I recently had the amazing experience of being able to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was a terrifying and empowering experience. As with many things in life, it did not go as planned. I thought I was organised and motivated; I got off to a great start for the first two days, then reality set in. I had planned it that it was during a three week school holiday so I didn’t have to work and could just focus on writing, well that didn’t work. My aunt and uncle arrived to stay, I moved, I redecorated the entire school and spent way too much time reading; all in all it ended up with me in a panic the last week of Camp. I had set the Camp goal of thirty thousand words in thirty days. I was at 15,304 on day 21. I was feeling so disappointed in my attempt and felt there was no way I could complete it. I had such high hopes and had let life get in the way. That weekend I decided to give it one final push. I cancelled all my plans, including a date, and planned to just sit and write. I had started with the idea of doing a couple short stories based on teen issues dealt with in a fantasy world. I had half of one story and I was tired of writing it. It was an intense and emotional story so I decided to try to write something light instead. I ended up writing about four other stories and only doing a couple pages on each. I was stuck, so I decided to go back to my creative writing course and just do some right brain free writing. I started with a completely random crazy story and just wrote without any planning or clue as to what I was actually doing. To be honest I thought I was mostly procrastinating. You can imagine my surprise when this nonsense story was the only one I actually finished (although I now have a good start on the others). It was 12,500 words. I started writing on Saturday morning, by 1 am I had completed this story and was at a total of 22,000 words for Camp. I woke up on Sunday and did the final batch to finish Camp with a week to spare. I could not actually believe it (I think I checked and rechecked the word count a million times). I had done it. I was thrilled beyond words. I proved to myself that it is possible. I don’t think I would do that much in a day on a regular basis, I would like a social life after all, but I know I can. I am feeling so inspired and proud. It is not about the certificate or bragging rights (which are awesome) but the fact that I proved that I am capable of much more than I ever thought possible. I went on my kind of Camp (not bugs or creepy wood noises) and I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, all from the comfort of my bed (with plenty of Hot chocolate and an electric blanket).