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Five Things You'll Learn at Writing Camp

Five Things You'll Learn at Writing Camp

By Contributor

Yeah, writing camp sounds lame. I am aware of this, stop judging me. And technically, it was a writer’s conference, which sounds incredibly sophisticated. This was not only the first writing camp I’ve been to, but the first sleep-away summer camp I’ve been to in general, and it was awesometacular. Yeah, you could hear my suitemates through the dorm walls, it was over a hundred degrees at all times, and the common room vending machine was a rip-off artist that ate my money, but I digress.

This conference taught me many important things about being a writer: the importance of details, diction, syntax; the scale with which you measure the quality of English nerd humor; the awesome revelation that you can use “inappropriate language” while conversing with you teachers and they not only won’t care, but will also indulge in profane speaking with you. But after five grueling minutes of racking my brain for what stuck with me the most, I complied this list of the five most important things I learned while at writing camp.

Writers are WEIRD. You really get used to being the only delightfully quirky wordsmith in your school after a while, so going to a place that was compromised of nothing but delightfully quirky wordsmiths was STRANGE. Like brink-of-death-morphine-mixing-with-your-already-insane-fever-dreams weird. We were pretty much TV characters. I was the somewhat quiet one who surprised people with my morbidly hilarious witticisms. My friend was the crazy girl who stalked the token Asian guy. And at the time, that behavior was normal, as normal as building a pillow fort in the common room. Which, as you know, is as normal as any human can ever hope to be.

Cops in college towns pull you over for existing. Seriously, just don’t exist. That’s all you can do to avoid them. Feel like walking down a random road that you’ll probably get lost on despite the fact that it goes nowhere but straight? Nope! Eventually you’re gonna get stopped by a police dude who acts like you’re smuggling poison dart frogs in your backpack. Just grin and bear it, people. Grin and bear it.

Being followed around by cameras gets old after a while. Being followed around by Steven, the bearded cameraman in the baseball cap, was initially kind of distracting, but eventually we just ran with it. He filmed us acting like drunken court jesters on karaoke night, we offered to bring him water when it felt like the earth was hurtling towards the sun, and we had an understanding by the time the camp was over. It added to the whole “we’re living in a sitcom” vibe.

Inter-camp rivalries are fun. Harassing kids from the music camp down the street is a rite of passage for any true young writer. Not bad harassing, just . . . interpretive dancing around them while they play French horns and trombones on their lawn until they run away in fear for their lives.

Writing spontaneous tribute lymrics is hard. Hello, friends, my name is Nicole-Lyn. My writing skills have been stolen. When I sit down to type, my brain goes on strike. And that rhymes with: Mako and Bolin.

Post by Nicole-Lyn!

Does anyone else want to go to this camp right now? It sounds like a paradise.


Topics: Life
Tags: writing, writers, summer camp, making friends, summer break

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