Camp NaNoWriMo Week 1 Disaster!

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The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo is behind us. Many of my friends have made great progress with their projects. Seeing word counts rise day by day is so motivating and inspiring.

How did my week go? It had its ups and downs.

I wrote every day so far this month! Writing seven days in a row is hardly the biggest achievement. I’ve had much longer writing streaks. However, those writing streaks didn’t happen during a pandemic when I have nothing to do but stay home and worry about my friends and family that are still required to go to work. Being able to turn my mind toward creativity for at least a few minutes every day for a week these days is a huge victory.

The writing groups added this year for Camp have been a fantastic addition. The old cabins were fun, but this takes it to a new level. In my experience, keeping activity going in a cabin was next to impossible. It was nice to collect some like-minded friendly writers for a sense of community, but we rarely kept up a conversation in the cabin itself. Social media already kept us in the loop. There still isn’t a ton of chatter happening in the writing group, but having badge achievements show up in the chat makes things more lively. I love seeing notifications of everyone make progress toward their goals. I wasn’t sure what to expect with Camp moving to the main NaNoWriMo site, but I’m happy with the changes so far.

However, not everything so far this month has been wonderful. Sometimes I think there’s some sort of conspiracy to make sure I stumble at the start of all WriMo events. This time, poor sleep and anxiety created the perfect environment for a migraine to take hold. It was awful. I 100% do not recommend having a migraine while trying to write a novel.

Other than the migraine, the uncertainty of life these days has made it hard to be creative. I know some people have had amazing success with their writing since they’ve been stuck at home. It just hasn’t worked out that way for me. All it takes is one troublesome bit of news to slither into my thoughts and my ability to use the creative side of my brain is ruined for hours.

It’s completely unpredictable too. Sometimes I avoid the news, stay away from social media, and generally just have an upbeat, healthy attitude and I still end up worried and afraid. There’s no way to win. Being informed is scary. Avoiding the news to try to be happy only makes me worry. All I can do is try to give myself some time each day just for me. I’m not great at stopping worries from bleeding over, but I’ve got plenty of opportunities to practice now.

The second week of Camp NaNoWriMo is going to be better than the first. I can feel it.

How did the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo go for you? What do you think of the new writing groups feature?

Writing Progress March 30–April 5, 2020

daily writing progress

March 30

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,010
  • Today’s word count: 35
  • Thoughts: I’m still struggling. I’m still not sleeping well. It’s hurt my writing. Not writing much at all is starting to eat at me. I have the words in me and they feel trapped by my mind being fogged over. I’m tired and stressed and generally struggling. Something needs to change.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Sleep! I’m going to try to force myself to sleep in. I can’t do much about external stressors, but I can at least make an effort to reduce the strain on my mind and body caused by lack of sleep. Maybe I’ll feel more like writing if I’m less sleep deprived.

March 31

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,064
  • Today’s word count: 54
  • Thoughts: I almost didn’t write at all. I tried to justify it by thinking of it as saving my writing energy for after midnight. Then I decided I didn’t want to waste the writing energy I had. I didn’t write much, but something is better than nothing.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Camp NaNoWriMo! My goal for April is 20,000 words. It’s going to be a stretch compared to what I’ve been achieving lately, but I think I can do it. I’ll have a community of writers backing me up with their writing energy.

April 1

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,366
  • Today’s word count: 302
  • Thoughts: This was about average for the first day of a NaNoWriMo event for me. I hardly ever reach my word count target on the first day. That goes double for any Camp NaNoWriMo event. I never do well at these things, but I have so much fun trying.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, of course. I wonder if I’ll manage to get caught up on the second day of camp? The only way to find out is to try!

April 2

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,696
  • Today’s word count: 330
  • Thoughts: I’m making progress. I’m still not hitting my word count goal for each day for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m getting there and the progress I’m making is more important than hitting a rather arbitrary goal. This is such a strange, scary time so now more than ever I’m going to celebrate any creative work I manage to do.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I don’t know what to expect. I have to venture out into the world and run my weekly errands. It’s stressful under ordinary circumstances so tomorrow should be extra stressful. We’ll see what I feel like doing after that.

