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  • Writer's picturealaurafilbin

12 Feb 2020: NaNoWriMo

As many writers may be familiar, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, during which time a writer is challenged to write 50,000 during the month of November. What many people may not be aware of, however, is Camp NaNo, which is very similar to the November challenge, where rather than being challenged to write 50k, you may set your own goal during the months of April and July. Both NaNo and Camp NaNo are extremely valuable tools of motivation for me as a writer, and as such, I have plenty of experience with the challenges.

I have been a participant of NaNoWriMo on and off since approximately 2010. I remember my first NaNo project was not a very good story, but the characters lived in New York and would perform street music, so I would add in lyrics in order to boost my word count. I did technically "win" that year, but I don't count that one because of the cheating with the lyrics.

In other years, I've worked on various other projects. In 2012, I was working on a story called Felony, which was meant to be a high school trio adventure story, but I never finished it and it currently remains at 31k words.

In 2012, I worked on a futuristic post-apocalyptic story called Xero's Dystopia, and while I did reach 54,000 words, I never finished the story because at 54k, the story still hadn't even reached the halfway point and I gave up. This was quite unfortunate because the story had been very engaging for a long time, but when I returned to it, I was unable to jump back into it and restarting the story proved fruitless.

Through college, I attempted to do NaNo but school work made it nearly impossible and I was unable to finish any projects. However, once I graduated and returned back home, I found a writing group! The group has proved extremely useful because we will meet up and write for hours at a time, challenge one another with writing sprints, and encourage one another year-round.

In 2018, I wrote a bunch of short stories for Camp NaNo in April, which hit 25k words, and then in November, I wrote Just Friends, which had been a rewrite of another story and I'm quite pleased with it. In 2019, I wasn't as productive with Camp NaNo, but November led me to my latest project, a story collection that I'm hoping to publish after a few rounds of revisions.

With that in mind, I think 2020 is going to be a revision year! If I can get these stories revised, that's one step closer to publication!

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