CAMP NANOWRIMO, 2021: Recaps & Revisions

good morning, cyberspace!

And just like that–it’s August. Somehow I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that we’re 8 months into 2021, but I don’t think Time really cares about that. This summer has been quite possibly the strangest I’ve had in a great long while, but you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had highs. I’ve had lows. I’ve made new friends and I’ve experienced new adventures. I’ve suffered injuries–both physical and emotional. I’ve watched fireworks. I wore a dress and wielded a sword and stood on the lawn of a castle. I’ve eaten ice cream for breakfast. I’ve risen to new levels and dropped off the face of the earth. And all the while, God has been working inside of me, showing me that He’s not even close to being finished with whatever this season of life is.

And I’m strangely okay with that.

This year more than ever I’ve begun to notice the subtle shifts in His plan for me. I’ve seen steps taken in the dark become more clear. I’ve watched His hand pulling strings to take me where I’m meant to go. And it’s beautiful. And it’s scary. And it’s exciting.

And I’m sitting here at the end of summer just basking in the fact that this crazy life I’ve been given really is something magical. I’m lucky, guys. I’m very, very lucky.

And also I failed NaNoWriMo miserably. So let’s talk about that, shall we? XD

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camp nanowrimo, 2021: recaps and revisions

The results are in, my dearest peasants. You might want to shield your eyes, though. The shame is exponential.

INITIAL WORD GOAL – 50,000
SECONDARY WORD GOAL – 33,000
FINAL WORD GOAL – 22,000
WORDS WRITTEN – 15,561
CHAPTERS COMPLETED – 8

Not gonna lie, when you stack the numbers up together, I feel pretty stinkin’ proud about my progress this month. Project Goblin has been a story YEARS in the making. I started it back in 2018, shelved it, and honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever get to a point where it could be written the way it deserved. It’s such a big, whimsical undertaking, and even now I’m not sure I’m writing it correctly. But I’m trying. And sometimes that’s all we can ask for.

The words I wrote this month aren’t anywhere close to perfect. But they’re mine, and they’re leading me one step closer to the story I see in my dreams. It feels monstrous at the moment–the editing process has already begun to stress me out–but it’s a journey that I’m willing and determined to take. I believe in this book. I believe in these characters. And I believe that this story is one that deserves to be written and read and loved. And for right now, that is more than enough to keep me moving forward.

I’ve also been continuously surprised by the turns this book has taken–both plot-wise and structurally. This story has taught me that it’s okay to let your process shift, that nothing is set in stone once written, and–most importantly in my humble opinion–that talking mimes most definitely wear socks. Never before have I had so much freedom with switching up major plot points midway through telling a story. Normally something as catastrophic as plopping entirely new cast members into the book halfway through would be cause for concern. Now, however, I’ve learned to just kinda shrug it off, test them out for a few scenes, and then scrap them later on if I change my mind.

…have I mentioned the fact that this first draft is a complete and utter mess? *sweats nervously*

Another interesting tidbit about this novel: the deadline (hard deadline, by the way. my soft deadline whipped by without a second thought.) for this book just so happened to be a couple days ago. I saw the notification pop up on my phone calendar, and I just kinda…swept it away. XD Because there wasn’t a way in this universe that I was going to meet it. BUT. I was much closer to hitting that goal than I’ve ever been to hitting ANY of my initial novel goals, and I feel pretty darn good about that, peasants. I may not have finished the book in July, but I’m getting closer to figuring out how to make reasonable deadlines for myself, and that is something I’m going to celebrate. (I’ve also taken this opportunity to make NEW deadlines, and EEP, that’s pretty exciting!)

Once the first draft of this book is officially done, however, I’m debating whether or not I should post some snippets. I know a lot of you expressed interest in meeting my talking mime named Martin, and honestly? I really really want you guys to meet him. Like immediately. XD But alas, we shall have to wait and see!

Overall, this month was a process of learning, conquering my writerly fears, living life to the fullest (both in and outside of the page), and taking the time needed to reprioritize my crazy, chaotic writerly existence. So while I may not have won Camp NaNoWriMo, I did win in SO many other aspects of my life, and for today, that’s enough.

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…and in OTHER news…

And in other, non-Camp related news, I have some very big things coming up within the next couple months!!!! And while I can’t tell you what they are exactly quite yet, I AM going to vaguely elude to them! Because I’m a monster. It’s fine.

THING NUMBER ONE – August 3rd!

