This is an update post on my Camp Nano project. First of all, I want to talk about how much it means to me to do a project like this. As I mentioned before, poetry came into my life around middle school. It has been a wonderful way to express something deep within me that I couldn't with regular speech. It has poise, creativity with organization, and brings to life an image or a story in a few words, sometimes. It's fun and it gives me such a rush when I'm in the zone writing line after line. Poetry means I can share my fleeting thoughts and wild imagination.
Secondly, sitting down to write has been difficult at times. Trying to find the right words to connect is not always easy. I research definitions of words, their synonyms, and rhymes. That takes away my focus because it's hard to move past that one word. I lose my train of thought and the poem just sits there unfinished until a lightbulb goes off in my head, and my fingers begin typing at lightning speed.
My goal for this month was thirty-one pages ( a poem each day), but I wrote more than that. Right now I'm at around forty. It took less time than I expected it to. My goal is now fifty poems by July thirty-first.
Wish me luck!
*Photo by Marcus Spiske on Unspash.com
Camp Nanowrimo 2019
It's here and I'm writing poems for my poetry book (shh don't tell anyone!). Poetry has been a part of my life since middle school. I don't know how I fell into it. I remember entering into my school's talent show reading a poem I wrote about fish. I won (yay!) and since then I write poems just as often as I write stories. For me, poems are my short stories.
Participating in Camp Nanowrimo gives me the opportunity to discipline myself and write at least one poem a day for a month. Two years ago, I participated in Camp during July and finished my book. Years before that, I was in Camp Nanowrimo and Nanowrimo for the Young Writer's Program during the school year. Those challenges pushed me to write everyday even when I had classes and readings. I completed books and started others. This is the first time I am using Nanowrimo to write a poetry book. I can't wait to see the finished product after I organize all the poems. It's an exhilarating process. I love writing poems. It can take me anywhere from fifteen minutes to four hours to write one poem. They can be seven lines long or five pages! So, stay tuned for updates on my progress this month and the announcement of the completed project.
*Photo by Anh Vy on Unsplash.com
Why do I write poetry?
It’s a way to express emotions and words that don’t process in my mind through thoughts. I love telling a story in the stanzas and using words to create a picture. It’s like writing fiction, but this has a constant flow to it. A rhythm that beats throughout the poem and I’m not referring to rhyming. Even ones without rhyme still have a constant flow. I can use descriptive words right after another. I don’t have to use punctation. I can have stanzas of three sentences or four or make it into a paragraph. There can be rhyme, some rhyme, or none (free verse). I used to think all poems had to rhyme, but they don’t. I discovered free verse a few years ago and since then it’s been my subconscious first choice when writing a poem.
How do I get inspiration to write?
Most of my poems are not about my experiences. They are my version of a short story. I write topics that can relate to people in that situation. I want my words to touch your heart and mind. These ideas are sometimes inspired by songs I’m listening to at that moment. Maybe a word they used, the tone of their voice, or the tempo of the song can give me words to write. The process feels like I’m listening to something and transcribing it as it’s going. The poems are not planned and outlined. They rush out my brain like a waterfall. Graceful and moving quickly.
What is the writing process?
Keeping up with the words popping up in my head is the difficult part. I make spelling or grammar mistakes and can’t help but fix them before moving on. Sometimes if I’m brave, I’ll skip it. Writing is a grueling, but fun process. Even after everything is written down, I still have to reread the poem to fix errors, re-write or delete some lines, and possibly re-organize the sentences. Rereading is fun because I’m seeing it as a full piece, how all the descriptions fit together, if the flow is there, and how the message is received. So much symbolism, analogies, metaphors, and blunt endings! I love it.
The past two months I have been writing poems in the morning before work. I got an idea to compile them into a poetry book with other old poems that may fit the themes. I’m eager and nervous to do that and share it with everyone. More people deserve to read at least some of my poems.
*Photo by Shuttersnap on Unsplash.com
I procrastinated finishing my story for so long and now it’s actually done. A bit overdue, but better late than never. Now what is next to go back and edit and write some more. To reflect, I thoroughly enjoyed Camp Nano, even though it only lasted two weeks for me. I set a goal and accomplished it quicker than I thought I would. Honestly, I don’t know what to say. Writing a book is an amazing experience that can become mentally exhausting, but it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything else. I treat it as a challenge, as a real job. I give myself deadlines and goals because I take it very serious. Do I want this as a career? No. Will I treat it as one? Yes! It’s possible to have multiple aspirations and do them all if you set your mind to it. We shouldn't give up on something because it’s too difficult. In fact, that is a sign to try it.
