Salutations, other octopi adventurers in the great writing wilderness!
July is nearly here, which means once again Camp NaNoWriMo is about to start… Are you feeling ready to tackle a new writing goal? Tell us about it in the comments!
Today’s post, naturally, will be about endever* and GeGi. As you might remember from last week, we’ve both been rather busy with Other Things lately. So we’ll be discussing why or why not we will each be participating (or not) in July Camp.
For a little over a month now, I’ve been back at work at my seasonal job, getting accustomed to a new schedule and new responsibility thanks to a promotion. While this is very much a Good Thing overall, it does leave me with much less time than I’d anticipated having during the summer. As of the time of writing this — June 19th — I still haven’t decided about Camp NaNo for the following reasons:
Reason for not doing Camp: July will be even busier at work, and therefore I’ll have even less time for non-work things (such as making food, getting sleep, writing posts for this blog, going on hikes, exploring nearby National Parks, doing laundry, painting, learning to play the ukulele, etc). Adding the commitment of a writing goal to all that seems a tad overwhelming to me. Especially considering how I tend to obsess about meeting goals, to the detriment of basically everything else in my life which isn’t Meeting The Goal.
Reason for doing Camp: I haven’t worked on my current novel project since shortly after the last Camp. I very much want to get back to it, yet haven’t done so on my own. Perhaps having the Camp goal will give me a much-needed push to focus on it again. Additionally, writing is another constant on my previously mentioned chronic to-do list anyway, so making it official with a goal seems logical and Not A Big Deal. (However, things aren’t always as they seem, and I know myself well enough to know my mind will make it a Big Deal despite logic — see above statement about obsession.)
My pros and cons feel like they pretty much even themselves out at this point, which is terribly unhelpful of them. Excuse me while I go off and think about it some more.
Well, I think I’ve already been planning on doing July Camp for awhile now, but it would be good to carefully examine the pros and cons to make sure it’s a good decision. And maybe it will echo some of the thought processes you all might be going through in trying to decide for yourself whether you will participate.
Reasons for not doing Camp: I’m taking a class again this term, which is usual, but I’m also adding something new in that I’m going to try to start an alliance of students with disabilities. I have no idea how much energy that will take. I’ve had a good… five(?) months out of hospitals, and would like to keep that momentum going, so keeping my stress levels low would seem wise. And I’m going to take a short trip to see my grandparents mid-July and probably shouldn’t ignore them the entire time.
Reasons for doing Camp: I had been planning to take two classes but purposely dropped the more stressful one partly so that I could reasonably take part in Camp. It’s an online class, so I can juggle my schedule however I see fit in order to meet both homework deadlines and writing goals. Like GeGi, I’ve barely touched my novels since last Camp session, yet I have the goal of being ready to start the final book in my trilogy by the time November NaNo rolls around – meaning I need to shove as much revision into my life between now and then as I can. Camp is hands-down the best way to do that; if I leave it up to vague aspirations I’m sure I’ll continue to mostly ignore it and then suddenly it will be November. Based on previous experience, NaNo (in its various permutations) is simply the best way for me to make progress on my novels.
…So yes, I’ll be doing Camp this July. Revision rather terrifies me – much the way the idea of starting a novel at all terrified me – and the way I successfully resolved the latter was to participate in NaNo. It’s just a tool that works for me, and I know it – so I feel fine organizing much of the rest of my life around it in order to chip away at this pile of revision. And anyway, it’s only a month.
It’s been a couple days, and I’ve thought about it.
Like endever*, I’ve decided to go ahead and set a goal in order to push myself into making progress on my current project. I’ve also decided to set a very realistic and reduced goal; in April I did an hour and a half a day, in July I’m planning half an hour a day. I’m hoping this helps to offset my overachiever obsessive tendency so I can still accomplish other goals besides writing. Additionally, I’m hoping this helps me focus on the quality of my work instead of on simply putting in the time.
In writing this post and examining our own pros and cons, endever* and I both came to the decision not only to participate in Camp NaNo, but also to push ourselves — in our own ways — to further ambitions. endever* is considering to add more time to their goal in order to “ramp up” for November writing goals; I’m pushing myself to an attempt at balance writing with the rest of my life. We both very much hope this post also inspires all of you, dear octopi, to find the goals in your own life which will help you reach new highest and depths and strengths.
In closing, we have a very special announcement! The Octopus Society of Evil Authors is hosting a cabin on Camp NaNoWriMo. Join us by leaving a post on our cabin thread on the NaNoWriMo website forums. We’d love to see you there! We’re also going to be talking about our project progress during the month of July, as well as answering any questions or appeals for advice you might send us. Keep in touch, and we’ll be back with you in July!