Friday, June 1, 2012

Camp NanoWriMo 2012 & Why I Write

Welcome to Second-ever Camp NanoWriMo 2012! I heard about this two days ago via Fiction Notes and decided to take the challenge. I'm not taking the traditional NanoWriMo {which stands for National Novel Writing Month, typically done in November} challenge. I am going to use Camp Nanowrimo to finish connecting all the loose ends in my WIP {work in progress}.  I encourage all newbies or old writers alike to join me in the process. 

Beach Camping? #Camping

For those creatives reading, where do you like to write? Personally, I love writing poolside. The sand on a beach can get messy and then I get distracted wanting to just have fun. Pools work really well for me. I can recall a few years ago that Hollywood screenwriters were being found at the mall in the food courts writing out scripts. So it doesn't have to be a really glamourous place that one writes. One place that I truly avoid is Starbucks and libraries. I always seem to attract people that want to talk and etc. I want to write, not chit-chat! Oh, one book that came out of a NaNoWriMo challenge was The Night Circus:

Why are you talking about Writing at Modern Girl Style? 

So a quick note on the creative craziness of my life as of recent. In January, I started learning how to sew. I totally love the new hobby which can really pull me away from my first passion---writing! The truth is I've been ambitiously working on a novel for like five years. I can recall when I first moved to Toronto, met all these new people, and told them I was a writer. The automatic next question was, "What are you writing?" A novel. Exciting stuff! I wrote the first draft that year. After I completed it, I read what I wrote. From first to the last page, I knew I was in trouble. My book was utter and total crap! 

But just in case I was wrong {and I really don't recommend trying this yourself}, I sent it off to an agent based on a recommendation from a wonderful published writer. Tres exciting!!! I mean getting recommended to a NYC agent by a published writer is a really big thing. Yet, I was really hoping that the agent would see something that I didn't it-namely like my book was good. Well, after a month-long exclusive with the agent. I got the word back. She passed on my book. I had confirmation. My book was terrible. I felt awful, but I trudged forward. I cut pretty much everything out of that draft of my novel till nothing was left and that didn't seem to do enough. I took things a step further. I stopped writing, and even blogging, for that matter, which was too bad because I had been in a really awesome place.  I just lost faith and strength to get past the first draft phase and rewrite the damn book. So I did what a child might do. I hit the eject button on my life when I really should have pulled up my boot straps and kept hiking that mountain. 


At the same time, I had the opportunity to become a yoga teacher. It was the perfect place to hide. I got lost in downward dogs and Lulu spandex. The hard part was all those friends that kept faith in my writing when I had lost it. They kept asking about the book and I kept telling them I was working on it. After some time, they finally got the idea and stopped asking about my book. It's a bad feeling. Trust me on it! But it's also a place that can be redeemed! After my bout with Yoga, I realized I wasn't going to get the sort of satisfaction that writing alone can give me. Last April, I had an idea for a non-fiction book that was just burning inside me. I was pregnant and couldn't teach yoga. So I wrote. I got the proposal together and sent it off to five agents that I expected would never respond. In two weeks, I received a nice rejection email from an agency in NYC. I never heard back from the other four agents and I never bothered to send off to any other agents because my pregnancy was gaining my attention, and well, the truth was I was hurting as a writer. But then I was pregnant and I wasn't working and I turned to the one thing that always consoled me, writing. It was a real turning point for me. A few pages turned into several chapters. Suddenly, I got the mojo back to write. I thought I can do this! I wrote and wrote and wrote, while being preggers. Two week after I gave birth, I got THE CALL FROM AN AGENT in regards to my non-fiction proposal. She loved my idea and wanted to represent it. I was delighted. I laughed and danced. I kissed my new baby! I felt so blessed. If a non-fiction book idea could happen, I thought to myself, then selling my novel could, too.  


Life has an interesting way of forcing your hand.  I had to fail to get better. Writing is a magical process. The ideas, the characters, the plots, and the fundamental truths that are woven into the fiction help me, as a writer, to find meaning in my life. So, in January, I got into sewing. I was exhausted from working on the non-fiction proposal, which I had to rewrite for my agent. I needed to take a break from writing, but I think I was starting to hide from the writing again. The sewing was getting to be like the yoga, but this time instead of completely flinging myself into it. I tamed it. I would sew only on weekends. This has proven to be really helpful for me. To add to the mayhem of being a new mom, trying to sell a non-fiction book, learning to sew, our home was hit with a major water issue. Our place has been under construction for the last six months, literally. The final phase is here and we are going to be kicked-out of our condo for the next month, which translate to no sewing or art making, just a plain old month of writing. Is life telling me something? Yes! I found out about the Camp Nanowrimo and I just knew I was meant to complete this novel, in all of its revisions, this month. It's time to deliver! 


There you have it. My life in a blog post. I hope this helps to unlock a bit of the madness of Modern Girl Style, a blog that is a place for me and others to dream. Dreaming is the first step, but listen at some point every girl has to become a woman and realize that she has the power to transform, redeem, and be exactly who she is!


1 comment:

Hopeinhighheels said...

What a journey you've had - thanks for sharing. Reading is my escape (I love that quote!) so I will be eagerly waiting to read what you've written - good luck!