Camp NaNo 2018 | Diary

Week 1

Sunday 1st July 2018

I haven’t been able to work on my novel lately, so I hope the Camp NaNoWriMo will help me get my mojo back.” I wrote this sentence before the beginning of this writing month, but haven’t started yet. The Camp NaNo is like a mini version of the National Novel Writing Month, and I have only set up a goal of 10,000 words. Hopefully, I will get it done by midnight on the 31st July.

Monday 2nd July 2018

I haven’t planned to take any day off from work this month, maybe I should. Or maybe I should just kick my own ass and get shit done, that’s also a solution. I followed the football match Belgium vs Japan on Twitter and I’m glad my country won. I can go to work in peace tomorrow, hahaha. But will I be able to go to bed in peace if I don’t write? I doubt it. So let’s get some words on paper, even though it’s pretty hot in the apartment and that my eyes are begging me to keep them closed. After 30 minutes, I can’t do it anymore, but I’ve written 400 words. Not that bad for a first day back in the game.

Tuesday 3rd July 2018

No words today. I spent the evening with a friend I haven’t seen for a month. She told me all her secrets and I told her mine. Maybe I’m scared to finish that book, maybe I am procrastinating because I don’t really want to hold it when it’s done. Or maybe I got fed up of the story and don’t want to write it anymore. It’s true that I have a shiny new idea waiting for me in a notebook, ready to be told. But Victoria Schwab warned us about shiny new ideas. They’re only here to destabilise us.

Thursday 5th July 2018

I woke up at 6.30am, because… why not? I think I still need to discover if I’m better at writing in the morning or in the evening. To be honest, I am a bit sleepy. But my husband is still in bed, it’s super calm in the flat and the day hasn’t started yet. I’m not stressed by work because I haven’t been at work yet. It is clearly the right time to write a little. 481 words in 30 minutes, not bad for a morning.

Saturday 7th July 2018

We were supposed to go to Kew Gardens but it’s so hot outside that we gave up. I’ve watched documentaries on Blanche de Castille and Lucretia Borgia instead, while studying my Dutch a little bit. I like watching documentaries, on history or animals. I’m learning so many things that I could use in stories. Maybe it’ll be useful one day.

It’s now almost 5pm and I’m dead because of that heat. Over 30 degrees inside. I should have written this morning instead of waiting until now. Anyway, time to write!

Aaaand 528 words done.

Week 2

Monday 9th July 2018

Last weekend has been awful to me: 35 degrees maximum inside the flat, which is facing South. It wouldn’t go lower than 28… I think I’ve never been so happy to go to work this morning, because, guess what, we have climatisation in the office.

I’ve been to my writing club this evening. Once a month, a bunch of writers gathers at Waterstones Piccadilly (London) for an hour social and an hour writing. One of us just got an agent for non-fiction books. This is amazing to write with such a group for an hour, to talk to people that are actually doing it. Those moments are always specials. And I wrote no less than 740 words, which is the best I did so far during this Camp NaNoWriMo. But I had climatisation, which helped a lot.

Tuesday 10th July 2018

I started reading Pep Talks for Writers by Grant Faulkner. The author is the executive director of the NaNoWriMo, so I thought it would be a great read this month. It’s full of good advice, wherever the stage you’re in in your writing. The book encourages you to continue working on your story via 52 insights and actions to boost your creativity. They are categorised in 12. For example, I’m reading Getting the Writing Done category. Anyway, very useful, even though I haven’t worked onmy story today.

Thursday 11th July 2018

Didn’t do much writing today either. Instead, I celebrated PainQuot’s birthday. We went to the theatre to see South Kentish Town, a play created by Martin Derbyshire and organised by the London School of Dramatic Art. I have to admit it was pretty good. The actors had it right and the quality of the dialogues was on point. In theatre, dialogues are so important. I wonder how long it takes to write a play.

My favourite part in writing has always been dialogues. I think it’s the core, the main part, of a story. It’s like seeing a movie in your head. If the dialogues are flat, the characters are flat.

Master the dialogues and you’ll have great characters.

Saturday 14th July 2018

That’s it: we signed a new tenancy agreement for one more year. I’m so relieved we won’t have to move house this year! It’s exhausting and stressful to move house, and we’ve been doing exactly that every single year since we arrived in the UK.

Anyway, what you want to know is if I’ve been writing lately. And the answer is… YES! 1,179 words no less. I said on Monday that I had broken a record… today is a new record.

Week 3

Sunday 15th July 2018

I spent the day at Hampton Court Palace, the residence of Henry VIII. You know, the English king who killed the majority of his wives. The most famous one is of course Anne Boleyn. Yes, that king.

Anyway, the palace is beautiful. It’s full of stories, perfect for inspiration. I’m so sad I didn’t take my computer with me to write below a tree. We had an excellent weather, and it was cold enough inside the palace to keep us from the heatwave.

Wednesday 18th July 2018

A new creative joined my team at work. I had been waiting for that extra pair of hands for months, and she is finally there. I had to go through everything with her, so she becomes operational as soon as possible. But I’m not used to talk that much. I was exhausted by the end of the day.

A little word about what I’m actually doing as a day-job. I’m an SEO content writer for the French market in a technology company, and I’ve been promoted senior in April/May. I got new responsibilities since then, like managing people. So, there you go, I am writing for a living. When I say that, I realise I’m living the dream of lots of writers. My job is a crazy great one, and I love every inch of it.

Thursday 19th July 2018

I continued the new joiner’s onboarding. Still exhausting. Even though I have a personal blog and I write a lot about my feelings and my writing and what I’m doing, I’m not confortable when it comes to talking. Maybe it’ll come with experience and time.

Saturday 21st July 2018

I spent the day learning Dutch and playing video games (I’m onto Hollow Knight at the moment). I didn’t have the energy to focus on anything else, but I realised I didn’t write this week. Last week had been a total blast and I had lots of words done. But this week… nothing. I think I just have to stop beating myself up, but how? When you know something hasn’t been done but had to be done, it’s hard to let it go. I’ll have to push extra hard next week if I want to win the challenge.

Camp NaNo 2018 – Overview

I’ll just finish on a quote: “Gentle reminder that while weekends are the best time for some writers to get work done, it’s also okay to give yourself a day (or two!) off. Just because the work is always there doesn’t mean we have to constantly be working.” – Joy McCullough.

How was your Camp NaNo 2018?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle or to leave a comment down below

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