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This month I've spent some time preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm actually really excited about it, because I think that I'll have adequate free time to work on my novel in this upcoming month. Time that I very well may not have during this upcoming school year, so I figured I would attempt to knock out my NaNoWriMo experience early this year. But I get ahead of myself, I figure some of you don't know what NaNoWriMo actually is. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and if offically takes place in the month of November. It has been running this will be its 14th year and it is starting up a little early with two Camps during the summer for those of us who aren't sure if they can do November.
As I was signing up for it though, I noticed a little thing about fundraising for Camp NaNoWriMo, and it got me thinking. I remember how much progress I made last November when I was doing it for me. What if I went and tried to fundraise for the program this time? Could I do it? Would anyone even donate towards it in my name. To be honest, I have no idea. But I really love the way the NaNoWriMo program builds a community and gets them all writing. It was "crossing their threshold" that took me beyond the realm of a person who wanted to write to being a writer.
I speak of the threshold in Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. I like to think of that as the pattern which I am following towards my own dreams of becoming a writer. I've been on this journey for 14 years and I think I spent most of that time "denying the call to adventure" and just wishing that I could magically be at the end of the journey. It was my participation in NaNoWriMo that taught me that the journey is important, not just for what I'll learn, but for who I'll meet. I've had the opportunity to meet up now with my Mentors for this journey and I'm grateful for the opportunity to get to know them better as continue on the path together.
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I think one of the most valuable things I've learned as I've trudged along the path towards becoming an author is the value of my fellow writers and readers. I never realized just how important knowing other writers to help you learn along the journey was, and I had no idea that the people who love reading would end up being some of your strongest allies in the journey either. I had it in my head (even though I knew I needed others to make it as a writer) that I would end up on this journey alone without any help. I figured that because so many other things in my life have been or felt that way. But writing, thankfully, has been entirely different.
So for the upcoming month much of my content will be focused around the goals I am making and keeping in line with Camp NaNoWriMo. I know that if I give it my best shot, I'll be able to get through a lot more of "Crimes of the Umbramancer" than I have for several months. (If you are familiar with NaNo's fussy rule about doing new material, know that I'm disregarding it so I can finish what I started last November.) I have a new protagonist to focus on and build a story for, and that is going to be my focus.
Thanks so much for reading folks. If you feel so inclined to donate to NaNoWriMo, you can find the link for me here. Things will be changing up here the next month at the blog to expand what I've been doing. I realize I should probably do a writing blog each week along with a culture blog and my midweek mashup. Hopefully it will all go well. I'm Jayrod Garrett, the First OG and I'm hoping that you'll join me in the mad dash to 50K in June!
What goals do you have for this summer?