April Camp NaNoWriMo 2020 Update: My Manuscript and Writing Revelations

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Well, hi! What a weird world it is outside right now, huh?

There’s a lot I’d like to catch up with you on today, so let’s jump in.

Camp NaNoWriMo

To start things off, I want to let y’all know that I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again. For those who may not know, my novella “Do Life” is one that I wrote during the April 2018 session of Camp. And for those who don’t know what Camp NaNo is, it’s the April and July versions of National Novel Writing Month (which normally takes place in November), and you get to pick your word count. This year, for both April and July sessions, I’m writing 2 novels each (both 50k words), just like a traditional run of NaNoWriMo.

That being said, I’m fully in the throes of my first manuscript of the year. As of writing this post, I’m officially over halfway done! I’ve had this thing in the works since pretty much January, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s coming together (even as a first draft!).

What am I writing? Well, I’m keeping the title and the bulk of the plot a secret for now, but just know that it’s a retelling of the Icarus myth. Greek mythology has been my jam lately (my NaNo novel last November was about Persephone!).

The Aforementioned Writing Revelations

Now, we’ve come to the point in this post where I discuss what I’ve discovered in writing this new book this month. Since everything with what I’ve been calling #coronatime has been going down, it’s safe to say I’ve had tons of time to write. Writing at home has its challenges for me, though; if I’m being honest, I’ve had a harder time focusing, likely because the scenery has been kind of the same this month. With everything going on, I haven’t been able to visit a library or local coffee shop. Plus, I do some of my best writing in cars…so, what was there to do?

Well, I’ll tell ya. There’s actually a lot.

Here’s what’s helped me:

  • Writing sprints! I dove headfirst into Authortube writing sprints this month, and these have helped me achieve my writing goals (and then some!) in leaps and bounds. During one of these sprints, I managed to set a personal best of writing over one thousand words in 25 minutes. No one was more shocked than me.
  • Dedicated writing playlists! I will often write with a YouTube video in the background, but I’ve discovered that music – with lyrics or without – has been great at keeping me focused. Also, speaking of focus…
  • Timers! Yes. Timers. Doing something as simple as setting a timer on my phone, setting down said phone, and having dedicated time to write for 15, 20, 30, or even 40 minutes has helped my writing loads. I know these are similar to following along writing sprints online, but the common thread is that these pockets of time are designated for writing, and I’ve discovered I can get a ton done in that time.

So, to wrap things up, I’m feeling pretty good about Camp NaNoWriMo overall. I always love doing these challenges, and this month has been no exception. I never thought I’d be writing a Greek myth retelling during a pandemic, and that is a story in itself. I’m excited for writing the rest of this draft, and I look forward to sharing more with y’all soon. ❤️

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