Gearing Up for Camp NaNoWriMo

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by Stephen Meszaros on Unsplash

My house is in a constant state of flux. As my children get older, we constantly rearrange furniture, toys, school supplies and sometimes entire rooms. I always want to make the best use of the space that we have. Earlier this year for example, we rotated four entire rooms in the house. About half of the house ended up in a new space, and it involved two movers, a visit from my mom, and weeks to put back together.

Part of this constant shifting is how my writing desk is now out in the three-season sunroom. It is tiny, with a writing area that perfectly fits my Surface, cup of coffee, and a few books and notebooks. I used to have a corner of the master bedroom, but while somewhat secluded from the rest of the house, it made the room feel too cramped.

It actually isn’t a bad setup, in the sunroom. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows look out into my serene backyard with its pond and waterfall. The sound of the running water is so relaxing and even though it is a warm day, I grew up in a house without air conditioning so the sunroom at 7:00 am is perfect for me.

However, my desk also faces into the kitchen and with more floor-to-ceiling glass, I can see all of its contents: box of cereal on the counter, baby bib that needs to be wiped clean, shoes that need to be put away, and a floor that needs to be swept. That view leaves a lot to be desired while I am trying to write…

But I digress.

For years, I have been an admirer of the participants of NaNoWriMo. I follow the hashtags on Twitter and cheer on the participants. On a much more limited level, I try to increase my own writing during November — but it is hard to find more time. I already write almost daily, stealing minutes between working full time, three kids. And the month of November is also prelude to the holidays…

Less pressure than writing a full novel in the month of November is Camp NaNoWriMo — the month of July dedicated to setting and accomplishing a goal, for any type of project, not just novels.

I have had an unfinished writing project sitting on the back burner for a long time: a small collection of poetry. I’d like to add sketches, arrange it, and self-publish with the only goal of putting my name out into the published writer space, while I work editing the novel which will likely take years.

I am proud of the poetry I have written so far, but think I likely need a few more to complete the collection. Enter Camp NaNoWriMo. I set a goal for myself of one poem per day, and we will see what comes of it. Hopefully the 30 days of writing will produce three or four I can use, or at least cobble together into something worthwhile.

I have been assigned a “cabin” of 20 fellow writers so that we can cheer each other on and by way of introduction, one of my cabinmates posted “WHY DO YOU WRITE LIKE YOUR RUNNING OUT OF TIME?” Someone else responded “WRITE DAY AND NIGHT LIKE YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.” Hamilton fans. I’m definitely with the right group. Or the “write” group.

I have six more days to prepare, to gather inspiration, and to figure out how to fit this writing into my day. As an already early riser, my best bet seems to be waking earlier (before the baby) and coming downstairs to my writing desk. The long summer days mean that there will be sunlight, and there should be no other sounds from the house at that hour.

“Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” -from Hamilton

To read the writing that I do about pregnancy loss and grief, you can head over to my blog, Grieving Out Loud.

Mother • Spouse • Bereaved • Friend • Documentarian • Collector • Writer https://musingsoutloud.com/

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