When I was younger I always wanted to go away to a summer camp. I wanted the parent free days of bonding with other kids and running wild like Peter Pan and the lost boys. I wanted hiking trips, and rock climbing, and canoeing, and swimming, and camp fires, and smores, and maybe a first kiss. I wanted cabin allegiances and sneaking out in the middle of the night. I wanted to bond away from the harsh glare of parental authority always telling you what you could and couldn’t do.
I’m an adult now, and so I understand the trepidation of where my parents were coming from. We had a camp, why would they pay for me to go away? WE didn’t have the budget for that. And then when it comes to inviting friends, how many peoples other kids do they logically want to be responsible for. And they want to keep you safe. All of those rules are for your safety.
But as a kid, I just wanted to be wild and free.
Camp NaNoWriMo has begun, and it’s given me the feels of summer camp I had longed for.
Once upon a time I used to be an ML (municipal liaison) for NaNoWriMo. And that position feels a lot like being the adult your family’s camp, trying to wrangle everyone, while still trying to do your own thing. I’m planning, promoting, booking events, writing emails with pep, cheerleading, maintaining an online presence, and writing my own novel. The sheer number of hats you have to wear is exhausting. And ML’s do it all for free, volunteering our time, and often paying extra for stuff for our participants out of our own pocket. It looks all so easy and graceful from the outside looking in (or sometimes it looks like a train wreck you’re sure your mad organizational skills can take over), but then you sign up and do it and realize exactly how challenging the roll is.
But Camp NaNoWriMo requires I do none of those things. It requires only that I write my novel, and maybe participate a little online, if I so desire.
See my first foray into NaNoWriMo was about writing, but also about finding my writing people. I’ve done that. I know who my peeps are. I am forever grateful for finding my people through NaNoWriMo. But now, I need to get back to the basics, back to the sheer art of just writing.
I don’t need the same thing from NaNoWriMo that I did before. My needs have changed. And as such Camp is a much better fit for me.
I needed the push of 50K when I first started off. I needed to know I could jump impossible hurdles, and write fast But now I also need to write well, and that my dears takes time for me. I like that with Camp I can set my own word count. I like that with camp it’s about me and the project, and not anything else ML related. It’s all the parts boiled down.
So pardon me while I’m off to toast some metaphors, and smoosh them between graham wafer crackers topped in chocolate. I’ve got some lighting bugs to catch, and lakes to swim in. Characters who need to be challenged, and Characters who need to fall in love. I need a Marauders Map, because this mischief is about to managed.