This is what failure looks like. Don’t be shy!

Welcome to the halfway mark of Camp NaNoWriMo 2017!

Here is what I’ve learned:

Having a plan is great! I spent the last two weeks of June piecing together a story outline for a project I was excited about. Young Brenna would be thrilled to know that older Brenna had these glorious plans to bring her thoughts out from under the covers.

I borrowed an online spreadsheet so I could track my word count. It’s extremely detailed which is great, if a little overwhelming. Using the spreadsheet, I was able to determine how far ahead I wanted to be before our week long vacation so I could stay on track despite the break.

I made a Twitch channel. I told people my plan to write and they were so welcoming of the idea and so kind. I felt like I was building up a community before I even said hello for the first time. People followed me and encouraged me to do what it is that we all love to do. People were willing to help hold me accountable.

Here is what else I learned:

You won’t always stick to the plan.

July 1st came and I wrote 4,287 words on day one. I was on the right track!

Sunday I did nothing. Monday I worked and then did nothing. Tuesday was the fourth of July so I went to my in-laws for lunch and then came home and napped before we set off on our road trip to Alabama at midnight. I slept. A lot.


From the fifth through the eleventh of July I only thought about gaming and showing our friends a good time at their first Play On Con. We had a nerdy second wedding. It was really nice.



I gave myself one extra day before returning to work and what did I do?

No, not nothing, you pessimist.

But I did change the plan. I realized my heart wasn’t as involved in the original story as I thought so I switched gears. I started outlining another story rewrite. For whatever reason, something in my head told me this was the story I wanted to bring to life at the moment. Who am I to turn away in the

face of random inspiration?

So Tuesday I plotted. I didn’t write out a story, but I prepared. Still, I felt like a failure. I didn’t do anything that I said I would do. I was the same amateur I regressed into when I stopped doing all that I said I would do years ago.

Wednesday through Friday I watched writing streamers. I absorbed their positivity and basked in their experience and dedication. I had a strange mixture of feeling terrible for not being like them and wonderful for wanting to still be like them. As if the work week wasn’t hard enough being back from vacation, now I was antsy to remind myself why I chose to do NaNoWriMo in the first place!

I needed a new plan.

Friday night, July 14th, I decided what the heck! I was invited to be in a little community of writers as their fingers sprinted across the keyboard and words became lives on a page. I didn’t even know what I would write about! They were continuing stories that were well on their way and I was at nothing. My outline wasn’t ready and I had a big, empty white Google Doc.

I knew what I liked to do though. I liked using pictures as prompts.

Sure it was rough, but that was the new plan. It took a few hours to set the stream up again, but I did it and I hopped into a Discord server with friendly internet strangers who were quickly becoming buddies.

My plan is to write twenty-five 2000 word flash fictions based on picture prompts and that will get me to my 50k word goal.

At least that’s the plan for now.

You won’t always stick to the plan.

Camp NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8,009


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