Camp NaNoWriMo: The Halfway Mark

This is it, halfway through the month of July and Camp NaNoWriMo!

It’s been quite an adventure of discovery, about what it’s like to write more than 1600 words EVERY SINGLE DAY and what happens if you have a day where you fall short (immediate panic starts to set in), how many words you can write in the 15 minutes before work or 30 minutes before making dinner or 20 minutes before lights out, how little idea I have of what I’m even writing, and what it’s like to write while you’re camping.

And if you’re wondering, HELL yes the words in this blog post are absolutely being counted as part of my 50,000 word goal. To confirm, I made it to the 25,000 word count today. Whoo-hoo! In order to get there, my story today veered in a pretty weird direction, recounting the tale of a massive pig who escapes his ultimate fate for a brief period of time to run pell-mell through a small Montana town in the 1920s, ending up at the hotel, where he finally runs out of steam and the end of his time on earth.

That’s what I mean when I say I have no idea what I’m writing. I’d give you a synopsis, but I don’t really have a plan; things just happen, and at this point I’m not being critical about where the story is going. It started out being about a woman’s road trip with her dog, high jinks ensue, etc.

me on the beach writing

This is the (writing) life..

So yes, writing a lot, at whatever moments present themselves, including on last weekend’s camping trip, when I spent a couple of blissful hours writing at Rosario Beach on north Whidbey Island. I parked my butt on a pillow on the warm smooth rocks in a pocket of driftwood, my tablet propped on my knees. There were velvety ribbons of blue-grey clouds on the horizon, the Olympics off in the distance a paler blue. The driftwood sheltering us bleached yellows and grays. Kayaks and row boats slowly made their way past in the calm bay, bobbing in the small waves. An ant crawled over the many-colored round and oval stones, sometimes carrying a small crumb.

It was incredibly peaceful.

Did I mention the F18s and giant military prop plans that continuously roar through the airspace overhead, overpowering the quiet crashing of waves? Yeah, that part wasn’t quite as peaceful.

picture of toy bear looking at water

Wonky Bear joined us on the camping trip!

That day I wrote this after making it through about 800 words of my story:

I’ve gotten tired of writing – not from the actual doing of it, but of wanting to do other things. Holy cow, this is not an easy gig! I really want to nap and pick up a book, but every time I think about that, I have to think, this might be the last 15 minutes of quiet I get for a while, before getting swept up in more camping adventures. Earlier today, we drove up the road to another beach, less sheltered but sandier, and as we were walking along, I was suddenly struck by the urge to do a cartwheel. I honestly can’t remember the last time I tried to do one, whether I was encouraged by a couple of glasses of wine to do it if so (probably), and if I might actually wind up on my butt if I tried one here. But there weren’t that many people around, so I just went for it, and it’s like even after all these years, my body still knew what to do. So, I did another one. Doug was laughing and telling me he should have gotten it on video. So I figured why not, one more can’t hurt. My form could be better but it’s not bad for an old lady.

I don’t think I pulled any muscles, but sometimes at this age, you don’t know until the next day. Today I woke up with a really sore spot between my shoulder blades and had no idea why. But then I figured it out. I had been craning my neck back and forth behind me trying to see where I was backing our little teardrop trailer. It was my first time backing it up for real (aside from practicing in an empty parking lot). It took me a few tries, but I finally got it in the spot. It’s been so much fun camping out with my parents. Last night we sat by the fire and toasted marshmallows, something else I haven’t done in ages. I don’t really even like marshmallows that much, but it’s not something you get to do very often, and it was good fun.

I really thought writing on the go like this would be easier in some ways – less distractions than at home – but it’s funny how when you lose your routine, you get the feeling that everything is fractured. It’s tempting to want to give up and just let it go for a few days, but once you look for the right opportunities, like writing on this beach, you realize how much more you could do than you thought.

So, it’s been a great experience thus far, if challenging at times. And who knows what will happen next in my remaining 25,000 words? I sure don’t, and I’m kind of okay with it! To the rest of my amazing cabin-mates, I hope you’re having a wonderful experience so far. Thank you for keeping me inspired and motivated!

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11 thoughts on “Camp NaNoWriMo: The Halfway Mark

    • Thanks! There’s that moment of hovering on your hands before your momentum takes you over when you think maybe you could just stay there like that, seeing the world from a different angle. Made me want to do more cartwheels, but definitely just a matter of time until I hurt something.

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  1. Yes, the cartwheel was much better than advertised–and you stuck the saucy landing! I love that an unexpected pig has charged through your novel, you’re tapping into something deeper. Keep going!

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  2. Jeanie, you are amazing! I love how you’re finding ways to squeeze in writing whenever and wherever you can. That is the way. You’re making writing a priority and that’s how it becomes a habit. The first time I did Camp NaNoWriMo last year, I finished just 10,000 words of my 30,000 word goal. You’re already at 25,000 words and you still have two more weeks left! That’s AWESOME! So proud of you!!!

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    • Peg, as I was saying to Ed last night on our walk to meet you, it’s been really good to get out of my comfort zone this year. He’d mentioned NaNoWriMo a few times to me and my response was always, that’s crazy! It’s still crazy, but it’s a good kind of crazy. I’m enjoying it. I also appreciated your comment last night that even though what I’m writing is just a bunch of disparate scenes, one never knows what nuggets in there may turn into something. So it’s totally worth it! Your insight and experience are invaluable as always, thank you!

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  3. I’m so jealous (and happy!) you got to write on the beach! I haven’t written anywhere more exotic than my local coffee shop’s patron during a rainstorm! I’m so excited you’re at your halfway point too, and I want to know more about what you’re writing! Is the road trip taking place in the 1920s? Because that is a tale I’ve never heard before and I’m very interested.

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    • Hi Christina! Beach writing was a pretty rare occurrence for me as well – I’m almost always at home with a cat trying to lay on my lap while I write. But it definitely made me want to venture out more often! This is a contemporary road trip, and I had no real plan in mind when I started, but it’s turned into a bit of a suspense story. I love the idea of a different time period though – if I someday had the time to put the necessary research into that. Thanks for the encouragement, I hope your NaNoWriMo is going great!

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  4. Pingback: NoMoNaNoWriMo | black cloud reflections

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