April 3

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,806
  • Today’s word count: 110
  • Thoughts: Somehow Fridays are still Fridays even in these unusual times. I’m exhausted. I’m stressed out. I’m still trying to write. I managed some words, but I definitely feel like it isn’t enough. That’ something I’m trying to work on. There’s so much going on in the world today. I need to stop thinking of my efforts as not enough. I’m only dragging myself down.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I have time. I just need to figure out how to get myself to use it for writing. It’s so easy to fall down a rabbit hole of dread and worry these days.

April 4

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,910
  • Today’s word count: 104
  • Thoughts: Another not so great day… I wish I could finally break out of this cycle. This just isn’t a great time to push to do more. I don’t want to make myself more miserable when my options for ways to cheer up are so limited.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: We’ll see how it goes. I’m trying to write, but I’m slipping back into not sleeping enough and worrying too much. I think getting out of that funk is going to take priority.

April 5

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,988
  • Today’s word count: 78
  • Thoughts: I started the day with high hopes. Those hopes were dashed by a migraine that started just before I had an opportunity to really focus on my writing.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hopefully I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep. If things work out that way, I should have time to try to catch up on my writing. I’m not going to think about the possibility that I’ll still have a migraine. I want to think positive.

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What I Read in March

If February flew by, March was the month that wouldn’t end. The world was in chaos. I was distracted, scared and upset in varying levels every day. Reading was a good way to escape, but I found it difficult to focus unless I was already at least mostly calm.

Books I finished reading in March:

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Books I’m currently reading:

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What books did you read in March? Are you struggling to read because of worry and stress or has it served as a way to escape?

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a few hours!

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In just a few hours my timezone will kick off April CampNaNoWriMo.

I’m adding 20,000 words to my 3rd draft for Camp.

Writing has been hard lately. There’s a lot going on in the world and I can’t help worrying. When I worry, I stop sleeping. When I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t think well enough to write.

If I’m going to reach my goal for April, I’m going to have to take care of myself. I need the extra push these days.

I’m ready for the challenge. What about you?

Add me as a buddy over on NaNoWriMo if you haven’t already. If you’re looking for a group to join for Camp NaNoWriMo, tell me your NaNoWriMo handle and I’ll invite you to my group.

Writing Progress March 23–29, 2020

daily writing progress

March 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,503
  • Today’s word count: 275
  • Thoughts: I pecked at my writing off and on all day. Then it was late and I felt like I hadn’t put in a serious, focused writing session. So I changed that at the last minute. It worked pretty well. I finished writing a scene and went to bed feeling accomplished.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I think I’ve broken out of whatever funk I was in. I’m able to write more than a few sentences. Now I feel like I have to keep it going or I’m going to lose it and spend weeks trying to get it back. We don’t want that right before Camp NaNoWriMo.

March 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,628
  • Today’s word count: 125
  • Thoughts: This wasn’t my day. I didn’t feel great. It was hard to focus. I tried anyway and ended up making myself miserable. I shouldn’t have done that. I need to remember it’s okay not to write.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Feel better. Write words. It’ll happen eventually. If I’m not feeling great, I shouldn’t push myself. I’ll only make things worse for myself in the long term if I try to do more than I’m ready to handle.

March 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,764
  • Today’s word count: 136
  • Thoughts: I couldn’t turn things around today. I just wasn’t feeling my best and it made it impossible to get much of anything done. Going into today I was so optimistic. It just wasn’t meant to be. I tried to be kind to myself, but it is so hard to resist pushing myself because I want to be productive. I peer pressure myself.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write if I feel better. If I don’t, I need to give myself permission to rest. I just hope I feel better because I don’t want to end up fighting myself again.

March 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,851
  • Today’s word count: 87
  • Thoughts: I had another bad day. It seems like this is turning into a bad week, but I know there’s still time for things to turn around! I’m not sure which started it but my mind and body are both in a bad place right now. Instead of writing, I just want to curl up with a book or wrap myself in a million blankets and watch TV. I don’t have the energy to create, but I have a need for escapism.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: We’re back to Friday and it should be as close to my usual Friday routine as things can be these days. I need to go out for groceries. After that, who knows what will happen. I’m going to try to write, but I won’t pressure myself.

March 27

No writing progress made. Today wasn’t my day. I had a terrible night’s sleep followed by errands I had no choice about doing. I was drained and exhausted. Maybe I could have pushed myself to write, but I didn’t have the energy to even attempt it. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day?

