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?

April Camp NaNoWriMo is less than a month away

April 1st marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo. It will be the first time Camp NaNo takes place on the main NaNoWriMo site.

In the past, Camp NaNoWrimo had its own site with a cabin system as a way to make the April and July events stand apart from the main event in November. For me, the cabin system was always great in theory but terrible in practice. I’d join up with some friends and form a cabin and everything would be great for during the first week or so. Then people would get busy, distracted, or discouraged. The the cabin became a ghost town.

How will things be different this year? How will the system replacing the cabins work?

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I don’t know yet. The groups feature on the main website is currently being beta tested. The feature is supposed to be released on March 5, but it might be pushed back to March 10 if things aren’t ready to go this Thursday.

After the rocky launch of the new site last fall, there’s plenty of reasons to be concerned about Camp. Some people rely on the NaNoWriMo site for social support during the events. When the whole site changed, they had to learn a new forum structure and entirely rebuilt their buddy lists.

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For me, the social benefits of the NaNoWriMo site is a nice bonus, but I’m perfectly content getting by socializing on Twitter and Discord. When the site has growing pains, I’m fine with stepping back and waiting. I’m not particularly worried about features getting out of beta this month. However, I don’t want my writing friends that rely on the site for connections to feel discouraged.

Hopefully the groups feature will be ready to go on Thursday so we all have plenty of time to get used to it before the writing frenzy begins.

If you’re like me and already getting wound up for Camp, you can add me as a buddy over on NaNoWriMo.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April? What are your thoughts on the Camp events moving over to the main site?

July CampNaNoWriMo Starts Tomorrow

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I’m feeling oddly calm considering I have less than 24 hours until I start a month of NaNo madness. It doesn’t feel real for some reason. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe it’s just the heatwave in my area keeping me in a decidedly un-NaNo mindset.

Usually in the month leading up to a NaNoWriMo event I spend a lot of time planning my project. I’m not doing that this month since I’m spending the month of July planning a serial. It’s almost like I’m using Camp to do NaNo prep work!

It’s definitely not conventional. Over the last few years I’ve been moving away from doing traditional NaNos. Even during the main November event, I’ve shifted to continuing ongoing projects instead of starting something new. My projects are just too big to start a new one every year and I feel like I’ve been a WriMo long enough to change things up.

Another reason I want to change things up is my horrible track record with Camp sessions. I’ve signed up for every single CampNaNoWriMo since they started and I’ve failed every single time. The last few times I’ve tried to change things up. I still failed, but I have to believe I’m on the right track. April and July just aren’t good months for writing fresh drafts of a novel for me. I’m not willing to be idle during those months. I just need to figure out how to push myself without setting myself up for failure.

Working on something writing related that needs to be done seems like a safe bet. Having a set amount of time I want to dedicate to my project adds an element of challenge to it and juggling several projects in different phases is another challenge I need to learn to overcome.

I’ve set my goal at 30 hours of planning for my next project. I’m rounding it up to an hour a day. Yes, July has 31 days, but I’m more than sure I’ll end up missing a day. Considering my track record, I’m going to give myself some wiggle room.

I want to try out some new planning techniques. If I find anything to be particularly useful I’ll try to share it with you. Maybe if I try something that really doesn’t work for me I’ll share that as well. Just because it doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.


Are you participating in CampNaNoWriMo in July? Tell me about your project! I want to know who is drafting, revising, planning, or doing something I haven’t even imagined!

My July CampNaNoWriMo Plan

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April’s CampNaNoWriMo session was a disaster for me. My project never left the starting line. I started out the month sick and never managed to turn things around from the bad start.

I’m hoping July will be different.

My project for next month is the same as the one I set up for April. I want to spend 30 hours preparing my next serial.

Inbetween is winding down. Once the final chapter is posted here, I’ll switch gears to finish up the third draft of The Dreams over on my Patreon. By then I should have a complete (or as close to complete as possible) plan for my next serial. If we’re lucky, the transition will happen later this year.

At the moment, my new project doesn’t have a title (maybe that will change in July). Pretty much all I have are ideas.

  • It will involve witches and dragons
  • The main character tells me we’ll be exploring grief and loss with her
  • Right now I think it will be more episodic than my other serials
  • Tarot cards will help guide the plot

It’s going to be a lot of firsts for me and I’m beyond ready for a change of pace. Inbetween has demanded almost all of my creative attention for almost 3 years now. It’s a big project, but I think the size of the story is weighing me down at this point.

Shifting my focus toward planning a new project is exciting and energizing! I just hope I can translate this excitement into productivity.

Are you planning to participate in July’s CampNaNoWriMo session? Tell me about your project!

CampNaNoWriMo starts tomorrow

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I’m planning to dedicate 30 hours to outlining and research for Camp. I have books checked out and ready for me to peruse. I have a cabin with some friends. Everything should be ready to go.

There’s only one hiccup in my CampNaNoWriMo plans: I feel awful. My allergies have been bad for nearly a week now and this weekend they got even worse. I’m absolutely miserable.

As much as I want to be excited, I’m worried. I don’t want to have a bad start to the month, but I don’t really have a choice in the matter.

I know from experience that it’s possible to make a comeback from a poor start to the month, but it is far from ideal. My goal for April Camp is pretty low so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I’m actually more concerned with the rest of my writing work. After feeling off for most of the week, I’m way far behind. I needed to start playing catch-up yesterday. If I’m lucky, I might be able to get back to work tomorrow.

Are you participating in CampNaNoWriMo? How do you handle catching up when circumstances won’t permit a good start?

CampNaNoWriMo Decisions

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I’ve signed up for April CampNaNoWriMo. There was no doubt I would be writing during the month of April, but now I need to officially settle on a project.

In an earlier post I wrote about the various projects I could pick as my CampNaNoWriMo project. Today I’m finally going to make my decision with a random number generator.

My options are:

  1. Inbetween (draft 1)
  2. The Dreams (draft 3)
  3. New project (planning)

And here’s the result:

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It looks like I’ll be planning my new project for CampNaNoWriMo!

This should be exciting. I’ve never attempted a Camp project that wasn’t simply writing a draft. Now I have an opportunity to use a goal metric other than word count.

Spending a certain amount of time on a project instead of focusing on the number of words produced is something I’ve wanted to try for a while. It’s hard for me to get out of the word count mindset. I have personal goals for scenes/chapters/entire projects and then events like NaNoWriMo reinforce the urge to measure my progress in terms of word count.

Overall, I think word count is a great way to track progress. When it comes to first drafts, if the word count isn’t going up, the story isn’t being told. However, first drafts aren’t the only part of writing. I know I’m guilty of discounting the time and effort I’ve put into planning, revising, and editing because it appears unproductive in terms of word count. These are vital parts of the writing process and they tend to make me miserable because I’m so focused on word count that I can’t perceive my progress any other way.

Maybe next month will help to change my point of view.

My goal for April CampNaNoWriMo will be 30 hours of planning for my next serial (in addition to continuing to write Inbetween). That one hour every day for a month. I can spend that time researching, outlining, doing character sheets, or any other sort of pre-writing I want.

By the end of April I’ll be more prepared to start my next serial and hopefully I’ll have a healthier attitude about the work I do for non-draft stages of writing.

Have you picked a project for CampNaNoWriMo? What sort of goal have you set for yourself?