a blog by J.M. Cottle
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A Camper’s letter home

Dear friends,

I’m writing to you from the lovely Camp NaNoWriMo, where we’ve just reached the halfway point of our stay here. That means that our novels should be halfway done. (Ha! Haha! Ha…) My cabin mates and I are getting along swimmingly; there’s nothing quite like the camaraderie of NaNo participants. It’s already assumed that 1) you’re weird and 2) you like to write, so socializing with them is easy, even for me.

A couple of interesting things happened the other day:

First, I gave up. I decided that I was not going to be able to finish my novel this month. In fact, I wasn’t going to finish the novel this year. I was way behind, I no longer cared about my story or my characters or any of it, and I just wanted to stop. I have never lost a NaNo month, but there’s a first time for everything.

Second, my protagonist, Art, broke the fourth wall. Abruptly I started writing in first person, from his point of view. Art started complaining about how badly the novel was going and decided that he would take over. I wrote 5,000 words in one night. Suddenly, I was no longer giving up. Suddenly, I cared about my characters and I wanted to tell their story.

I’m still behind, but I know that I can catch up. I am going to finish this month. (I might even do it with no cheating at all.) And I am still aiming toward self-publishing this novel by the end of this year, completing my last goal for 2012. I probably won’t keep any of the first person parts when I rewrite, since the novel is better suited to third person, but doing something fun and silly and different helped me get out of a rut.

So, friends, how are things going at home? Are you stuck on any projects? Could trying something totally different help you pull yourself free and keep moving? We could all use a dose of fun and silly from time to time.

I hope you’re all having a great month, and I’ll see you when I’m back from Camp on September 1st. Wish me luck.

All the best,



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