NaNoWriMo: Off to Camp

It’s spring, and while the weather isn’t very wonderful (I can still see snow from where I sit), I have a bad case of spring fever. I’m not much of a fan of yard work, but about now I’d happily grab a rake and do some damage to our lawn. Every time I see a flower commercial on television, I get a bit giddy at the thought of planting something, even knowing full well that Lake Michigan guarantees us many more below-freezing nights before it’s safe to plant.

As if the general lure of spring isn’t enough of a distraction, we’re in the process of readying our house to sell. Between the constant cleaning, hunting for realtors, and considering all the what-ifs, a million little bees are buzzing around in my head constantly.
With all that in mind, I decided I needed a little motivation to finish my current work-in-progress. I’ve been working away at this book for six or seven months and am very excited to see where it goes—but I’ve just been so distracted from working. So, I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, a thirty-day writing extravaganza.
For those who aren’t familiar, NaNoWriMo refers to the National Novel Writing Month: November. NaNoWriMo is actually the brainchild of an organization called The Office of Lights and Letters. The goal is quite simple: Write a novel during the month of November—or at least 50,000 words of it. They provide the goal and a place to commiserate with and/or gloat to fellow writers online; the writers provide the words—screenfulls of them.
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of such an endeavor, but I’ve flaked the past two years. The word count just seemed too daunting. How could I possibly write 50,000 words in a month with work, a family, and a million other excuses?
Now, if you’re keeping track, it’s not November—not even close. The fact is, NaNoWriMo has grown quite a following over the years. There are so many crazy writers out there who are gluttons for punishment that the people over at The Office of Lights and Letters expanded the idea to include two camps each year, one in April and one later in the summer. The best part of Camp NaNoWriMo (besides skipping the mosquitoes and wet weather usually associated with the word “camp”) is that the word count is flexible. Those of us with lots of excuses now have one fewer reason to skip out of the fun.
And so, here I sit, contemplating how many more words I need to write before the end of the month. Yes, I know my goal should be to concentrate on just writing my best to finish my current novel, but I feel oddly pressured by that magic number, even though I took it easy on myself with just a 20,000 word goal. I’m proud to say I’ve written over 7,000 words already this month, so I’m on track to succeed, but I’m really hoping when I reread what I’ve written at the end of the month, I won’t find that it’s quantity rather than quality.
Oh well… I needed motivation and now I’ve got it. Fewer than 13,000 words left to go… or the end of my book, whichever comes first!

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