This one is very exciting, because it’s not just a happy thing for ME, but it’s also a happy thing for YOU, and I’m so so so excited to reveal it to you all!! More information is coming in JUST TWO DAYS!!! So definitely swing back here on Tuesday to get all the juicy details on this most exhilarating surprise! (and if you think you know what this one is about, hit me up in the comments. I’m very eager to see if someone actually knows. XD)

THING NUMBER TWO – September

While I can’t give any specific dates for this one quite yet, I can tell you that I’m extremely excited to be a part of something very big, very exciting, and very very terrifying at the same time! I’ll be able to give more info soon, but for right now, all I can tell you is that this Thing is coming in September. *zips lips* THAT’S ALL I CAN SAY, PEASANTS. (don’t bribe me with cookies, I can’t stand that kind of pressure…)

THING NUMBER THREE — Unknown

This last thing happened literally just this last week, and I’m STILL reeling from the news of it. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to tell you all about it (hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about it?), but rest assured that as soon as I get the okay, YOU’RE GONNA KNOW ABOUT IT. XD (also, to cut into the suspense, I did NOT get a book deal, literary agent, or am otherwise anywhere near publishing a novel at this point in time. but this is still a really huge step for me in a direction I’ve been wanting to go for–oh, I don’t know….MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE–so I’m just. You know. Chilling. Completely chill-like. it’s fine.)

Did I mention that this month has been CRAZY? Because y’all. This month has been C R A Z Y. I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I feel to have this pocketful of secrets to share with you all soon. It honestly feels like all the loose strings in my life which I’ve been flapping around aimlessly for the past few months are finally–FINALLY–coming together. I truly hope that I’m able to do justice to the opportunities I’ve been blessed with, because if my intuition is telling me anything, it’s that this is going to be a year I’ll never forget.

talk to me, peasants!

And that’s everything for today, my friends! I’m honestly so excited for August. I’ve got so much that I want to do and write and live, and I have a peculiar feeling that this month is going to be magical. And obviously this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that this also happens to be my birth month. Nope. Not even a little bit. XD

But that’s quite enough about me! Let’s talk about you! For those of you who participated in NaNo: how did July go? were you able to meet all of your writing goals? what was your favorite writing memory from Camp NaNo?

And for my peeps who didn’t do Camp NaNo this time around: what kinds of adventures have you been undertaking this past month? do you have any end-of-summer book recs for Yours Truly? (I ended up reading quite a lot last month, and I’d really like to keep that momentum into August!) and–most importantly of all–do you have any guesses for my Super Secret Announcements coming soon???

Let’s talk about all of the things down in the comments below, and until next time….

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Camp NaNoWriMo 2021 – Week 3 (?): lol, idk what’s happening at this point

good morning, cyberspace, and welcome to Kenzie has a slight mental breakdown but it’s fine because Camp NaNoWriMo is supposed to be FUN!

This is my favorite time of year, guys. Absolutely. Literally nothing has been going wrong the past two weeks and I am THRIVING! *nervous laughter intensifies*

Ahah…. Okay, let’s just get to the stats, shall we?

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CAMP NANOWRIMO WEEKS 3 — THE STATS

CURRENT WORD COUNT — 10,467
REVISED WORD GOAL — 33,000
WORDS BEHIND ORIGINAL GOAL — 39,533
WORDS BEHIND SECONDARY GOAL— 22,533
WORDS PER DAY TO CATCH UP — 3,756
PROBABILITY OF THIS HAPPENING — 0.002%

Ahem… Well. As you can see from the above statistics … it is highly unlikely that I’m going to win Camp NaNoWriMo with these goals. XD Which, you know, is kinda disappointing, I’ll admit. But I’ve made peace with the disappointment and have decided that, while I could choose to beat myself up over this most unfortunate circumstance, I’d rather embrace it, instead! Why? Because throughout this crazy month of complete and utter chaos, I’ve also rediscovered three invaluable truths about my creative process–truths which have provided more creative momentum for me in the past week than I’ve had in the past six months.

What are these truths, you may be wondering? I’m so glad you asked. XD

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KENZIE’S FIELD GUIDE TO CHAOTIC CREATIVITY

RULE ONE — goals are good. adjusting your goals once they become problematic is better.

I did this once already this month when I dropped my initial goal of 50,000 words down to 33,000. Obviously at the time I thought this would be sufficient enough, but it has since come to my attention that this is STILL too big of a chunk for this month. So, in the vein of acknowledging this season of writing I’m in and being kind to myself, I’ve decided to drop my goal once again to a grand total of 22,000 words!

(there actually is a solid reason for 22,000 words, but that will probably become more apparent next month. so. just go with it for now. XD)

Am I sad that I won’t be hitting 50k by the end of July? Yes. But am I going to consider myself a failure for not meeting it? Nope! This is a very strange, malleable time of life for me, and I’m choosing to enjoy the process rather than burn myself out over deadlines.

RULE TWO — words don’t get written unless you write them

This one sounds so blatantly obvious, but like … it’s true. XD I tend to think that procrastinating my writing till the very last dregs of the day is going to be enough for me to hit my word goals of 1,000 to 2,000 words, but trust me when I say that this RARELY. EVER. WORKS.

