Montag, 8. Mai 2017

My Camp NaNoWriMo experience

I like to read and I like to write. Those things are no secret. In the past years I have become an avid reader, reading around 4 books a month. This part of my literary hobby is well cared for and part of my everyday routine.
Writing on the other hand… Let’s just say writing and I have a love-hate relationship. I love writing, I love expressing my thought and creating worlds that only existed in my mind. But still, I find it hard to sit down and just write. There have been periods of my life where I wrote almost every day. Creating a wild array of short stories. On the other hand, there have been years where I have not written a single word. This inconsistency bothers me. It’s not that I don’t know what to write. I just don’t do it. I did not know how to tackle that problem.  Re-opening this blog was one part of the solution. By giving me a schedule of posting once a week, I have to write at least one day a week. So far that’s working for me.
But creating bigger projects takes more time than a blog post. So how could I get myself to write everyday on a bigger project? The answer, that I have found for myself is: NaNoWriMo.

For those that don’t know what NaNoWriMo is: It stands for National Novel Writing Month.
Pretty self-explanatory, but the concept is interesting. NaNoWriMo takes, places every November. During November the participants try to write 50.000 words on their story’s. It’s not about the quality but rather about the quantity. Editing can still be done afterwards.
To prepare for NaNoWriMo there is the possibility to participate in a so called: CampNaNoWriMo “an idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life”. It takes place in April and July each year. The main difference between the main event and these camps is, that in the camps you can set your own goals. And that’s what I did.

On April second I spontaneously decided to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo. And, to get an idea for how much work that would be, in both training-camps. As fate wanted to, I had just started a short story to put on this blog. I decided, that I would finish this story and then move on to another. About four days in I realised, that the short story had potential for more. So I kept working on it.
The goal I had was 900 minutes by the end of the month. 30 minutes per day seemed more than doable. I did not reach my goal. In total I worked 516 minutes on my project. There are multiple reasons to why I did not fulfil my goal. The main one was, that I started during my semester break, with lots of free time on my hands. But not even halfway into the month university started again. This time with full force. I pretty much knew the second day of term, that I would not be able to write every day. There was just too much going on. So on Day 19 I decided to stop completely. It was better for my wellbeing and the story.

I did not finish. Did I fail my first ever attempt? Yes and No.
Yes in the sense, that I was unable to fulfil the goal I set for myself.
No in the sense, that I learned so much and I was well on time until I stopped writing.
I consider the whole experience as a success.

Here’s what I’ve learned during nineteen days of Camp NaNoWriMo:
-       30 minutes a day is doable, but the quality of the written is not that good. I need around 25-30 minutes to get into the flow.
-       Two hours is my ideal writing time, after that I need a break.
-       Writing without music is better for my creativity
-       Writing a longer story, while it’s still developing might not be the best idea. So many plot holes.
-       Writing, like every skill takes time and practice.
-       Its ok to not like everything about what you created. Only that you did counts.
-       For NaNoWriMo I will most likely set myself a personal goal. Not the 50.000 words. That way I will stay motivated and not get overwhelmed.

Overall it was a very inspiring and interesting experience. And I was able to be a bit more constent with my writing. I will most definitely participate in the camp in July. Does anybody wants to be my writing buddy? J

Lastly: Here’s a short excerpt from the story I am working on (German only).

Der Uhrenturm

„Ich meine, was willst du von deinem Leben. Ich glaube dir nicht, dass es das hier ist“ Aren schrie jetzt beinahe. Hanna konnte ihn und seine Verzweiflung nicht verstehen.
„Was kümmert dich das? Es ist doch nicht dein Leben!“
„Was es mich kümmert? Eine meiner ältesten Freunde verschwendet ihr Leben an einem Ort den sie hasst! Hanna da draußen ist eine ganze Welt! Du hast die Chance sie zu sehen, weißt du wie viele Menschen dafür sterben würden diese Chance zu bekommen?“
„Ich habe nicht um diese Chance gebeten!“
„Du bittest um gar nichts! Bei allen Geistern, wie kann dir dein Schicksal bloß so egal sein?“ er lachte frustriert, strich sich mit der Hand die Haare aus dem Gesicht und machte sich daran den Raum zu verlassen.
„Aren, ich habe kein Schicksal“ Sie hatte es schreien wollen, doch ihre Stimme war so leise, dass er es eigentlich nicht hätte hören können. Hanna hatte es sich nie eingestehen wollen, doch in dem Moment in dem sie es ausgesprochen hatte, wusste sie, dass es die Wahrheit war. Sie hatte keine Rolle in dieser Welt. Sie war außerhalb von ihr geboren und aufgewachsen. Es war nur richtig, dass sie auch außerhalb von ihr starb.
Aren war im Türrahmen stehen geblieben. Er hatte sich wieder zu ihr umgedreht. Die Wut war aus seinem Gesicht verschwunden.
„Jeder Mensch hat ein Schicksal. Alles auf dieser Welt existiert aus gutem Grund. “seine Stimme war leise, gefüllt mit Wärme. Hanna lachte frustriert.

„Ich nicht. Schau dich doch um. Das hier ist wo ich hingehöre. Ein leerer Ort für ein leeres Mädchen.“   

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