Sometimes when a writer struggles with coming up with a new idea, they occasionally return to their roots.
Back in 2009, upon the suggestion of an online friend, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. For the uneducated, it's a whirlwind writing challenge that borders on insanity where participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel within the 30 days of November. I was successful in that first attempt, and that year's project became the basis of what would eventually become my second Gary Celdom story, Barbadian Backlash. Nearly 12 years, and what has become 21 self-published books later, I have not forgotten what introduced me to this crazy world of "author-dom."
However, in recent months, I've found I have struggled with coming up with ideas, or finding the will to write. Most often, I attempt to place the blame on my day job, or my co-current studies where I'm pursuing my Bachelor's degree in English with a Creative Writing concentration. But I need to be honest with myself: I've lost my writing mojo.
After releasing my latest book, The Prairie Fire Ablaze, the final volume in my Prairie Fire Trilogy (after releasing the first book in the series back in 2014), I've racked my brain, trying to figure out "Where do I go from here?" I've contemplated working on a fifth Gary Celdom book, but part of me wasn't feeling the vibe, and I didn't believe I could give Gary the proper respect or attention it deserved.
Then, the other day, I watch the music video for a song that's been utilized for a current vacuum cleaner commercial (No joke!), and I was bit by the inspiration bug: How about I attempt to write a rom-com trilogy, but from a male main character perspective. It also helped that a few years ago, I read a friend's rom-com/"chick lit" trilogy that I loved, so I'm hoping to draw some inspiration from that, as well. But when to start writing it? November is a good four months and a bit from now, and I don't think I could wait that long. Fortunate for me, there is a mid-term variant of the month-long writing challenge that introduced me to this world of writing abandon.
Camp NaNoWriMo is a sister challenge to the November tradition; usually held in April and July. It's the same premise as the original, but with more flexibility. Instead of the stringent 50,000 words in 30 days structure, participants can choose their word count goal for the month. Considering my schedule for July, which includes a book signing event in Louisville, Kentucky mid-month, I've decided I will attempt to write 15,000 words within 31 days. This averages out to roughly 500 words/day. It might not be a complete novel, but at least it could be the start of one.
I know it won't be easy, and my muse has been quite fleeting as of late. But at least, I'm willing to give this the ol' college try. And when you're a part-time university student with a full-time job, that's all one can really do.