Writing takes time. Time takes dedication. Dedication means prioritizing, making a plan and sticking to it, and finding a writing routine that WORKS.

For the longest time, I didn’t have a writing routine. I just let myself write whenever I found a spare moment, which meant there was never much structure to the way I did things. I’ve always prided myself on my “chaotic energy”, but something I’ve learned this month? You can still be chaotic within structure. In fact, it’s 100% more fun to do it that way, because you actually get things DONE.

Which is, you know, more than I can say for the way I did things a month ago. XD

RULE THREE — it’s okay for your process to change

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t really like change all that much. It scares me. Makes me queasy. I like things to be easily understood and quickly accomplished, and anything that requires blind trust and shaky footsteps into the unknown is certain to make me scream. But just as I’m learning that it’s okay to give yourself grace when you fail, I’m also learning that change is a good thing. Change is progress.

Change is what makes us grow.

And though it TERRIFIES me that my writing process–and even my writing style?–has begun to change, I know that there is growth within the change. I’m learning. I’m experimenting. I’m creating. And that’s okay.

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At the end of the day, this session of Camp NaNoWriMo has–once more–gone nothing according to plan. My commitment wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, I chose to spend time away from the screen in favor of reading good books and spending time out in the real world, and while I know that’s a solid part of being a writer and prioritization, it still hurts to know that once again I’ve managed to put all my grandiose plans to flame. But you know what, friends? There’s always a gleaming light at the end of the tunnel, a glimmer of hope that says “there’s another chance to try again, my dear”. And that gleaming light, that glimmer of hope … it’s called November. *manic laughter intensiFIES*

Evil Laugh GIF

also yes this blog post is completely all over the place because I have a RESCUE MISSION TO WRITE, FRIENDS. brb gotta go bust a scarecrow, wizard, enchanted enchantress, and not one, but TWO little girls out of a goblin king’s castle. it’s fine. everything is fine.

talk to me, peasants!

for all my fellow NaNo participants out there: how is YOUR camp going? are you crushing your goals like the good little goal crusher that you are, or is the writing coming a little bit slower than you would have liked? either way, you are doing FANTASTICALLY and I have cookies for you over on the side-table. (grab one on the way out, won’t you?)

for those NOT doing NaNo: how has your month been so far? reading any good books? going on any fun adventures?

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

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Camp NaNoWriMo 2021: Take Two (in which Kenzie writes a book)

good morning, cyberspace!

It’s no secret that I didn’t win April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Or the NaNoWriMo before that. Or, dare I say it, the NaNoWriMo before that. (actually, I might have won that one? It was during quarantine, and I’m pretty sure I won. but anyway, back to my obviously important point.) Lately it would seem as though my NaNoWriMo success rate has been anything less than resplendent, and it’s come to the point where I’m almost too scared to participate, because I know there is a very likely chance that I will not come through on the other side victorious.

However, despite the little voice in my head telling me I should think about simply skipping this year’s second session of Camp NaNoWriMo in pursuit of a simpler, less stressful time, I’ve decided to go full gung-ho and dive headfirst into a chaotic summer of epic disaster!

…aka, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month, peasants!

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CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021: TAKE TWO (in which Kenzie writes a book)

I know I should probably be dreading this, seeing as though my last few attempts at doing the NaNo were rather sad. But I’m honestly just so excited to dive back into this community. There was a time in my life when I was a constant lurker in the NaNo forums, when any conversation pertaining to me was nary without the mention of NaNoWriMo at least once. Or twice. Or three times. Usually within a single sentence. XD

And as I grow older and my NaNo track record decreases, I’ve begun to wonder if maybe I’m just getting too old for NaNoWriMo. Perhaps I’ve become one of those writers who’s too “seasoned” to participate in something as frivolous as a crazy writing month filled with intense word counts and an even more intense sleep schedule. (or, should I say, nonexistent sleep schedule, amiright? Ah? Ah? distant sobbing) But then I take a closer look at where these thoughts are coming from, and I realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with age or skill at all—I’m simply not putting my all into it as I used to.

It’s not something anyone likes to admit, but I’m sitting here today and putting these words down because they need to be said: the past few times I’ve tried NaNoWriMo, I’ve allowed myself to be buffeted by all that life has to throw at me and have let my writing fall by the wayside.

And that’s not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing! Life is important, and obviously I want to experience as much of it as this world has to offer. But I also want to write my books and share them with the world, and the only way that’s ever going to happen is if I have the courage to sit down and put words to the page, no matter how scary that prospect may seem.

So today, I am throwing all caution to the wind and shouting into the grand void that I WILL be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month! And—yes, I’m going to say it—I’m going to win.

