We are in the last gasp of summer and the final week at Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where the campers are writing 50,000 word novels in one month. campnanowrimo.org In my cabin of 5 people and one dog named Waffles, I am a memorist hiding out among the novelists. This first time I have been writing my memoirs during Camp NaNoWriMO going against the grain. I am writing my memoir “Two Step” a story of a Native American woman finding herself, her higher power, and true love. Behind closed doors it is strange to talk with the novelists. They describe elaborate fictional characters and daring plots to unravel the challenges they are in. While I describe to them the challenges of revealing intimate details of my life and how to oraganize it. But maybe it’s not too far off. I once read somewhere that your memoir must read right like a novel so perhaps my background in writing novel drafts may serve me well as a memoirist too.
As a Camp NaNoWriMo Rebel, I redefine Camp NaNoWriMo as a camp for writing where my goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of August. I started off with a blast! To get into the spirit of Camp I went and watched a bunch of camp movies. I went through my old journals and got inspired with posts that included details that I had long forgotten. I used on trial period to try out Scrivener software that was very helpful to organizing the details of my story through easy to use index cards and and the binder. Several Camp NaNoWriMo campers highly recommended Scrivener to use for writing my memoir. For most part, Scrivener has been invaluable though it took me a while to learn how to use it. I went through all the tutorials and watched several videos on how to use the software effectively. When I had a problem compiling my document the tech support for Scrivener were awesome in providing a quick response to my request that helped correct my problem quite easily. I have one glitch that recently surfaced that I am going to need to write to them about though. All participants in Camp NaNoWriMo get 20% off of Scrivener and those that validate at 50,000 words can get 50% off of Scrivener.
I have been writing in NaNoWriMo in the original month of November since 2007 generating mulitple drafts of novels. Camp NaNoWriMo first appeared in 2011 and I participated in both June and July of that year. I also participated in June this year and in August. However, this is the first time I have ever written in any NaNoWriMos and gotten sick for a whole week. Yes, for Camp I was in bed with swollen tonsils. That puts a big damper on all the summer festivities. Right now I have managed to reach 40,004 words in my memoir. It’s the final week of Camp NaNoWriMo. The last chance to reach my goals. I just received my Camp NaNoWriMo t-shirt after a few weeks waiting and I am proudly going to wear it at work tomorrow. No matter if I reach the goal or not I will remember the fabulous experience I had with my cabin mates, and taking the time to invest in my creative dreams. Being in Camp NaNoWriMo has taught me the value of surrounding myself with writers and sharing writing challenges and accomplishments together. Already, I can say that my experience with Camp NaNoWriMo has been a success!