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?

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Thinking About CampNaNoWriMo

Maybe it was the spring-like weather we had here yesterday, or maybe it’s just that time again, but I’m thinking about CampNaNoWriMo.

It seems too soon, but April is only a month and a half away. If I don’t come up with a plan soon, I’ll run out of time.

This year I have a bit of a dilemma. Usually I have one or two projects that need my attention during Camp months. I try to pick one and focus on it. Currently I have three.

I’m so close to finishing Inbetween. April might be the perfect month to wrap up the first draft. At this point I’m almost positive I’ll have enough story left to carry me through a reasonable Camp goal.

The Dreams still needs its 3rd draft completed. About half the 3rd draft (100k) is written at this point. I want to get it done this year. It’s another contender for my April CampNaNoWriMo project.

I’m also getting impatient to start my next project. I don’t want to start writing the first draft until I finish Inbetween, but CampNaNoWriMo is flexible enough to allow me to work on planning and outlining instead. The next story has no title at the moment, but it’s going to feature dragons and witches and the story will be guided by tarot readings. It’s going to be so much fun!

Based on the size of the paragraphs above, I think you can see which project I’m currently most excited about. New things are always exciting. It might be more responsible to work toward finishing one of my works in progress.

Is it better to be responsible and work toward completing projects that I’ve been passionate about for years? Or should I work on something shiny and new to hopefully get a word count boost for Camp from the natural high of a new project?

Fortunately, I have some time to consider my options. Camp doesn’t start until April 1, after all. Have you started thinking about April CampNaNoWriMo?

July CampNaNoWriMo – We’re Halfway There!

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It’s hard to believe the month is halfway over.

My progress this month is about on track with what I expect from a CampNaNoWriMo month. I’m writing, but I’m not writing enough to reach my target. Even with a significantly lower goal this month, I’m struggling to keep up.

The problems I’m having this month are similar to the problems I’ve been having with my writing all year. I’m caught in a cycle of problems with physical and mental health. I fall behind because I’m sick for a day or two and then I end up feeling overwhelmed and anxious once I’ve recovered because I’ve fallen further behind.

I’d really like to break the cycle by writing so much that I no longer feel like I’m behind even after taking a few unexpected days off. Realistically, I know I should work on getting rid of the feeling that I need to get caught up to some self-imposed goal. I can adjust my goals and I should when I start to feel discouraged.

That’s one of my favorite things about CampNaNoWriMo. Setting my own goal helps me feel a lot less stressed out and I need to feel less guilty about lowering my goal during the month if I’m feeling overwhelmed. The custom goal is one of the best aspects of Camp and it’s okay to take advantage of a built-in feature of the event. Right now I’m only a couple thousand words behind being on target so I think I’ll see if I can make it without lowering my goal any further.

I’ve posted a bit of my progress on the new draft of The Dreams over on my Patreon. I’m collecting all of the cleaned up scenes under the “draft 3” tag. Patrons at all levels have access to all of The Dreams as I finish the scenes. So far posting the story this way has given me more confidence to experiment with this draft. One of my biggest regrets with the last draft was playing it safe with certain scenes.

How is CampNaNoWriMo going for you this month? Are you on target or thinking about lowering your goal?

Coming Soon: CampNaNoWriMo

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CampNaNoWriMo is just around the corner!

I don’t think I’ve every waited this long to start thinking/talking about my plans for Camp. There’s sort of a reason for this (and only sort of because I’m usually too excited to stay quiet anyway). I’m still working on the same project.

For months now I’ve been slowly pecking away at a new draft of The Dreams. I feel like I’m treading water which has tanked my enthusiasm.

It sucks because I love this story. At least a few other people love this story too and they’re counting on me to keep working on subsequent drafts until I have something shiny and as close to perfect as an oversized fantasy novel can get.

Maybe the pressure is getting to me a bit. I’ve been juggling two projects for a while now. I’ve written about how much I enjoy being able to switch gears with different project in the past, and I usually find having options to be freeing, but now I’m experiencing the downside to multiple projects.

I’m torn between projects.

Inbetween is a demanding monster of a story. I can’t seem to stay far enough ahead in my writing to feel comfortable leaving it alone for long. I write a couple chapters ahead, think I have a good buffer, and when I turn around it is gone and I’m left scrambling again.

If I want to make any real progress with The Dreams, I need a decent amount of time to get immersed in the story again. Lately, that has not been an option. I’ve been picking away at the same scene for a while now because of this.

Hopefully CampNaNoWriMo will give me the kick in the pants I need to turn this around. Announcing to the world that I’m going to work on The Dreams in July should take away a bit of the guilt I feel from time to time when I neglect Inbetween to work on The Dreams.

Right now the plan is to set a low goal. Not only have I been struggling to write The Dreams, but this month I’ve been struggling to write in general. To keep my goal within grasp, I’m only aiming to write 10,000 words in July. If I do really well, I’ll raise the goal, but for now I think I need to start small and give myself a chance to win.

Are you planning to participate in CampNaNoWriMo in July? Are you aiming high or sticking with a low writing goal?

April 2018 CampNaNoWriMo Wrap Up

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No win for me! That’s not a surprise. I never win Camp.

