A Reflection On Camp NaNoWriMo

This is a late post. I recognized this as I continued to put off the series of posts I had said I would do on Camp NaNoWriMo during July in between taking on the goal of writing thirty thousand words and finally finishing the first draft rewrite of my novel, Saving Grace.

Of course, as fate would have it, I would procrastinate writing this post as I swam in the infinite pool of words I frantically wrote to complete my novel. Ironically, I have almost described what it is like to participate in Camp Nano already, and honestly I could stop the post right there. Camp Nano, in essence, includes putting the rest of your life on hold for a story.

A fictional story.

Weird, right? Who would even do that? Well…writers, it would seem–and I’m one of them. For the last twenty or so days I have spent at least three hours a day typing into documents, writing sentences that will later form paragraphs that will make up a chapter. Often times, I’ll laugh at something I have just written, and my co-workers and supervisors at the library will ask me how my writing is going…They are rather supportive of my lofty goal of becoming a published author.

There’s a saying that goes, “Write what you know.”

To be perfectly honest, writing Saving Grace became an adventure for me. It took me places I didn’t expect, as well as memories and feelings I didn’t think I would revisit. I never thought that I would write about what had happened to me in the past year, or about the struggles I had to overcome as I came out for the first time, or when I was diagnosed with my anxiety and I started to work on rebuilding myself after escaping an emotionally abusive relationship. All of the things that had influenced who I am becoming today started to filter into my story.

And somehow, the novel benefited from it. It thrived on the pieces of myself that I began to feed it, and it became an almost therapeutic process for me to revisit those memories and process them, to really think about them again from a safe place.

Maybe that’s why it has taken so long to get to this blog post. I’ve had so much to think about, and I did not even know where to begin.July was such a whirlwind of emotions and it flew by. Soon, fall semester will be starting up again, and I will most likely be blogging about my college adventures as a Junior-level student. Strange, right? Only yesterday, I was a brand new student to NDSU, with no idea what life had in store for me…I had no clue what would happen in the year and half to follow.

Now, I have completed my second novel.

So, as I reflect on my Camp NaNoWriMo experience last month, I am grateful. It was filled with adventures and fun discussions with my critique partner and other friends. I had a wonderful cabin to support me and I thoroughly enjoyed writing this novel. While Saving Grace’s first draft adventure may over, as well as Camp NaNoWriMo, this is only the beginning of another.

Because in September, I will have to start the adventure of Revision.