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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

what happens when you go away to camp

No, no. I'm not actually gone. I am, however, doing Camp NaNoWriMo for the very first time.

... No, of course I'm not addicted to NaNo! Why do you ask?

Anyway, I started out the month with the plan of winging my way through my angel novel. (Pun not intended.) This angel novel started out as a Pinterest board and has slowly grown its wings. (Oy, I'm so sorry, I can't seem to stop with the puns here.)

It just... didn't have a plot. But no problem, right? Last year, with Broken Wings, I created a whole novel almost entirely from scratch in the few days before November.

But things don't always go according to plan.

Not even two days into NaNo, Beau arrived.

 He was intended to be the older brother-type character. He was not supposed to be the love interest. Still isn't, really, but my mind had other plans. (I think my downfall was looking up Sebastian Stan pins. On the right, I give you Exhibit A.)

I decided--no, more like was forced (by my characters, of course) to scrap my previous plans and thus, the Incredible Ship of Beau + Violet was born.

At first I felt really bad for Ethan (who was the discarded love interest) but then I got more ideas on how to turn it around, and Ethan became ten times more multi-dimensional and I decided that the Great Beau Change of 2013 was for the better. (He was quite happy about this.)

So I kept plugging away, inspired by another idea I hadn't expected to happen. And for a while, Beau... I mean, my nonexistent plot, kept me going. Until the words started to feel like slogging through acorn butter. (Or peanut butter,  if you don't live in a fantasy world. Which you probably don't if you're reading this.)

I spent a few days not touching the angel novel at all. Then, inspiration hit for a different novel. I spent the morning writing out the outline in a One Direction notebook and after that I think I was doomed. (Mostly because of the outline, not the 1D notebook.)

This novel is Because We Can, the sequel to Because I'm Irish, and I officially have switched over to that for Camp NaNo.

I didn't intend to, really. I meant for BWC to be a diversion. A little break from the angel novel.

Ha. Ha. Ha. We all know that's not how it works! *shakes head at self*

So after I wrote 5k, I realized that this novel was coming out much more easily than the angel one. And when I tried to watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and reruns of Suite Life on Deck and yet I still couldn't focus on anything but my book, I realized this was what I might need to be writing instead. When I'd rather write instead of watch TV, something is really going right. That's when you know it's serious.

It took me a few days to acquiesce, but I finally just decided that I was going for it. Since then I'm sitting on 13k as of today in BWC, and almost 35k total. (Yes, I added my BWC wordcount to my preexisting wordcount from the angel novel. I feel like such a cheater. But I'm trying to be okay with it.)

As for writing, it's going pretty well. I'm writing a court trial right now, so that's pretty boring, but I am happy with myself with not stressing about getting every detail right and, instead, just plowing straight in. (I mean watching Legally Blonde has to count for some sort of research, right?)

But it's kind of funny. I thought about doing BWC for Camp, but I didn't because it "wasn't ready." I kept resisting it. But now I realize that BWC is perhaps the most ready novel that I have right now. It has preexisting characters that I already adore and it's just like returning to an old friend.

Not to get all philosophical, but each NaNo I try to look at what that experience has taught me about writing. And for this round, I honestly don't know. O_o

Probably this quote by Madeline L'Engle best sums up how I feel about it at the moment.

“If the book tells me to do something completely unexpected, 
I heed it; the book is usually right.”

And other than that, just don't worry about it too much, I guess. The words will come. As well as the characters. (No. I'm serious. They do come. With a vengeance little known to mankind. And just when you think that you know what you're doing, they whack you over the head with a frying pan and snatch away any control over the story you thought you had.)


Happy NaNoing! Good luck!

(And, as Beau would say, just wing it.)

(I love angel puns.)


  1. i like this. :)

    Seriously, i love the angel puns, and BWC sounds interesting. Good Luck with Camp NaNo, Sky!!

  2. woah. BWC looks amazing.
    how do you make your covers look so lovely? what program do you use??
    Keep writing!(;

    xx riley

    1. Thank you! ♥ I often use PicMonkey for smaller projects/collages, but I also use GIMP more and more lately. It's free to download and even though it's SO hard to navigate, I really like the options it provides. Let me know if you end up downloading it and how it goes! And PicMonkey is fantastic too, I've made several covers on there as well. It's more user-friendly than GIMP and it's really creative and has a lot of great fonts. I really like its simplicity and layout.

      Hope that helps!


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