July Camp NaNoWriMo Week 1 Recap

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Did I just have a good first week of Camp NaNo? Is that legal?

Things went pretty well for me this week. That almost never happens. When it comes to Camp, I struggle every day for a month. What’s different this time?

First of all, we did nothing for the 4th of July this year. We stayed home and relaxed. That gave me more time to write and I didn’t have to spend time recharging from being around groups of people. However, the excessive at-home fireworks this year has been an annoyance. I’m used to some fireworks going off around 9 pm on weekends around the 4th, but this year it has been every night and often closer to midnight than sunset.

It’s also been hotter than usual around here. Normally we get a blisteringly hot day or two and then it’s back to regular summer heat. Not this time. It’s been uncomfortably hot almost every day so far this month. That’s kept me from going out to walk around town for inspiration (procrastination). As long as I’m in a cool room, writing doesn’t cause me to overheat.

The library isn’t open. This sounds like it’s a bad thing. Overall, it’s terrible. However, I like to lie to myself and say I’ll write better at the library. I drag my laptop there and spend a few hours browsing the shelves and people watching. It’s fun, but not good for my word count. Since I can’t do that, I’ve had to stay home and actually write.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the the world. These aren’t easy or fun times for anyone, but compared to April, I feel like I have a better handle on things now. I have a clearer picture of the situation and I have some experience with keeping myself and my loved ones safe. I don’t feel as helpless and that has freed up some space in my mind for creative work again.

Even with all these variables working in my favor, I’ve kept my Camp goal low. I want to push myself to write, but making myself stretch too far to reach it will only discourage me. I’d rather aim for something just a little bit beyond what I can typically achieve. Maybe this month will be my first ever Camp NaNoWriMo win? I could really use a win right now.

How was your first week of Camp NaNoWriMo? Have you kept your goal low or are you aiming higher?

I Almost Forgot About Camp NaNoWriMo

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Have I ever announced a NaNo project this late?

This year has made it so hard to keep track of dates. Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner and I’m just now setting up my project. We start writing next Wednesday! I’m usually getting ready weeks before this point.

I’m in the process of creating my project on the NaNoWriMo site while writing this blog post. Hooray for multitasking!

No one will be surprised to hear I’m continuing my rewrite of The Dreams for Camp. I’m getting close to the end. Maybe I’ll get enough of a push during Camp NaNoWriMo to finally finish it. I’m setting a goal of 10,000 words because I never win Camp events and I want to give myself a fighting chance. It would still be a stretch for me because this year has completely killed my productivity.

Like last time Camp is happening on the main NaNoWriMo site. I thought this was a great move back in April. It streamlined things and the change from cabins to groups wasn’t drastic, but the seeing notifications about friends winning badges was a nice addition. Chatter in cabins always died off after the first few days in my experience. Even if people weren’t chatting, seeing the badges pop up told me I wasn’t the only one still writing. It also provided an opportunity to start up conversation again with a congratulations.

It looks like groups started for last Camp session are still around. This is great news. If you were already in my group I don’t need to add you again. We can just keep going.

If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo next month, you should add me as a buddy. There’s still space in my group too so if you’re interested in joining, let me know your NaNoWriMo username so I can sent you an invitation.

Now that I realize it’s nearly July I’m rapidly becoming excited for another month of frantic writing. I just can’t believe it crept up on me like this.

April CampNaNoWriMo 2020 Wrap Up

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Is anyone surprised I didn’t win Camp again?

I almost made it halfway to my goal. Woohoo!

It wasn’t the best or the worst Camp NaNoWriMo I’ve ever had. That surprised me. With the disastrous state of the world I expected something extreme. I was braced for either the worst month of writing ever or a sudden increase in productivity. Neither happened and I’m a little disappointed.

Overall, I had an enjoyable time. At least a few people in my writing group kept writing up until the end. The achievement feature helped make that apparent. Knowing others were still writing kept me motivated to keep going.

Am I still in love with my project? Of course! I was working on the middle of major rewrite of one of my favorite novels. I could have had the worst month ever and I would still love this story.

Camp was definitely the highlight of the month. I really wish there was more competition for the “best thing about April” award this year, but let’s be honest, there wasn’t much to be excited about.

