I’m always prone to lose track of time and so it appears that it’s somehow almost April? It’s almost time for another writing challenge event — this time there are two things going on, Camp NaNoWriMo & NaPoWriMo. In defense, these challenges only come up three times a year (and the poetry-specific event only once, unless you do the Oct. event led by another blogger — if so, get with me then. I’ll be doing Inktober in tandem, should be interesting). Yes, sometimes these exercises can feel counter-productive, especially when your regular writing practice has become irregular as a way to cope with a day-to-day that just won’t quit. And participation is hard. It can require publicly failing to meet a goal or even publicly breaking down if you’re prone to that. Yet, it’s a month of great opportunity and community, and the amount of participation hinges completely on what works for you.
I tend to think like one of my old English instructors, I can do anything for a short period of time. National Novel Writing Month and the camp events are only a month at a time and the parameters of your goals, your interactions are entirely dependent on what you’re willing to commit to.
You can think of each event as a fresh start, a way to reorder your routines to make sure you’re meeting the goals that matter to you. Maybe that isn’t pages or words but butt in the chair time. This can be an entirely personal exercise or you can use it as an opportunity to reach out into the community and find support among people struggling with the same issues that trip you up.
It’s only three times a year. It’s three open opportunities to feel less lonely while engaging in the loneliest of all creative pursuits. It’s three opportunities to reset your routines and reorder your writing life. It’s three opportunities to focus and refocus on the creative projects that mean the world to you.
Consider this as you’re looking into April or even as you decide to skip April, but turn an eye toward July, regardless of your goals or how much you are comfortable with participating, there’s always a community to turn to when you need it.
That said, I’m a ML for Washington: Elsewhere and will be holding write-ins locally (if you’re in North Central Washington, contact me for more information), but the brilliant thing about these Camp events is that cabins aren’t necessarily based upon geographical location. If you’re participating at any level of Camp this year and want to join our cabin, let me know.
I will try to do a weekly pep talk/roundup here starting the first week of April. If anyone has questions or suggestions on topics I should cover, just let me know.