Sunday, July 1, 2012

Camp NaNo: Failure or Learning Experience?

I've been gone for a while, I know.  And I'm going to jump right into this blog like I haven't been missing.  That's what life is all about, right?  Jumping into things without a plan?

Sometime in May, I decided that I wanted to attempt the June Camp NaNo.  I was going to rock it, I was going to hit that word wall like a rocket and blast it apart.  Even better, I was going to take a story idea that was not my own and pants it like a fourth grade bully.  It was going to be epic.

And then life happened.

I wrote twelve thousand words and just...stopped.  I didn't have a good reason for it.  I certainly didn't have any excuses.  One day, I just didn't sit down to write and the motivation died.  It wasn't even so much that I lost my motivation, it was...something else.  There was no love.  There was no passion, no desire to sit down and write.  It wasn't my story and I didn't want to do it.

Don't get me wrong, I learned something. I learned a lot of somethings. I learned that I, the machine, have limits to how much and what I'm willing to do. I learned that I am not a pantser.  I need an outline, I need history and background and a big world to work with.  I learned that occasionally, life gets in the way and that GASP! sometimes there is something more important than shooting down wild words and fitting them together. 

I also learned something else, something more important than all the other things combined.  Don't start something you have no intention of finishing.  I've committed the worst authorial crime ever: I've left a story half-written and unfinished.  And that's bad. 

So, I learned something.  About myself, my habits as a writer, my future in the literary business (oh, it's there, I know it).  I failed the goal of Camp NaNo, but it wasn't a total waste.  And someday, I'm going to go back and finish that story.