you mean about working harder under pressure, especially from outside forces!!! For me, when my deadlines are simply in my head and not placed on me from someone else, it’s harder for me to meet my goals, because I don’t really care all that much if I disappoint myself.  But disappointing someone ELSE by not meeting my deadlines….that’s when things truly start to kick in, and I find myself working harder.

      Meep! Thank you so so much! And OKAY BUT THAT IS LITERALLY SUCH A SWEET COMPLIMENT. You have no clue how much it means to me to hear that my words resonate with others!! That’s kind of my goal with this little blog, and to know that I’m doing that makes me SO happy. 💛

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  5. Hey! I have been silently reading though this Camp NaNoWriMo journey since I was so behind it all, but I thought I should comment on the last post about it. I enjoyed every single post, each one encouraging and entertaining. I’m so happy that you found the moment where the story just falls into place. I’m glad you’re happy with your wordcount and that you are okay with plans falling through. Just… I kinda of the words I wanted to say, but your posts about writing mean more to me than you will ever know. As someone who struggling so much writing despite loving it with all of my soul right now, it’s nice to hear I’m not alone. Writing isn’t about success or perfection, but something so much more. It’s hope, it’s love, it’s lessons, it’s art, and so many other things. It’s truly a blessing to be in this writing space and I love seeing a glimpse of yours along my own journey. <3 <3 <3

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