Thoughts on Winning Camp NaNoWriMo

Yes, you read correctly, I Abigael Taiwo, queen of procrastination and unfinished projects is now an April ’17 Camp NaNoWriMo graduate! As I write this I almost can’t believe I made it and that’s the reason I’m writing this post today. Because I never truly believed I could do this.

What was Your goal?

  • To write 100 poems in 30 days that would eventually come together to create a book of poetry.
  • I also wanted to see if I could write regardless of inspiration and outside of perfect timing.

The outcome

I wrote  exactly 100 poems in 30 days and after taking a break from them will attempt to begin the process of editing and putting together said book of poetry. My deadline for myself is June 10th. I did on many occasions find a way to write without inspiration and at inconvenient times like at work, on the bus/train even while walking through one of the busiest shopping centre’s in BC.

First Thoughts?

My first thought when I crossed that finish line, pen in hand, book on knee, listening to Korean hip-hop in the car ride back from Bowen Island was “my god that was exhausting”. The sense of relief that washed over me like dirty water wasn’t exactly how I thought it’d feel but it was relief nonetheless. Physically speaking I was fine but once you ripped back the layers, a quivering little girl sat underneath wondering if it was okay for her to return to the surface. So one thing I learned from my Camp Nano experiment because let’s be honest that’s what it is, is that writing poetry is mentally and emotionally draining. But you know what, sometimes it’s what our soul needs the most: to release all the worries, sorrow and happiness too back out into the world (or in my case onto paper).

How DO You Feel Now?

Pride and so much of it! If you won NaNoWriMo or even participated, you should feel it too. To get the courage to commit to something this big is in itself a great achievement. To complete it, for someone who hasn’t finished a major creative project outside of school assigned work, feels crazy and somewhat unbelievable. But it has given me all the proof I need that I can do this, like all my favourite writers who in the past also started somewhere. I do have what it takes and completing this project is only the beginning of this journey.

Looking Back…

Last year in July Camp Nano I wrote just over 20% of my target word count. It was however fiction and poetry has always come more naturally to me which is why I decided on poetry this time around. What better way to start than with my original passion. I’m so happy I took that route this time. And for anyone stuck in rut, maybe all it takes is trying a different genre or even something new.

Congratulations to all the NaNoWrimers 😉  See you awesome writers again in July (if I’m not backpacking the world by then.)

P.S. Thank you to my amazing cabin mates and the Authortube community. You guys rocked this month and everyone’s encouraging words to each other helped a ton!

Abigael x


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