March 28

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,889
  • Today’s word count: 38
  • Thoughts: After having an unplanned day off yesterday, I’m not surprised I struggled to get back into my writing today. I was still exhausted and my focus just wasn’t there. I’m hoping to recover and get back to business as usual with my writing soon.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I should have a decently long stretch of time to focus on my writing. If I plan properly, there shouldn’t be much standing in my way. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

March 29

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,975
  • Today’s word count: 86
  • Thoughts: Today was exhausting. I haven’t been sleeping well and I had a busy day before I had a chance to sit down and write. For a while I honestly thought I would fall asleep before I even made it to bed. Then I felt better. Not great, but I felt better and wrote a bit.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hopefully I’ll get a ton of sleep and I can start the week in a good position. Camp NaNoWriMo will be starting on Wednesday. There’s plenty to be excited about this coming week!

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Writing Progress March 16–22, 2020

daily writing progress

March 16

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,055
  • Today’s word count: 109
  • Thoughts: My anxiety was through the roof today. It was terrible. Things are not getting better or simpler. There’s so much uncertainty. My writing should be an escape, but I’m struggling to get to the point of being able to focus on it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Ignore the world, get cozy and write!

March 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,273
  • Today’s word count: 218
  • Thoughts: Not great, but better. I’m improving my “ignore the world” skills somewhat. I still get sucked into the news and feel my anxiety growing, but I also managed to step away and take a break. That’s progress. I can’t expect myself to be perfect on the first day of trying. Of all the steps, I think I struggled with getting cozy the most. Staying warm on days when it’s just not quite cold enough to run the heat is hard! I can only drink so much tea and coffee, after all.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. Maybe I’ll find a way to make tea warm me up for more than a few minutes. Maybe I need to figure out a way to make my fingerless gloves even warmer?

March 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,395
  • Today’s word count: 122
  • Thoughts: I’m still struggling. There’s too much bad news in the world and I keep getting sucked into it because it feels too urgent to ignore. I know I should be taking breaks for my mental health, but I just end up worrying more. Writing should be an escape from that. It works pretty well until I pause for any reason. Once I stop, it’s so hard to start again.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Don’t be discouraged. The more I write, the better I feel. I have to keep trying to write.

March 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,459
  • Today’s word count: 64
  • Thoughts: This was just a bad day. I couldn’t get started. Then I finally felt like I could settle down and write and I got a headache. The derailed all my plans. It’s unfortunate, but it happens sometimes.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be a bit of an unusual Friday for me. I’m not running errands which might make it easier to get some work done. I’m looking forward to trying to write as many words as possible. Maybe a change in my weekly routine is what I’ve needed?

March 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,544
  • Today’s word count: 85
  • Thoughts: My writing goals got pushed to the side today. I went into the day intending to write plenty of words. Then I ended up playing a game. I wrote a bit while playing the game. Later I watched my boyfriend play a game. I meant to write while I watched him play, but I barely wrote anything. It was a fun day, but not a particularly productive one.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m hoping I’ll be able to write more. I have errands to run in the morning (not looking forward to that with the way things have been lately) but after that I should have plenty of time to focus on writing more words.

March 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,651
  • Today’s word count: 113
  • Thoughts: I managed to write more today. Somehow. Honestly, I felt like I didn’t have the emotional or physical energy to write at all. I sat down and thought I’d write a couple words to be able to say I wrote something today. I wrote a bit more and I’m not complaining.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. It’s hard to stay focused these days, but I have to keep going. I’d feel so much worse if I stopped writing.

March 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,228
  • Today’s word count: 577
  • Thoughts: Wow! I struggled today. First it was general internet distractions. Then it was my cats demanding my full attention. Somehow I managed to write more than any other day this week. It was surprising. I’m thrilled with my productivity. I want to do it again, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t manage it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I’m sure I’ll write something. Maybe I’ll have another great day.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

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Excited for Camp NaNoWriMo (again)

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I’ll admit, I lost my excitement for Camp NaNoWriMo for a while this month. The state of the world made looking forward to a month of writing nearly impossible. I don’t go out much, but many of my loved ones have to go out every day to work. They’re jobs are considered essential so they’re not likely to be ordered to stay home where they can properly isolate.