I don’t want to think about what would have happened with my anxiety if I didn’t have a project to work on all month. I already spent too much of my time worrying even with a month-long distraction. It would have been so much worse if I only had Netflix and Hulu to occupy my time.

Did you win Camp NaNoWriMo? Was it a good distraction for you or did you find the added pressure to be a problem?

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 3 Consistency!

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This month has been a great reminder that consistency is key.

Not every day is particularly productive. There have been days I barely wrote anything, but I sat down and wrote at least a few words. Doing that has made it so much easier to get to work on the days I feel up to writing more.

I don’t think my best writing days would have happened at all if I wasn’t writing something every day. My highest word count day of the month so far would not have happened at all if I wasn’t committed to writing at least a sentence or two. I went from no words at all for that day to forcing myself to write something before it got too late to suddenly having hundred of new words in Scrivener. It was great and it only happened because I want to go an entire month without missing a day of writing.

Although I’ve been loving the new groups for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve found one aspect of the NaNoWriMo website I hope they will change for the July Camp session. The achievements need some minor changes to work properly for Camp. Most of the NaNoWriMo achievements translate perfectly to Camp NaNoWriMo. They’re a great source of motivation and having them show up as notifications in the group message board helps keep things lively. The word count based achievements just don’t translate well to an event when people can choose to set their goal as more or less than the standard 50,000 words. It’s a little frustration to set a goal of 20,000 words and know that I can win the event without getting anywhere close to the 40k and 50k badges.

I’m not sure what I would do to change those badges for Camp NaNoWriMo. Maybe they would work better as percentages? What do you think?

How’s Camp NaNoWriMo going for you? Are you on track to reach your goal by April 30th? Let’s keep writing!

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2 Optimism!

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This is unusual. Week 2 was so much better for me than week 1.

My word count wasn’t all that much larger than the first week of Camp, but I felt so much better about writing this week. The world is still scary and we’re still stuck in isolation, but I’m learning to accept it. Maybe I’m just numb now. Who knows.

Seeing all the achievements popping up in my Camp NaNoWriMo writing group has been super inspiring. It keeps the chat alive when we’re all too busy writing or procrastinating to initiate a conversation. It’s also an extra motivation to earn those badges. Other people can see them so I want to earn as many of them as I can.

I’m having a really good time with my project lately. I’ve put a lot of thought into this part of the story since writing the last draft and it is paying off. I know what I want to keep and what I want to change. It’s efficient and I hope the resulting rewrite will be that much closer to perfect.

There’s still a good chance I won’t win Camp this month. I’ve never won so I won’t be surprised. I’d love to break the losing streak, but I’m also pretty comfortable with my comically long track record of failing every single Camp event while more often than not winning the main NaNoWriMo event in November. Win or lose, having a bit more of a community online this month has been a blessing.

If you’re feeling bored or lonely, say hi! I’m usually around. There’s no reason social distancing has to mean less socializing.

How’s Camp NaNoWriMo going for you? Did you find the second week to be easier than the first?

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?

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.

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.

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!

It’s Officially Camp NaNoWriMo Season!

For official information on Camp NaNoWriMo check here.

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The Camp NaNoWriMo updates to the NaNoWriMo website are now live! I’m looking forward to checking out the new features.

I set up my project for next month. My goal is to continue my third draft of The Dreams with a goal of writing 20,000 words during the month of April. Keep in mind, I’ve never won a Camp event, regardless of what goal I set. With the change from a separate site to the main site, I’m hoping that the energy surrounding Camp NaNoWriMo will change and I’ll get a motivation boost.

For now, we only have word count goals for Camp. This is unfortunate for people that have come to use the Camp months to work on time-related writing efforts like editing and outlining. I’m sure people can find word-equivalencies for increments of time if they want, but I imagine more people will just write something to keep everything simple.

Cabins are gone. Now we have groups.

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I’m waiting to hear from friends before I endeavor to set up my own group, but I’m looking forward to figuring out what this feature has to offer. Groups need between 3 and 20 members so I won’t bother trying to set it up until I know at least two more people want to form a group.

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Are you planning to participate in CampNaNoWriMo next month? Would you like to join my group for next month once I make it?