I’ve been at Camp NaNoWriMo for almost a week, and I already have some pretty gnarly blisters. Okay, it’s just one, and it’s on my right-hand ring finger. I’ve been trying something a little different this month: handwriting. And it’s not so much different as it is old. Some of my favorite memories of writing were staying up late, writing into the wee hours of the morning, scribbling away in a notebook until my hand ached and I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
It’s amazing how different writing feels when it’s just you, and a notebook, and a pen. No social-media distractions, no computer-screen glare, no spell check. Just you and your words.
I’ve also been approaching my story in a slightly different way. It might seem strange that I still don’t know what I want to happen in my story. Or, I guess, how I want it to happen. Once there was a twitter tag going around that was something like “writing advice in six words or less”. I tweeted, “Write to find and figure out.” And that’s exactly what I’m doing. It’s difficult to figure out what happens without actually writing it, almost as if I’m thinking on paper, only in dialogue and description instead of plot points. I’m finding out what happens one word at a time.
I read a line today in a book* that really stuck out to me. It said, “His native language was thought.” Well, my native language is writing. It’s not clear until I see it, on paper, on screen, in my own words. And that’s probably why reading is so special to me too – it’s like being spoken to in my native language.
This started out as a letter about Camp NaNoWriMo and has turned into something else. But most of my letters tend to do that.
But back to Camp NaNoWriMo: it’s going well. I’m a little behind in terms of hours, but I’m optimistic and excited to write, so that’s always good. And honestly, if I don’t meet my goal but have a positive outlook on my writing, I’ll consider that a win.
Then again, it’s only week one. So check back again next week and let’s see how much optimism is left 🙂
*P.S. The book I’m reading right now is The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.