Camp NaNo and Distractions

Hola, writing world! Louise here, with another blog post! (Finally!)

It’s April and (other than my son’s birthday) which means only one thing: Camp NaNoWriMo. But, what is Camp NaNo? I’ll let them explain.

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

 

This month, I have set my word count to 30,000 words, so technically I should be on 8k today, but I’m only on 4k. But, that’s fine. It’s early in the month, no need to smack that panic button just yet. My goal for over the weekend is to get another 6k written. At the minute, I’m currently without decent technology to write. My laptop bust at the beginning of the year so the past three months have been spent trying to write on a tablet.

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My biggest procrastination problem is the internet. A quick “five minutes researching this name and then I’ll carry on writing” turns into “I’ve not been on Habbo Hotel in years! This is so much fun, scrolling through Facebook for no real reason! Look, a video of a squirrel eating a nut. Gotta watch that!”

Before I know it, it’s dark out, it’s time for bed and I’ve got a measly 321 words down on MS Word.  (That’s a lie. On tablet, I use wordcounter.net, which saves your text even if you accidentally shut it off.) Anyway, the point I’m getting at is the internet is a huge distraction in my life and I’ve been taking steps to change that.

 

 

For the first time in years, I’m handwriting a novel. I have a folder filled with beautiful, crisp lined paper and a brand new black pen. And despite it taking me twice as long to get the word count down, I love it and I’ve gotten so much more words written than I would if I was trying to write with the internet just a finger’s touch away. It’s nice not to be distracted by the flashing images and statuses and the new YouTube videos being uploaded daily. It’s nice not to have my messenger constantly bleeping, or notifications popping up on my phone every time my favourite celebrities post to Instagram (still a sucker for that though!)

It’s freeing to sit, curled up on the sofa with the dog or the Kidlets, folder on my lap and pen in hand, lost in the world I’m creating. I noticed for the first time that I can actually get into the story I’m creating rather than having my mind focused on other things. (Holy crap, so and so getting a divorce?! I must share this link with my mum!) I am able to understand what my characters are trying to tell me and the direction the story needs to go in a way that I didn’t when I was constantly flipping to and from Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever mind-numbing social media site is up at the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. I love having the world at my fingertips.

But, I also love being creatively free.

 

 

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