Savvy Word Slinger
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Posts tagged Camp NaNoWriMo
Monday's Mug
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Hello Everyone! I missed you all in July. I am sitting down to a cup of hot tea tonight and letting the day's worries run off of me. What I can I get for you? I hope you will sit down with me and relax for a few minutes while I catch you up on my last month. 

July was a tough month for me, and I know I am not the only one. It might be because the summer is coming to an end and the school season awaits. There were so many places I wanted to visit and projects I wanted to finish, but I didn't. So I have been spending this month looking at my plans and goals. I was becoming a little more realistic and starting again. 

I did participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this July, and it was a lot of fun. The cabin I was a part of chatted a lot about writing and their projects. I was interested when shared things about their personal life. I changed my project goal to the number of hours I would work on it instead of the number of words I produced. I did win though I switched from words to hours of work on my writing. I worked on a new project that popped up at the end of June and also on short stories for submission. 

Let me fill up your mug.

This month was really about getting my groove back when it comes to writing. I spent a lot of time off of the computer to see if it would help my flame reignite. The lack of a screen did help me get back to the creative space I needed. Sometimes I focus too much on the number of words I am producing rather than what I am writing. A focus on word count was helpful when I'm on a deadline, but too much can take the joy out of writing. 

I did a lot of soul searching last month. I am letting go of the people that are not there for me. I'm throwing out the disappointments of my past and the fears of my future. I am loving myself the best I can each day. I am just going to write. 

Monday's Mug
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Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Thank you for joining me for my Monday Mug. I am having coffee with my creamer this evening, and I will get you whatever you like as long as it is coffee. I can't believe it is already July. I am just sitting here wondering what happened to the year because I feel like January was yesterday. I have had a busy week, so let's get to it. 

I would bring you into my kitchen table retro 60s with the mustard yellow rolling chairs because the kitchen is where everything gets done. It is night here, and I often start to randomly talk about subjects in the evening because my days are spent listening to others.

So, to start with I had a really rough week last week. I thought things were going good, but for some reason, I had just really been struggling with my writing. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to write about or projects I love, but I just couldn't get myself to walk over and sit in my chair to write. It was mind-boggling to me, and I finally started to reach out to other writers. I had many different opinions to choose from and enjoyed them all. I just wanted a parental butt chewing because I thought that was what I needed. The butt chewing didn't happen, but other advice was given instead. I decided I should stop being so hard on myself for not being at the level I expected of myself. 

I still didn't write much after that, and I do believe some of it was because I was going to be doing Camp NaNo this year. For those of you unaware NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month that happens in November. They have more flexible camp versions that occur in April and July. I am back with a cabin in July I have been in for a couple years to change up the rest of my year. I felt like I just didn't want to write this last week before camp began because this month at camp, I am pushing myself for 50,000 words. Which is odd because only a few sentences ago I said I should stop being so hard on myself. I think my goals may change just so I can breathe a little more. My idea for the camp had also not solidified yet, so I am totally pansting it this year, which also give me a little anxiety. 

Would you like more coffee? I will refill your mug too. 

It was a busy week at my daytime job, which may account for my lack of wanting to write in the evening when I come home. I am trying to figure out how to give myself enough rest so I can be a morning writer.  I have also tried to write in notebooks, and I don't like it. I have tried every pen and paper type I can find, but I still am having problems with it. I think it just because I trained myself in college to type every story I was working on then. I have also come to a place where I am typing as fast as my internal narrator speaks, and I cannot keep up handwriting. I do still enjoy writing poetry out by hand, but I think it is because I play so much with the position of the words as well. 

I had meetings and classes this week that didn't go as planned, but it turned out that is was okay because I really just needed to give myself a break for a few days and work on my mindset with where my life is headed right now. 

I guess I am going to let you get some rest for now and maybe I should get some too. Until next time. 

The Importance of Writing Communities
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I would like to share my journey with writing communities over the last year. I have always loved the idea of community, but my real life practice of it has not always been what I was expecting. I find it hard to connect with others at times and enjoy my time alone. I have had the challenge of living in an area where there are not many writing groups. These circumstances led me to start looking into the online world of writing groups.

The first thing I found was NaNoWriMo which is writing a novel in November. It was a 50,000-word challenge that I thought sounded terrific, but without an actual steady writing practice in motion at the time, it proved to be complicated. 

This organization has a branch called Camp NaNoWriMo. Where the options for goals were more flexible, and the writing groups (cabins) were smaller. It was easier to find writers I had things in common with such as the genre of writing interest or I found writers who wanted to read what I was writing. 

This organization had functional groups, but I wanted more. I found Facebook groups were becoming the trend for those communities. Many of the NaNo communities had their own Facebook groups that I was added to but after a month or two after the challenge talking fades. I did have a good camp session where there was a lot of talking on the actual site, but I later found out they had been doing camp together for quite a few years. 

I wanted something more out of a group of writers. I knew I needed more time to get to know people. A community that would be devoted to writing and communication for more extended amounts of time. I was convinced at the time I wanted to write a novel, but upon further reflection of my college years, I remember how much I enjoyed short stories. 

I began googling about short shorties where to find them and who was writing them. I came across this site called Story A Day. It seems interesting there were a lot of prompts that I loved, and a challenge to write a story each day for May. They also had a private group called Super Stars. It was a chance for me to take to have community and to meet a challenge head-on for writing. 

So, I began trying my best to put myself out there and become part of the group. It was hard at first because I had not had a lot of communication with writing circles for the last few years. However, I continued to put myself out there and kept trying. It was a significant risk for me to take, but it was so worth it in the end. 

Over time I have gotten to know a lot of people and feel comfortable sharing my work again to get feedback on it. This was a huge stepping stone in the right direction for me. I opened up and let these people in. They have been there through some of the hardest writing days I have had so far. It is lovely to hear from them and get to know them.

I don’t get anything out of sharing this with you. I just want you to know there are communities out there that can meet your needs. There are places you can go and find the writing support that you have longed for. It may not be Story A Day or NaNoWriMo maybe it is a different community I have never heard of. 

My Top Three Reasons for Getting in a Writing Community are:

1. Writing communities give you a place to go when you have questions.

2. They are encouraging when you are having a hard time with your pages.  

3. It is more fun to do things as with a friend than it is to do them alone. Yes, I’m talking to you introverts. 

People who are interested in the same things can be critical to our future decisions and the road we choose in life. I am part of the Story A Day community again this year today is the last day to sign up if you are interested. I just finished Camp NaNoWriMo for April. I am taking the risk to get to know new people and to build new relationships with others.  I can’t wait to see what will happen.