Next up for me is focusing on other stories I have lined up. These plots need a lot of research and planning something I don’t usually do. Each week of August is marked for a specific book and on this blog, I will talk about the things I’ve learned while researching. I’m more concerned with strengthening the plots, building outlines, and creating realistic characters. With that said, I will post a poem up next Saturday instead of a reflection since I ended Nano early. Hopefully you all will enjoy!
She’s tangled in her own web. One spun so beautifully and complex, she got herself trapped in it.
14,000 words! I recently surpassed my goal of 10k, so I made a new one of 15k. This week was a little harder than the first. I hit writer’s block for the first time yesterday and it was terrible. I wanted to write more, but nothing came to mind. The story was dragging along at a certain scene and it got boring. The words weren’t flowing as swiftly as before. Nonetheless, I still powered through. Finally, on Thursday I wrote the most exciting scene.
I stop my heart from lurching as her eyes meet mine.
“Nathaniel, tell them to get their hands off me.” I look away, unable to stomach the sight. But then I remind myself of her selfish deeds.
This is not the time to be a coward.
I clench my fists. “You double crossed us and made a deal with him! Do you really believe we would fall for your lies again?”
Ouch. Someone got their feelings hurt. This is a new idea. I initially wanted some sort of rescue scene with guns, blood, and tears, but after thinking it over, I realized this was gut-wrenching enough. Plus, it’s more of a surprise to readers than the first one. I love plot twists.
I have much more motivation this year than I did last year during Camp Nano. Too many hectic things were going on last year and I didn’t have time to outline and prepare. I still wrote twenty thousand words though. This time I’m enjoying each time I sit down to write. The words come easily and I’m almost done. Then editing is next. I am not looking forward to that.
I finished the first seven days of Camp Nano and it was amazing. I haven’t written anything besides poetry in months and it felt good to get to know my characters again. I have 8,000 words already which isn’t a lot to be honest. Each day I attempted to write about 1000 words so I am on track. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of thinking and stressing and getting upset when your character does something stupid. I know I’m the author, but they have personalities of their own. It’s technically their story, not mine. Some things that I struggled with were forgetting to eat (it happens), forgetting to write (that happens too), and just coming up with ideas. Let’s start with the first problem.
Okay, I love food, a lot. But, many people can attest to this. You get so immersed in something that you’re doing, especially when you enjoy it. Once I start typing up the words, I don’t want to stop. The ideas begin to flow, the music pumps in my ears, and I’m in another world. When a scene is intense, I can’t pause in the middle I must continue it. That leads me to writing a couple hundred more words, getting excited and writing even more, when I was supposed to stop a while ago. To combat this problem, I decided to bring my computer with me to go to eat. Did that fix it? No, because once I warmed up some food, somehow, I ended up on YouTube watching a bunch of videos.
Forgetting to write. I know, I know, this doesn’t make much sense, but it happens! If I could sit at home all day in front of my computer, I… okay I probably wouldn’t do that. My point is, there are other things that go on in life besides writing. Shocking. As stated above, I like to watch YouTube videos, they’re funny. I also go outside to play with my niece and nephew or go to the store with my sister. We also play Ludo, a popular board game in many countries. Some variations of that are Sorry! or Trouble. I’m quite terrible at it, but it is fun.
Last, but not least, coming up with ideas. I created somewhat of an outline before July, jotting down bullet points of what needs to happen in each scene. It’s still difficult turning a couple bullet points into a thousand words. This is something every writer deals with. What should happen next? Should this chapter go before this one? There are many ways this story could pan out, but which one do I choose. I want to create a story I can be proud of. It must be perfect or at least close.
Despite these issues. it was still a great week.
Summer is a time to relax, go on vacation, and hang out with family. I usually take that time to focus on my writing. This summer, I decided to do something more fun and exciting like start a blog! This blog is mostly centered on the writing process, but I plan on talking about different topics as well. Feel free to leave some suggestions if you want.
During this month, I am participating in Camp Nanowrimo. What is that, you ask? Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month that takes place in November. This is a time when people set aside a whole month to write an entire novel! I always continue writing whatever I’m working on at that moment, because I have way too many unfinished projects to start another. Camp Nano is the same except it takes place during April and July. You and many other writers share a virtual cabin for the whole month. It's a wonderful way to meet other writers and gain support for your books.
This month, I am working on completing my novel, Our Father. This story is about Robyn, a budding actress finishing up her first movie with a lead role, only to find out her childhood best friend is stalking her. Crazy, right? Teaming up with her friends and ex-boyfriend, Robyn tries to piece together a way to take him down. Not so long after, she reunites with her estranged father, a man she hasn’t seen or heard from in seventeen years. What he asks her to do next, is even more shocking.
I haven't written for this story in months and I'm excited to write for thirty days and FINALLY FINISH IT. I started last night at 12am and so far I have 1,475 words which isn't that much, but I'm less focused on the word count and more focused on completing this project. Hope y'all enjoy the blog! :)
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