Little wonder we stumble in life.

Road Tripping Through Camp NaNoWriMo


I’m afraid I haven’t been on my blog at all this month, and that is because I’ve been focusing all my attention on Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and moving up to Brisbane (which I do tomorrow; I will blog about that later).

For anyone who’s ever read my post on the Trifecta Community, will probably know of the metaphor for writing I wrote about for Question 6:

6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

 One author wrote a pep talk once in which she compared writing a novel to travelling from Sydney to Perth (on the ground, not by plane, thank you very much).

At first, you’re in the city, and it’s easy, and it feels as though you could keep on going and going. Then the suburbs, and you’re winding down a little, but you’re still writing.

Then you hit desert. And it stretches out for endless kilometres, and you may find yourself crossing paths where other authors have been through, or you may make your own. And you’ll be lost out there for so long, that you may want to head back.

Don’t. Keep going, and eventually you’ll hit the other side. You’ll be moving through suburbs again. And then you’ll hit the city, and you’ll be able to celebrate for a job well done.

I have now read another pep talk that expands that metaphor, which I wanted to remember:

There are two types of road trippers: the ones who leave with a printed and laminated itinerary, an alphabetized suitcase, and six dozen audio books to pass the time. Then there are those who throw some clean underwear in a bag, fill up the car with gas, and head out on the road to see where adventure takes them.

These two road trips might look pretty different on the outside, just as the noveling process changes from the perspective of a pantser or a planner. But the magical thing about road trips and novels is that no matter how you go into them, you end up on a voyage of discovery that you would never have experienced if you hadn’t stepped outside your front door or written that first word.

There are times when you think you might barf if you have to climb back into your car for even one more mile. There are days when you don’t think you can type another word. You get stuck in traffic or blow out a tire in a pothole, or realise that nothing is actually happening in your novel or blow out a storyline in a plot hole.

But then there are the days where you stumble across that spot off the beaten path, where the views are magnificent and the drinks are cold. There are the people you meet in your travels, whether they’re old friends or new ones. There is that daily, hourly, constant reminder of how much world exists outside your front door.

And when you’re writing a novel, there is the daily, hourly, constant reminder of how much world exists in your imagination. So grab that road trip mix CD, and let’s set out on the road to see where our novels take us. The whole world is waiting for us.

Let’s just hope that this doesn’t happen to you on your way… Though it would be a bit of a muse.

Speaking of muses, I just stumbled across something called Musefic. A useful tool unblocking yourself perhaps, but not something I’d publish online or anywhere else. It looks helpful, but it’s not exactly serious prose.

What do you think?

Author: littlewonder2

A writer in the making, I am learning Japanese, studied Creative Writing in university, and dabble in both fanfiction and original fiction.

6 thoughts on “Road Tripping Through Camp NaNoWriMo

  1. Very cool little bits of advice there. Thank you for sharing. Are you doing nano this year? I am thinking of trying it for the first time..


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