Today has actually been the worst day so far for me. This was supposed to be my grandparents’ joint birthday party. This coming week my grandfather will be 92 and the following week will be my grandmother’s 90th birthday. It’s become a tradition to rent out the community room in their retirement community and invite the entire family as well as all their friends to celebrate with an overabundance of cupcakes. My mom and aunts all bake so they always end up making close to a dozen different kinds of cupcakes.

Obviously, it was cancelled.

I haven’t seen my grandparents in weeks and I have no idea when I’ll see them again. My mom and her siblings have taken turns bringing them groceries, but visits aren’t a necessity so I’m staying away.

Maybe feeling down about this was what finally pushed my mind back toward thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. There isn’t much else for me to feel excited about these days.

I woke up today feeling ready to be part of a community of frenetic, goal-driven writers again. Even if I’m just continuing the project I’m currently working on, it’s going to make all the difference to feel a bit more connected.

I’ve never felt like I needed a NaNoWriMo event before. It was always something nice to give myself an extra boost. Now it’s nearly a necessity. I need the distraction. I need a little space dedicated to something creative and sequestered away from the news of the world at large. It’s too easy to hop on social media to reach out to fellow writers and get bombarded by worrying news. Once I start thinking about that, I struggle to feel creative. I’m hoping my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin can be a place to chat about writing without the risk of running into other topics.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Add me as a buddy!

I also have a cabin for next month! If you’d like to join, tell me your NaNoWriMo username and I’ll send you an invite. There’s plenty of room.

Writing Progress March 9–15, 2020

daily writing progress

March 9

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,439
  • Today’s word count: 143
  • Thoughts: I thought today was going to end up being a disaster. For a long time my attempts to write were going terribly. I seriously considered giving up and going to bed. However, close to bedtime I managed to buckle down and write a handful of decent sentences. I’m not complaining.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. The optimist in me believes I can keep the momentum from late tonight going tomorrow. It’s not impossible, but past experience tells me it isn’t too likely. We’ll see what happens! I’m going to stay positive.

March 10

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,527
  • Today’s word count: 88
  • Thoughts: I picked at the story today, but I couldn’t get into the process of writing. My enthusiasm was at a low point. There’s too much else going on in the world. I try to avoid news until after I’ve made some progress with my writing for the day but I failed at that today.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Avoid the news. Write all the words. Let’s get this thing done. I know I’m getting close to the end of the draft. I want to finish it so I can move on to the next step with The Dreams and start my next project as well!

March 11

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,585
  • Today’s word count: 58
  • Thoughts: I was struggling again. This time I allowed myself to get distracted and once I was distracted I couldn’t get back to work. It’s my own fault. Fortunately, I was distracted by reading so I was at least surrounded by words.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Be less distracted. Write more. Maybe still find time to read. I know when I get into these moods I struggle to stop reading something I’ve already started. I’ll at least try to pace myself and write during breaks from reading.

March 12

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,673
  • Today’s word count: 88
  • Thoughts: I think I pinpointed why I’m having trouble writing lately. I’m anxious. There’s a lot to be anxious about these days and it’s pretty hard to get away from the constant bombardment of increasingly distressing news. I’m not happy with the way it is affecting my writing, but I’m trying to accept that I can only do so much about it. I’ll just keep hoping tomorrow will be less stressful.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Friday is back again. I’m not sure how things are going to go. I still have to go to the store and I have a feeling it will be an even more anxiety inducing experience than usual. I don’t know if I will have the mental energy to write after that. Maybe I will need to write to escape?

March 13

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,683
  • Today’s word count: 10
  • Thoughts: Today was everything I feared. I experienced absolute chaos when I went to the grocery store. It left me completely drained. I tried to write. That didn’t go very well. Then I changed gears and cleaned up a scene to post on Patreon. That worked out better. At least I was somewhat productive.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Maybe I’ll manage to write. I hope so. I’m just going to do my best. There’s not much else I can do.

March 14

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,807
  • Today’s word count: 124
  • Thoughts: Another day full of stress. I managed to write a bit more today, but it was really hard to focus on something productive. Every time I had an opportunity to sit down and write I found myself sucked into worrying about the state of the world. However, I tried and had a little bit of success. I’ll take it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. It’s going to be hard to keep my mind off the state of the world, but I think it is more than worth the effort. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying.

