Being Flexible During Camp NaNo

Two days before Camp NaNoWriMo started, I abandoned my project and switched to another. I’m the planning kind of person, so I was reeling from the drastic change. But despite that, it was definitely for the best. Here’s why it was a good idea.

(Throughout this post I will be referring to both projects, the original project is nicknamed “Home” and the second, current project is nicknamed “Issac Normal”)

The first reason was about being ready.

The project I was going to do is something I really want to write and something I really want to write well. I spent the latter half of the week before Camp NaNo trying to think of the title instead of fleshing out the characters, the plot or refining the conflict.

I was not and am still not ready to tackle Home. The idea for Home is there, but that’s about it. Everything is vague and undetermined and while this is not entirely a bad thing, I’ve found that during NaNoWriMo especially, that is not how I like to work. I’m more familiar with the characters and world of Issac Normal than I was with Home. I would have struggled to find character voices and fit them into an underdeveloped world that I haven’t done enough real life research for yet.

The second reason it was important to switch to Issac Normal was because of duration.

I had been thinking about Home for only a couple weeks. I’m still in the pre-pre-planning stages, not the writing stage. This idea is so new that I struggled to figure out the perspective and form I wanted to use to tell the story.

For Issac Normal, I’ve had this project sitting on the back burner since last year. Not only have I passed the writing stage, I’m in the rewriting and editing stage. Since first writing Issac Normal, I’ve created an animation for it, I’ve rewritten it to be longer and I’ve started a sequel. Suffice to say, I know Issac Normal inside and out because of how much time I’ve spent honing the story and its characters.

The third reason and perhaps the most telling reason for why I needed to change was because of my enthusiasm.

I’m excited to write Home. I really am, but the combination of it being a new and underdeveloped idea means I’m more cautious and unsure of what it will turn out to be.

On the other hand, something quite random and insignificant in my life reminded me of Issac Normal and my brain turned on its head and I’ve been giddy, yes, giddy, with excitement to be working on Issac Normal. My head is swirling with possibilities and inspiration for Issac Normal whereas ideas for Home were sorely underwhelming.

Trying to force myself to work on Home while my heart is set on Issac Normal would have only led to an unsatisfying, unproductive, and draining Camp experience.

Camp NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a fun, productive month of writing, and so while it was difficult to completely change my project, it was important to give myself permission to change paths and follow a new plan. The first couple days of Camp have been great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the month!

How is your Camp experience going so far?

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6 thoughts on “Being Flexible During Camp NaNo

  1. I know from experience that having to switch your project before (or even during) Camp NaNo can be a bit stressful, but from your post it sounds like you made the right decision! I hope you have an amazing Camp, and I can’t wait to follow your progress throughout the month. 🙂 Good luck!

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      1. I wish I was! But unfortunately, I’m out of town for 3/4 weeks this month, so I didn’t want to stress myself out by juggling Camp and everything else I had going on. I’m watching from the sidelines instead, and looking forward to November when I can join in again 🙂

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  2. I think you made a good call switching to Isaac Normal. I think you will have a much better month this way 🙂 (and look at me reading your blog post finally haha).

    Liked by 1 person

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