The “chicken vs egg” debate is one of the most controversial and grueling debates of our time, but the constant argument: education vs experience, is far more relevant.
Both educators and students have thought long and hard, objectively and subjectively on which of the two values is most important. The most popular arguments are often as follows: how can one know how to get the most out of the experience without education? How can one make anything out of their education without experience?
I’m a Nonfiction camper and — starting only a month prior — blogger. Before all that, I’ve never experimented with writing much outside of school. I loved writing, but somehow the time to write what I deemed “writing” never came for me. Naively, I believed if I couldn’t write a novel, I wasn't a writer. But, three months and many prompts later, I found myself fortunately wrong. It’s the last week of TYWI’s Summer Camp, and It’s bittersweet.
After all that hard work, you’re finally finished with your manuscript. You send it off to the prospective publisher of your choosing with fingers crossed and butterflies in your stomach.
Days pass, soon turning into weeks or months, until that fateful email arrives in your inbox. You open it, ready for all your dreams to come true, only to come face to face with:
“We’re sorry, but unfortunately…”
A theme I notice in writing communities like TikTok, or Instagram is a severe lack of nonfiction acknowledgment. The book recommendations are always filled with fantasy, while the accounts with the most followers post about YA romance. As someone who wants to specialize in nonfiction writing, it’s a little disheartening. It’s not that these places don’t exist for us, but more so that they’re usually overshadowed by the fiction community or filled with already established journalists. Think about it, when was the last time you found a post about a nonfiction book? Exactly.
I can see the sun setting beyond the trees as I write this. Tonight is just one of many sticky summer nights where I find myself wondering how everything has gone by so fast. Maybe it’s because I have a summer birthday, but I always feel like once summer rolls around, I get incredibly nostalgic. And after a bit of Googling, it turns out it’s not just me.
Camp NaNoWriMo — abbreviated “Camp”— is different from NaNoWriMo in November because it's more flexible. Unlike in November, the event in July and April encourages all kinds of writing projects from short stories to memoir. Challenge yourself to write a poem everyday, or draft a film script!
But first, a pep talk. It’s easy for things to get in the way of writing or to not feel up to it — don’t beat yourself up for that. The spirit of NaNoWriMo is to have fun and be creative.
Camp is meant to be flexible and tailored to the writer, so work at whatever pace is comfortable for you. Word count goals can be as low or as high as you want. I participated in Camp last April and had a fun time writing 20,000 words while enrolled in university.
Even a goal of 100 words is progress, and you can change your goal almost anytime until the end of Camp. Because Camp is so flexible, it also doesn't matter if you start late. So set your goal for whatever you want!
Ready to get started? Here’s how to create a Camp NaNoWriMo project!
Other than the recurring image of a van traveling around the states, I didn’t have a solid idea what travel writing was before this week. So when TYWI’s nonfiction camp theme was announced, I was confused to say the least. How could I possibly write about travel if I’ve rarely left my city? Thankfully, I’ve come to learn more about it with the help of daily prompts and discussions. But, that also involves the murkier side of travel, just in general. So, I'll be passing on everything I’ve gathered about the wide world of travel writing. Stick with me, it’ll be worth your time.