Camp NaNoWriMo 2020

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When in January I made a huge list of things I wanted to do in 2020, I couldn’t have predicted that a pandemic would soon strike. This year up to now has both been the longest and the shortest year of my life. I usually have an ok grasp on the passing of time, but this year every week feels like a day and like three months. So about four weeks ago, I woke up feeling like it was April, but quickly realised that no, it was the first of July. Half of the year was over and I still had a book to write, according to my to do list. I decided to go camping.

“Camping?” I can hear the people who know me say, “But you hate camping!” I do. Thankfully Camp NaNoWriMo’s campground and cabins are 100% virtual. When signing up on the website, you can either join an existing cabin, or open your own cabin with friends or strangers. Due to my late registration, I decided to camp on my own this time. I also figured it fits the current state of the world, with all the self-quarantining due to Covid19.

For those wondering what NaNoWriMo stands for, it’s National Novel Writing Month. The main event, where participants write 50,000 in the month of November, started as a group of American friends (21 of them, according to lore) writing together in 1999. Throughout the years, it evolved into a national event, and then an international event. Why it’s still called NaNoWriMo and not InNoWriMo? I remember something about not wanting to lose brand recognition, already having lots of printed materials with the name on it, and the fact that NaNoWriMo just rolls of the tongue.

From 2011 on, two summer events take place every year in April and July, called Camp NaNoWriMo. You are allowed to set your own word goal during Camp, I think the suggested amount is 40,000 words. Having finished 5 NaNoWriMo’s I know exactly how many words 40,000 are: a bit less than 50,000 so a whole lot. The previous two times I partook in Camp NaNoWriMo I set a goal of 15,000 words, and I decided to do the same this time. As long as I would write at least 484 words a day, I’d be on schedule. I figured that would make for a relaxed writing experience, in so far as a writing experience can be relaxing. As some might know, I have a very difficult relationship with the writing process, so I was curious as to how things would pan out this time.

On day 1, I started off enthusiastically and wrote a lot of words. On day 2, I remembered that I actually HATE writing with every fiber of my being, and on day 3 I was on the brink of deleting everything I had written up to that point. Clearly, it all went swimmingly.

On day 9 I had written 14,052 words: I sorta kinda had a framework in which I will later place my story, and I also had some parts of the story written. It had also become clear what is still missing from the narrative, there’s things I need to decide on, and there’s stuff I need to research. This to do list ended up being about a thousand words, after which I got a certificate and this cool badge:

I love it.

How I’m going to proceed from here? Experience has taught me that the best course of action is to not look at anything I’ve written for at least 6 months. By that time I’ll have enough distance from the material and I’ll be able to decide if any of it makes any sense whatsoever. At that time I’ll decide if I’ll continue working on it, or just delete everything and forget all about it.

If it’s ever going to be published? Probably not. Getting published is a way more complex process than it seems. Questions like “Is there a market for this book?” (doubtful – ed.), “Does it fit into any of the current literary trends?” (no – ed.) and “Does the writer have a (preferably big) audience already?” (nope – ed.) come into play. On top of that, it really helps to know somebody who works at or with a publisher, as it is known that sending manuscripts out into the slush pile is a waste of printing paper and ink 99,9% of the times. Unless you’re The Next Big Literary Miracle maybe, but if I was, it’s safe to say that somebody would have figured that out by now. I’m also not going to self-publish or crowdfund my effort, as in both of those cases you need to already have a big audience/reach, and since basically only my mom reads my stuff I need to be realistic.

I understand that this raises some questions as to why I wrote the thing in the first place. Mostly because the idea for this story has been occupying space in my brain for at least the last 5 years. Now that it’s written down, I don’t have to think about it anymore, which opens up brain space for other creative thinking. It was a “I don’t want to write a book, which is why I’m writing a book, so I don’t have to write a book anymore” dynamic. *ticks “Write book” off of To Do List*

This Month – July

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Read – Online

As A Black Woman I Know Too Much About White Hair

We are a collective of people who have been targeted and manipulated by Warren Ellis, author.

Women speak out about Warren Ellis: ‘Full and informed consent was impossible’

‘Cancel Culture’ Is How the Powerful Play Victim

Mind the Gap: a handbook of clinical signs on black and brown skin

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.” – Toni Morrison

Why Marie Kondo’s method is ideal for my ADHD

Kansai Yamamoto: Japanese fashion designer dies

Remembering Zizi Jeanmaire, the Dancer Extraordinaire Who Inspired Yves Saint Laurent

Listened to – Music

Gotye “Somebody That I Used To Know” (ft. The Basics & Monty Cotton)

Linkin Park – In The End (Live from Red Square)

Leo P – From Home (featuring my dad)

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me (Official Music Video)

Hella Sketchy – Demon With A Halo

Listened to – Podcasts

None in English

Watched – Films and Documentaries

None

Watched – TV and Youtube

The Cheerleader: How Bring It On Evolved the Archetype

The History of Queer Coding

I Solved The Disappearance Of My Dad’s Best Friend A perfect example of why, if you cherish great memories about a certain situation, it might be best to leave things in the past.

Tattoos On Black / POC | IT CAN BE DONE!!

Nile Rodgers Tells The Story of “Let’s Dance”

The Story of Pulp and “Common People”

The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy

The Girl From Ipanema is a far weirder song than you thought

Miscellaneous awesomeness

 

This Month – June

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Read – Online

A Complete Guide to the Handful of Proper Nouns Anna Wiener Uses in Uncanny Valley

In L.A., Race and Income Remain Major Factors in Coronavirus Deaths

The Results of This Year’s Homeless Count Are Grim—and They Don’t Take the Pandemic’s Impact into Account

Inside Kylie Jenner’s web of lies and why she’s no longer a billionaire A truly absurd article. Not because of the Kardashians lying or anything, that’s just what they do, no news here. It’s just shocking to see the truly horrendous amounts of money being made with this nonsense, especially considering the previous two articles I posted about poverty and homelessness in Los Angeles. Which incidentally is also the city where the Kardashians live.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge

“White Family Facebook Drama Over Police Racism” : tips on how to handle this situation

Christo, Artist Who Wrapped and Festooned on an Epic Scale, Dies at 84

How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans Fuck that.

‘This You?’ – How Black Twitter Turned Accountability Into an Art Form

Did Cards Against Humanity’s ironic humor mask a toxic culture all along? See also: Former employees accuse Cards Against Humanity of a racist and sexist office culture

Breonna Taylor and Black Women are Not Memes

The Vanishing Monuments of Columbus, Ohio

I am Eric Garner’s cousin. Here’s what George Floyd’s family can expect

The Museum at FIT LinkTree, with links to fashion collections from their archives

Is Anna Wintour Going Out of ‘Vogue’?

Listened to – Music

LABI SIFFRE – It Must Be Love A perfect pop song, y/y?

Pentatonix – At Home EP (on Spotify). Because Mitch Grassi

Sixtyeight2ohfive: A Playlist Project

Listened to – Podcasts

None in English

Watched – Films and Documentaries

Martin Margiela: in his own words

Watched – TV and Youtube

Analyzing the “Karen” Meme

Miscellaneous awesomeness

 

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