5 Things I Learned from Camp NaNoWriMo

Well, folks, it was a wild ride, but I did it. I survived July Camp NaNoWriMo! In fact, I even met my goal!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Camp NaNo, it’s an event hosted by National Novel Writing Month (a website where you can track your progress while you try to write a 50K-word novel during the month of November). Every April and July, you can join a “cabin,” or writing group, of up to 20 other writers and set your own goal of hours, minutes, words, or pages. This was my fourth time participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, my third time winning, and my fourth time hosting a cabin. Here are 5 things I’ve learned in all my camping experience.

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Book Review: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

I’m terrible at watching movies. When I was little, I’d watch the same Zoboomafoo episodes on VHS over and over instead of normal childhood movies like The Little Mermaid. The result is that it’s only in the last few years that I’ve finally seen Star Wars, Finding Nemo, and The Princess Bride.

Jurassic Park is another one of those movies that everyone’s seen except for me. One of my good friends is a huge fan of it, and when I was at her house recently, she pressed a battered copy of the novel into my hands, assuring my sister and I that we’d love it. When she asked me if I did a few days ago, I had to be very diplomatic with my answer. But more on that later.

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Confessions of a Reluctant Plantser

It is a period of civil war.

The universe of writers is divided under two banners, the Planners (those who outline their stories–also called Plotters) and Pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants). Planners call Pantsers sloppy and undisciplined. Pantsers retort that Planners are control freaks and overachievers. A few traitorous double agents, the Plantsers, are the only overlap between the two groups.

Or, at least, that’s how I once saw it.

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