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Camp Care Package #1: Everything is material.

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Author Uju Asika is your Camp Counselor this week. Find all Camp Care Packages in Breaking News throughout the month of April, or learn more about Camp NaNoWriMo!

1) Everything is material: 

One of my personal mottos for both life and writing is "everything is material." From a writing perspective, it means that everything can be used — a bird whistling on a fence, that line you overheard at a café, the toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Your messiest, most vulnerable experiences. In a way it’s daunting but also quite liberating to know that, when it comes to storytelling, absolutely nothing is off limits. You can put it all on the page. On a deeper/spiritual level, that phrase reminds me that everything is matter and, at some point, none of it will matter. So you might as well write about it, while you still can!

2) Make a list: 

I’m a lover of lists and one of the ways I get myself out of a writing slump is to make a list. It can also be useful for brainstorming at the start of a project. Make a simple Top 10 or Top 20 list of things or characters you’d like to write about. Number a page from 1 to 100 and quickly jot down thoughts, phrases, themes, anything related to your central Idea. For memoir, create lists around set topics like Places I’ve Lived or People I’ve Loved and Lost. Even if you’re not a plotter, organizing your novel into list form can help give your story a spine and make sure you’re hitting key milestones.

Writing Dare: Summarize your writing project in a Top 10 list then make another list of 10 things you could add to make your story stronger.

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Uju Asika is a multiple award-nominated blogger, digital consultant, and author of the book Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World, published in September 2020 by Yellow Kite (Hachette UK). It's a London Evening Standard pick for Best Books September 2020, and available in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats on Amazon UK and Waterstones.

What's up at Camp?

  • Camp NaNoWriMo Virtual Write-In - Fri., April 8, 1:00 PM PDT (Your Time Zone) Make progress on your Camp NaNoWriMo project! During this hour-long livestream, we'll share a few writing prompts to help you brainstorm ideas, and you can chat with other Camp NaNo writers. 
  • Writers of Color Meetup, ft. Uju Asika - Sat., April 9, 10:00 AM PDT (Your Time Zone) Writers of color in the NaNo community are invited to come to this virtual Zoom meetup featuring guest Camp Counselor Uju Asika! Build community and ask Uju your writing questions. (Writers of color only, please - thank you for respecting the space!)

  • Try something new this Camp — write a memoir! Memoirs are true stories from your life. They can be funny, sad, strange, or all three, just like novels. Check out our Camp Memoir page for more how-to resources!
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