Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy, but Possibly Not a Camper?

I have no little sticker to show you today, because I did not "officially" win Camp NaNo, mostly because I'm not one to post my stuff there for word-count verification. But I got a lot done, including 3,000+ words on a new project plus revisions for my agent. In the midst of a month that has been somewhat crazy, included more-than-usual family time (which is good), and thrown a surprise or two my way, I count that a success.

I joined Camp NaNo because a friend wanted someone to do it with. You go to camp with your friends, right? Really, though? I think we could have just had our own month-long slumber party. Our camp participation consisted of doing our own writing and messaging each other, on pretty much a daily basis at first. As the month went on, going faster and getting hairier for both of us for various reasons, we wrote each other at more length but a little less often. Finally, we just switched our correspondence out of the Camp NaNo site and over to our regular email. Really, the letter-writing and getting to know my friend better was the best thing about a "camp" experience, and I'd do it all over again for that aspect.

In general, I am not a speed-writer, and I'm one who revises as I go, which makes NaNo in its various forms not ideal for me. But setting goals with partners can help you be more productive than you'd otherwise be. Next time, though, I suspect we won't "join" anything official. We'll probably just make our own unofficial writers' retreat by ourselves.

How about you? How's your writing going? Do you do writing retreats in any form?

25 comments:

Faith E. Hough said...

Well, camps always were for the extrovert kids, weren't they? :)
Congratulations on all you accomplished--quite impressive for such a busy month!

Andrea Mack said...

It sounds like you got a lot accomplished to me! Congrats! I often wish I could be one of those "fast writers" too, because I have so many ideas, but I'm also a slow revise-as-I-go type.

Emily R. King said...

I agree about revising as I go. It's too hard not to stop!

Barbara Watson said...

Great work! I've never been one who can manage daily word counts. I can only move along my stories bits and pieces at a time, sometimes more bits and pieces come on than on others.

Mirka Breen said...

"I am not a speed-writer, and I'm one who revises as I go, which makes NaNo in its various forms not ideal for me"

That is my excuse for not signing onto word-count writing challenges. You are brave!

Brava for doing it, Marcia.

Vijaya said...

Marcia, I'm not the camping type, unless it's with family and close friends. Sounds like you've had a very productive month, a solid start on a new book, revisions for agent, and of course family time.

I prefer the private accountability with a couple of good writing buddies more so than a public one.

Christin Farley said...

Good for you! I've been revising a LOT and doing heaps of research and plotting. But no writing yet.

Marcia said...

Faith -- LOL, yes, the extrovert kids. I went to a GS day camp once in my life. It was fine, but maybe best it wasn't sleep-away. :)

Andrea -- Yes, I'm happy with the outcome. :)

Emily -- I guess my way works, and I'm stickin' to it. :)

Barbara -- bits and pieces sounds like me, pretty much.

Mirka -- I decided not to be intimated by any "rules" going in. And I'm still not big on word count challenges.

Vijaya -- The two of us tried to camp with only each other. They didn't let us. Shoot, I guess that's like what they'd do in real life. :D

Christina -- I'm getting more ideas for by new book which are also sending me back to the planning stage more. But I'm itching to write, too.

Christine Sarmel said...

Sticker or not - way to go! Writing challenges are great. But they don't account for the days when you drag your hands out of the dishwater and search for a pencil because you figure out how to solve a plot issue. No words - lots of progress.

Anna Staniszewski said...

I think you "won" Nano even if you didn't get the sticker. For me, it's all about devoting a month to getting as much writing done as possible. The word count isn't as important as the momentum. So, congrats! :-)

Dawn Malone said...

Way to go, Marcia! Any amount of progress is an accomplishment, especially in the beginning stages. I'm not very good at speed-writing either.

Marcia said...

Christine -- Dragging your hands out of the dishwater is so much easier than leaping out of the shower...

Anna -- Well said about momentum being the important thing!

Dawn -- If we're moving forward, that's the main thing.

Kelly Hashway said...

I think doing an unofficial camp is a great idea. And even if you didn't win, you got a lot done and that's what it's about. :)

I'm editing...a lot. LOL And I'm trying to write two new books. I think I might be crazy. ;)

Medeia Sharif said...

The camp experience sounds like an interesting one. I would consider it in the future.

Bish Denham said...

I'm kind of like Vijaya. Just give me a couple of good beta readers because I'm mostly a loner at heart.

Marcia said...

Kelly -- Editing and TWO new books? I can kinda sorta edit and do one. Your speed is amazing, for sure.

Medeia -- It's another form of goal setting, mainly. You're so good with that, you'll probably do great!

Bish -- Yup, that's just what the experience turned into. Just two of us. Which was really the plan from the outset.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

I tried NaNoWriMo once, but realized the piece I was working on needed too much research for me to write anymore. I couldn't see myself writing so much under such torture and have to dump most of it because it's so off base. I don't know if I'll ever try it again because I'm like you, I need to reread and do some revising as I go. But who knows what the future may bring.

Thanks so much for your comments during my blog tour over at Medeia's. :) Writer’s Mark

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Me and a friend did an unofficial NaNoWriMo one year. She discovered the fast pace really worked for her and I discovered the opposite. But, like you, I found sharing the experience the best part.

Marcia said...

Nancy -- Thanks for stopping! That's a great point. A research-heavy book is going to be tough to do for NaNo unless you've really got most of the research already done. I also don't see any value in speeding through and then having to dump most of it.

Ruth -- NaNo helps you discover what works, I think. And yay for the shared experience.

Nas said...

Completely with you as I start revising and editing as soon as I get a project in hand. I wonder how the acquisitions' editors manages? Reading through typos and all?

cleemckenziebooks said...

I'm definitely not a speed writer. I always freeze when someone says, "Here, write something in five minutes."

And if I see something that just isn't working, I have to edit it out ASAP.

Laura Pauling said...

I would love to attend a writing retreat and do nothing but write, but with my kids at home it's just about impossible! Someday though...

That's good you got some writing done!

Marcia said...

Nas -- I sure hope the typos are gone before the editor gets them! :) :X

Lee -- Me too! Yet I've used such prompts in writing workshops I give. I love what people come up with!

Laura -- For a while, when the kids were little, I took an annual weekend retreat in a hotel all by myself. It was heaven. :)

Kelly Polark said...

I think if you were productive somehow you are a winner! No matter how many words written or revised. Especially in the busy summer! Good job!

Marcia said...

Kelly -- Yes to your first sentence, especially!