So I stumbled onto two very cool somethings basically by accident. The first was a site called Intention Inspired. There’s a book you can get (Kindle or paper). There’s an online group you can join, and they’ve been the most supportive group of strangers I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter! But what it’s really about is making a promise to yourself and keeping it.
I decided I wanted to write consecutively for 30 days. I signed up, and the daily guides started coming in, but I realized I wasn’t ready yet. I place a lot of value into rituals of preparation, and I wanted to give myself my best chance to succeed. So I saved the emails in a folder until it felt like the right time. It took me about a month, from May to June. Then I began reading the daily emails.
I’ve crafted some little hints below which I hope will make you curious to give it a try. I didn’t want to be too cryptic but I didn’t want to give it all away, either. It’s best to experience it for yourself (and they aren’t my secrets to tell).
The second tool I stumbled across was Camp Nanowrimo. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a huge fan and proponent of the regular Nanowrimo, which takes place in November each year. I do my little donation to earn my halo, I buy myself prizes from the merch store, and I teach classes on how awesome Nano is and how everyone should give it a try. Basically Nano is something that I really believe in, and want to give my full support.
But I’d never tried a Camp Nano before. They take place in April and July, and I realized that I was nearing July. Camp Nano is organized by “cabins,” which is essentially you and a group of your writer friends with a message board forum and a page where all your projects are grouped. I happen to have a beta reader group, where we share and critique each other’s work, which I’d never had outside of school before. Regular Nano has a set goal, zero to 50k words in one month. But Camp Nano is completely personalized. Since I was writing and editing, I didn’t much mind how my word count went so long as I was putting in the time.
It felt like the perfect convergence, so I decided to give both tools a try at the same time! Below are my successes and failures, and what I learned from the experience.
[began Intention Inspired]
6/22 day 0 – prep / successfully wrote
I did my first night of writing in a while, determined to start strong and start counting officially the next day. I read the email for day 1 so I could be thinking about it.
6/23 day 1 – object / successfully wrote
6/24 day 2 – announcement / successfully wrote
6/25 day 3 – ask a friend for help / successfully wrote
6/26 day 4 – meditation / successfully wrote
6/27 day 5 – inner voice / successfully wrote
6/28 day 6 – goals / successfully wrote
6/29 day 7 – hero! / successfully wrote
6/30 day 8 – help a friend / did not write
[began Camp Nano – starting word count 6,831]
7/1 day 9 – perfectly imperfect / successfully wrote (7,989)
7/2 day 10 – why / did not write
7/3 day 11 – compassionate / successfully wrote (8,834)
7/4 day 12 – say no to distractions / did not write
7/5 day 13 – micro goals / did not write
My parents came to visit, I got distracted, and I got discouraged. The longer I went without writing the harder it felt to go back. These are all perfectly normal behaviors! I ended up having to start over, but guess what. That’s one of the greatest aspects of Intention Inspired (and life). You can start over or repeat your commitment to yourself as many times as you want to.
7/21 day 1 / successfully wrote (9,040)
7/22 day 2 / successfully wrote (9,269)
7/23 day 3 / successfully wrote (9,458)
7/24 day 4 / successfully wrote (9,833)
7/25 day 5 / successfully wrote (10,312)
7/26 day 6 / did not write
7/27 day 7 / did not write
7/28 day 8 / did not write
7/29 day 9 / did not write
7/30 day 10 / did not write
7/31 day 11 / successfully wrote
8/1 day 12 / successfully wrote
This time I hurt my knee, and I focused on reading instead of writing. I’m thinking all of life is just a series of starts and stops and starting overs, and I think I’m okay with that. ~Jobe