Camp NaNoWrapUp





ICYMI: Camp NaNoWriMo officially ended while I was away this past week at GeekyCon, and since I was too busy fangirling (which I’ll blog about later cause it was a MARVELOUS time) I didn’t get a chance to wrap up the experience of my first summer NaNo attempt, but I wanted to make sure I did.

Let me start by saying that while there’s a small piece of me that is disappointed I didn’t make 50K, the majority of me is extremely proud that I tried and got to 20K words. And to be honest, writing in a month that isn’t November, was a pretty big deal for me. I usually spend most of my year being like, Let me come up with a million ideas for things to write . . . . and then wait till November to write them! The list of reasons why I don’t write can sometimes feel endless:

Well, it’s not November, so I can’t write! 

Circumstances aren’t perfect right now, which means I’m incapable of words.

Excuse excuse! Excuse excuse, excuse excuse excuse excuuuussseee!!1$%^&*

Stars not in position. Can’t write. Not today.

We’ve all been there before. (At least most of us writers have.) But honestly, that’s the very reason why NaNoWriMo exists! Many writers and creators often get tangled up in real life and so the creative things that matter to us like storytelling become an everlasting I’ll do it later, but before we know it, later has come and gone and you find you’ve never done the thing. It’s extremely frustrating. All that to say, doing NaNoWriMo in July really helped to show me that the stars can be in whatever position they want, but that’s not what always stops me from trying to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. The thing often stopping me is myself, because I either don’t believe enough in the idea or am afraid it won’t be good enough. This month helped just get me going with that good ‘ole NaNoWriMo reckless abandon, and I really enjoyed every minute of it.

July also became largely about trial and error for me as a creator. I had the chance to try writing in a variety of ways: doing it while blogging/vlogging about it, going out and about to try writing in different places, I tried writing backwards, forwards, from the middle, and countless other ways, all on a mission to find what works. But what I really discovered, is that nothing works, but everything goes.

Elayna say what??!?

Allow me to explain . . .

While I was at GeekyCon, one of the questions that I ended up hearing attendees asking the special guests on several occasions was How did you get into the industry? What’s your secret to being a successful creator? How do you do the thing? Well turns out, they all had the same response, and that response was that none of them did it in the same way. No two people find success in the same way. Some people are Kardashians, born into families that force you to be a famous whether you like it or not, while some people are Rowlings, who barely survive on welfare for years till one person realizes the genius of her work and decides to give her a chance. Every person has their own story, which is why despite advice, tips and all the retelling of my experiences I do on this blog, none of that is going to change the fact that there’s no right way to write – but you have to love what you do.

I love writing. I love filmmaking, photography, short stories, feature screenplays, vines, tweets and rock operas. I love the idea of me teaming up with the creator of the universe to help bring something new to the table, whether its a fleeting thought, a parody of something I love, or something you’ve never seen before. That is the the single most important thing that I believe makes us human: we connect. We create. We love. And when you’re someone like me, you love to connect and create. John Green put it best . . .

Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.
-John Green

I’m a nerd for writing and I will never not be, whether it is November or July or some other month in the future when we disregard the Gregorian calendar. While Camp NaNoWriMo has come to its close, the writing of my book will not, and I am so looking forward to spending the next three months up until NaNoWriMo proper trying to finish its first draft. My passion will be put through the grinder as I do this, but I believe with enough determination, audacity, and pure fucking stubbornness, I will make it happen.

And for all of those writers who may be reading, I leave you with some of the simplest John Green-y wisdom to help aid you on your quest to share your stories with the world…

You tell em John.

Happy writing!

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