It seems as though I just wrote a piece on Camp NaNoWriMo, but in reality, it has been over two months, but time, it does fly. My last camp left me with a great story. I hit my goal ahead of schedule and continued to write throughout most of May. My story ended, but the work had just begun. Editing, correcting, collecting opinions: all important parts of the project continue.
I’m not sure this story would have ever crept from my muddled brain, if not for Camp. Deadlines work for me, especially the self imposed, but that wasn’t always the case.
When I was in grade school and even high school my projects and book reports were, I’m sad to say, short and rambling, often because I had not read the book, or done the research. But spending twelve years with nuns breathing down my neck, taught me to do every assignment and make sure the word count was good. I can remember the one time I didn’t do an assignment. I was in second grade, and because of a miscommunication on my instructor’s part (I swore to my mother) I missed a handwriting assignment and the teacher rewarded me with a slap to the palm of my hand from a wooden paddle. My hand curls and burns at the thought even now, but like I said, I never missed another piece of homework.
I attended college as an adult and because of that, and the personal need to prove myself to the other much younger students, my study habits and writing style changed. My research skills improved as my projects lengthened and I found that I enjoyed putting words to paper. I once, in fact, shrunk the font of a piece to keep from going over the maximum page limit, only to have the professor’s first comment be, “Have pity on this old professor’s eyes – increase the font!”
So, thankfully, because of that teacher, Professor Mike Foster of ICC, I found the courage to write longer and luckily, better.
So what does this rambling have to do with Camp? Think of it as a chance to let your words out. Set your goal at 10,000 or above, but be kind to yourself. If this is your first time or twentieth time, remember, you can always go over, just like one of my favorite teachers told me.
Camp starts July first. Sign up is open now. The PeoWriMo group has set up several opportunities to write together and whether you go by the adage that it is ‘more fun with like people’ or ‘misery likes company’, give it a try. We don’t bite (unless there is chocolate ;>)
Oh and don’t forget the new anthology Natalie is putting together. This is a perfect chance to put your words on paper and submit them for consideration.