Obviously I wrote a whole blog post about how I was going to win April’s Camp back in March, but … yeah. That didn’t work out too well, did it. XD Ah well. This time around, I don’t have anything fancy to share with you all. No great tips or tricks for defeating writer’s block. No special hats or survival kits or playlists. This time, all I have is me, a notebook, a pen, my laptop, and a story that I desperately want to get written. And chances are, the draft I crank out over the next couple months will be nothing like the story I eventually want to share with you all. But I’m getting the skeleton down. I’m figuring it out the only way I know how—by experimentation—and that, my friends, is an exciting adventure in and of itself. Future Kenzie may have a beast of a time trying to edit this monster, but Present Kenzie is going to enjoy herself to the highest extreme during this drafting process!

THE GOAL

As of right now, Project Goblin is sitting at a very sad 30,000 words. I promised myself I wouldn’t share any of my deadline goals here on the blog (you know, since I’m absolute garbage at actually following them once written), but I will say that at this current word count, I’m very, very far behind on where I wanted to be in this draft. I had a very solid word goal established for the end of June, but due to some unprecedented events and one too many days I let slip by without even trying to put pen to paper, I’m sorry to admit that it will take nothing short of a miracle for me to catch up to my final deadline.

That is, unless I’m able to write 50,000 words next month.

Some might call it idiocy to try and reach this goal. Some might call it madness. I prefer to call it a dash of optimism with a touch of insanity.

Under normal circumstances, I would take a moment to stop and think about the fact that my day-job is about to get a little bit more complicated and demanding (yay, promotions!) and do I REALLY want to tackle such a large commitment right through the thick of that? I would also sit myself down and say, “Kenzie. You do realize that trying to pump 50,000 words out within a single month is going to drain you both creatively and mentally, right? You do realize this is going to be VERY BAD for your mental health…right?” But to be honest, I feel exceptionally good about this very abrupt change of plans. I’m excited to push myself (healthily!) and see where I end up. I’m eagerto test my limits and see just how far I can go without falling.

I have no interest in hurting myself, of course, but if writing is something that I want to do full-time in the not-so-near future, then I have to take the baby steps to get there today. And those baby steps include fitting my writing life into my everyday living—not the other way around.

Of course, I’m not ignoring the fact that we are entering what is—by nature—one of the busiest months of summer (for me). But due to some unforeseen recent events (which I’m definitely not going to complain about), this month isn’t going to be near as busy as it normally is! Most of the events I participate in during the month of July have either been canceled or … I’m just not doing them. XD So aside from a road trip (more on that in the future, hopefully!), this month is wide open for ALL OF THE CREATIVE ENDEAVORS! And that is a very freeing sort of feeling, my friends.

THE PROJECT

I’ve already mentioned this above, but the project I’ll be working on this month is the first draft of Project Goblin! …..still. To be honest, I thought the first draft of this book would be finished by now, but alas. I guess my timeline was a little bit off.

I will say that while I’m definitely not trying to rush this drafting process, there are many other projects on my radar for 2021 which I’m very eager to get to (one of them being an editing project, which is extremely exciting!), and if I’m going to stay on track with my gameplan for those projects, Project Goblin’s gotta hurry up and get a move on. XD Normally I wouldn’t care so much, but the editing project has a very, very hard deadline, and I … well. Let’s just say that if I’m unable to complete the first draft of Project Goblin by August, it’s going to have to take a pause whether it likes it or not.

Also, I’m sure none of you are wondering this, but I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I want to try and blog during this crazy intense month of drafting. Every single time I participate in NaNo, I say that I’m going to blog through it. But then that sort of falls by the wayside (along with my project), and essentially I accomplish none of the things I said I wanted to accomplish. However, after much thought, I’ve decided to try this one more time.

As far as I’m able, I would really really like to blog during Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m not sure if it’s actually going to happen or not, but we shall see! It’s definitely on my radar of things I’d like to do, and even if it’s only weekly updates that take literally two seconds to slap together, I still want to maintain a presence during July. (you know. especially since I’ve been MIA for the past couple weeks. XD)

However, please do not be shocked if it turns out I’m unable to hold up to this. I have literally no clue what sorts of things July may hold, and because of that, I can’t promise that blogging is going to take a high priority. My first and foremost priority this month is drafting Project Goblin. After that … well, honestly I don’t really know. XD

But rest assured that whether or not I’m lurking around the blogosphere this month, there WILL be blog posts in August, and—if all goes according to plan—something very, VERY exciting happening that month, as well! (mwahahahahahahahahahaha!)

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talk to me, peasants!

Is anyone else participating in Camp NaNo next month??? If so, I’m actually using the website again this time around (I haven’t been using it previously, and the struggle is REAL), so please come and friend me! Also tell me what kind of project you’ll be working on, and whether or not you’ll be blogging during Camp! I want to hear about ALL of the fun creative things you’ve got planned this summer!

And as always, until next time …

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *