Why I’m Not Doing Camp NaNoWriMo

As mentioned previously on the blog as well as my social media, someone very special to me passed away at the beginning of June. About a week after their passing I had the idea to write about how grieving was effecting my writing and mental health. As both took a serious hit, unfortunately that itself had become quite the challenge. I was unable to produce the post that I had self-proclaimed via twitter was coming. Obviously it never came though; as I was never able to put the words down that I wanted to put down. Every time I sat down to write it out I found myself crying in my grief and more frustrated with myself for the inability to write anything substantial.

With all the struggling I came to a point of realization that I just needed to step away. I needed to catch my breath and figure it all out. I had a vacation planned with one of my best friends, but unfortunately we were in a car accident (see: Roll Over Perspective). Still though prior to that, I knew I wasn’t going to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo’s July session. Why? Simply because I was in a serious writer’s slump that was preventing me from feeling really inspired to work on anything. I couldn’t even bring myself to work on something simple like starting an outline or beat sheet.

I know technically there is still time to sign up, announce a project, join or create a cabin, and get in on the camp action – but honestly, I’m still not feeling the camp vibes this time around. I think I’m just going to focus on achieving what I’ve set out to do in my bi-monthly goals and go from there. I definitely encourage and am here to cheer on any of you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, but beyond that I just can’t bring myself to it. Maybe next year I’ll hit up both sessions again.

So who passed away? Her name was Laurie and for the past 23 years she referred to me as her “adopted daughter”. I called her “Ma”. She really was like another mother in my life growing up and I still can’t believe she’s not here physically anymore. Her oldest two actual daughters are two of my best friends, who are needless to say like sisters to me. I’m still really devastated by the loss, but am slowly getting back on my feet. The writer brain is kicking in again and I have so much to accomplish. I wish she could be here to see me and her actual daughters achieve what we set out to do.

The photo is of me and “Ma” at her oldest grandson’s (my nephew’s) first birthday party about four years ago. It’s one of my favorite photos ever taken of the two of us together. She was definitely a special woman who marched through life to the beat of her own drum.

Let me end this by asking, are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What kind of goal did you set for yourself if you are? Feel free to let me know in the comments below. Also keep in mind if you’re participating or if you’re not and just need a little encouragement while you’re writing anything – I got your back. Never hesitate to reach out!

Jane Ridgewood

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