March 15

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,946
  • Today’s word count: 139
  • Thoughts: Today looked like it was going to be a total failure for the longest time. Then I just felt a small burst of motivation. I jumped on it and got a bit of work done before life caught up with me again. If I could just get the hang of blocking out the world for a while each day I know I could get so much more done.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. Less worrying. It’s easier said than done, but I have to keep trying. It’s good for me. I can’t live my life if I’m constantly stressed about things outside of my control.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

Help others find my work! Vote for The Dreams and Inbetween on Top Web Fiction to help my serials climb the ranks and reach more readers. Voting is free and there’s no log in required.

Writing Progress March 2 – 8, 2020

daily writing progress

March 2

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,327
  • Today’s word count: 121
  • Thoughts: The words didn’t want to come out today. I sat and stared at the blinking cursor. I pleaded with the words to vacate my brain and join their brethren on the screen. The words scoffed at my pleas and refused to budge multiple times. I needed a different strategy. I wait hours for the words to get sleepy and drop their guard. Then I pounced and dragged a couple handful of those words out into the story.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, easier writing. Will it be possible? I honestly have no idea. Luck will have to be on my side if I’m suddenly going to have a spectacular day of writing.

March 3

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,721
  • Today’s word count: 394
  • Thoughts: What happened? What made this day so much more productive than other days? I wish I knew! Writing is so hard sometimes. Other times, it comes so easily. I wouldn’t say today was an easy writing day, but it was easier than most days lately.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Can I have another day like today? I hope so! Is it possible it will be even better than today? I don’t know, but I’m going to try to make it happen!

March 4

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,850
  • Today’s word count: 129
  • Thoughts: I hoped for another day like yesterday. It just didn’t happen. Today was a painfully ordinary day of writing. I want to get away from this ordinary and make yesterday’s productivity more ordinary. We’re getting there, but I’m not there yet. I’ll keep working on it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I shouldn’t have too much distracting me. If I can keep my own mind on task, it could be a great day of writing. I can’t wait to report back with the results of my effort.

March 5

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,999
  • Today’s word count: 149
  • Thoughts: I thought today was going to end up being a disaster for my writing. I tried and failed to write so many times. Then, just as I was getting ready for bed, the floodgates opened. I was able to write. If I wasn’t about to fall asleep at my keyboard, I could have written so much more. I only stopped because I knew I was too tired to go on. Why can’t these things happen at a reasonable hour?
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I just want to write something. My day is going to be chaotic. It’s the way Fridays always are for me. If I can just get some words down, I’ll be so happy.

March 6

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,016
  • Today’s word count: 17
  • Thoughts: Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I surprised? Of course not. Today ended up being everything I’m afraid of on Fridays. I was busy in the morning. Then I was emotionally drained from being so busy. It took me ages to recover. Once I did, I was too tired to do much writing.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m going to try to write more. It shouldn’t be too hard, but I’m still worried whether or not it will work out.

March 7

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,146
  • Today’s word count: 130
  • Thoughts: I had no idea what to expect from today. I wanted to write, of course. The bar was set pretty low. Writing more than I did yesterday wouldn’t take long. I succeeded. That part didn’t take long. However, the writing I did was broken up into almost single sentence burst throughout the day. That’s not normal for me. It didn’t end horribly so I won’t say it shouldn’t happen again.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I have obligations that will take me away from my writing for at least part of the day, but the evening/night should be all mine. We’ll see what I can make with it.

March 8

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,296
  • Today’s word count: 150
  • Thoughts: I was busy today and I still managed to write. I’m impressed. Usually I would consider today to be a loss and go to bed. Somehow I turned today around. I’m pretty happy with how I did.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write. I don’t want to bother with anything else. I probably won’t be able to achieve this, but I can at least put writing at the top of my priority list.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

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I made a Camp NaNoWriMo group

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I did it! I made a group for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Right now it’s only myself and a few friends invited to the group. We’ve done cabins for Camp NaNoWriMo together before. Most of us write fantasy and we tend to be more supportive than competitive.

There’s plenty of room left in the group so I’d like to opening it up to you. Are you looking for a place to hang out during the month of April? Do you want to witness me (most likely) continue my Camp NaNoWriMo losing streak?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an invite. Don’t forget to add me as a buddy too!