Into the woods!

Ever have one of those brilliant ideas at some ridiculous, sleep deprived time of night that you remember enough to go through with? I’m going to be living one of those for the next month, at the very least.

This month, April, is the first Camp NaNoWriMo for the year. That’s the very first 50k word challenge since November last year, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been hanging out for it. Of course, I thought it would be in June, like it was last year, but the early date didn’t phase me when it came out. All the better, I thought, since I was going to rebel anyway. If I get really on top of the project I’m aiming to do, that will set me way down the track and might give me enough leeway to cope with a hectic year.

The next time I have a bright idea, I hope it’s less of a slog than the one I’m looking at.

Remembering that this blog is all about the things I’m trying to push myself as a writer, understand how this sounded like a great idea in my head. This Camp, I’m going to be a rebel and do a non-fiction piece. Vomit Copy should come out around 20k, and Camp has a neat ‘set your own word count’ feature this year, and it’ll give me plenty of time to draft and edit and get the piece ready before it’s due date of late October. It’ll hone my research skills, academic language, and give me a short word limit that I would usually baulk at. Great plan! I love the plan!

Today, I pulled myself out of bed, stared at the grey sky, and wished I could do an easy, ridiculously long fiction piece instead. The pile of articles I had read was much bigger than the remaining ones, but I was behind on NaNo prep, and not writing in my comfort zone. But I sat down and jumped online to encourage other people who had yet to hit the magical April 1st, and read the last articles. I highlighted and wrote notes and scrawled out the names of yet more articles I would need to find, and then I stared at the blank page where my words had to go, and froze.

Who was I trying to kid? As I wrote each sentence, word by painstaking word, I realised that I have had it so easy in the past and I hadn’t known. I made it to 1700 words, over today’s word count but completely out of ideas. It took me nearly five hours to sting those tiny fragments of alphabet together, but I did it. I am exhausted, but I’m into the NaNoLand woods now, and I know what I want is on the other side.

This year, I decided to push my writing, challenge myself, and I’m hitting the first real challenge now. But it’s not insurmountable, even as I whinge and make brooding faces over my cup of tea, I know I’ve made a step towards the challenge I set myself. The people around me are supportive, each in their own way, so even as I walk the roads only I can walk, I’m not alone.

No picture until I update, but imagine a cosy spot, that’s what I’m doing!

Anyone else heading into the metaphorical woods?


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