I did make some real progress in April. I had my best month of writing so far this year. It wasn’t as spectacular as I hoped it would be when I set my original goal of 30k and I wasn’t quite able to meet my reduced goal of 15k.

Not reaching my reduced goal was a bit of a disappointment. I tried to pick a lowered goal that would be possible for me to achieve, but I might have still overestimated my ability. Giving myself permission to officially lower my goal this month was a milestone itself. I have a tendency to be stubborn and let myself continue to fail rather than adjust to my circumstances. I got over that this month and I think it will lead to a healthier attitude toward Camp in the future.

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I had a couple really great days during April. I wasn’t particularly good at updating my progress during the month so some of the jumps on the graph represent multiple days worth of writing, but overall, my progress for the month was extremely uneven. My good writing days were great and I barely wrote at all on the bad days. I did manage to write every day of the month, though.

30 days of sitting down to write every day is an accomplishment, even if other goals weren’t met.

I still have a lot of work to do on the latest draft of The Dreams and Inbetween is still demanding most of my attention as I try to build up a decent buffer of words. I’ll keep trying to juggle both projects and try to make another push to really take a bite out of the new draft of The Dreams in July.

In the mean time, I’ll keep writing. New chapters of Inbetween will go up here on the blog every week. As I work on The Dreams new scenes will go up over on my Patreon┬áso be sure to join in fun over there if you’re interested in following the evolution of that story.

How did CampNaNoWriMo go for you? Did you meet your goal or have some other kind of victory? Let me know in the comments!

CampNaNoWriMo Week 3 Recap

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I did something different this week. I lowered my word count goal!

I’ve always set my goal too high for CampNaNoWriMo and before now I always had too much pride to lower it. This month, I decided to change that. Having the ability to set my own goal should mean I make it something I stand a chance of achieving. My original goal of 30k was obviously out of reach by the end of the first week.

Aside from letting myself change my goal, the most difficult part was deciding what my new goal should be. I spent a long time considering whether 20k or 15k would be more fair. I didn’t want to make things too easy, but I wanted to make sure I stood a chance of winning with my new goal. In the end, I decided to cut my word count in half and settled on a new goal of 15k.

15k is a much smaller goal than the 50k I often manage during NaNoWriMo, but I’ve never won a single CampNaNoWriMo event and I’ve participated in all of them. I want to change that and I think letting go of the idea of huge NaNoWriMo-like word counts will help me win for once. Without the frantic energy and massive group support of NaNoWriMo, I just can’t write anywhere near 50k in a month, but in a good non-NaNo month I can easily write more than 10k.

I had one extraordinary day of writing this week with over 2.4k for that day alone. I had an urge to write by hand that day. The change of writing medium and giving myself permission to write something that might not end up fitting into the main story gave me a creative boost. Now I just need to recreate that boost a few times over. Unfortunately, I don’t think continuing to write by hand would consistently provide the same results. Without the random urge to do something different, writing by hand is still just writing.

How did the 3rd week of CampNaNoWriMo go for you? Are you behind? Ahead? Have you ever lowered your Camp goal to something more within reach halfway through the month?

 

CampNaNoWriMo Week 2 Recap

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CampNaNoWriMo is halfway over!

We finally got some spring-like weather around here! I’m definitely in higher spirits now, but it hasn’t done much good for my word count just yet.

Winter weather in April really suppresses me spirits, but did you know sudden, beautiful spring weather is also distracting? The weather over the last few days lured me outside. I didn’t write much, but I like to think I was filling my well. Now that I’ve enjoyed some spring weather I’ll have more energy to dedicate to my writing.

Even though I’m feeling more optimistic, I’m thinking about lowering my word count goal for the month. Two weeks ago 1,000 words a day felt more than possible. Now because I’ve been struggling I’ll need to write around 1,500 words per day to finish on time. That’s getting a little too close to the words per day needed for traditional NaNoWriMo which I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle this month.

Now that I’ve decided to change my goal, I need to decide how much I want to lower it. I could cut my goal in half and lower my daily goal below 1,000 words, or could lower it just enough to get my goal back to 1,000 words per day. Both options have some appeal. What do you think I should do?

I just want to work on The Dreams! That story has been neglected far too much lately. I get anxious about my pitiful buffer for Inbetween and feel like I can’t step back from it to tackle an equally important project. I’d say I wish there were more hours in the days but I know I’d end up wasting the extra time somehow.

I’m looking forward to writing in week 3. I have high hopes!

How’s CampNaNoWriMo going for you? Are you considering changing your goal? Let me know!

CampNaNoWriMo Week 1 Recap

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Wow! The first week of this month’s Camp was particularly rough for me.

The weather has been depressingly winter-like for April. It has taken its toll on my spirits and to a degree, my health. Every time the weather takes another wild swing, I get headaches that can easily turn into migraines. The weather so far this month has been nothing but wild swings between early spring and weather that belongs in the dead of winter.

Feeling cold and miserable doesn’t lead to good writing days. I’ve been struggling to write at all. Fortunately, I have succeeded in writing every single day. It hasn’t been enough to keep me on track to reach my target, but it is something.

At this point, I’m sticking with my goal of 30,000 words for the month. If I continue to struggle during week 2, I will consider lowering my goal to something I think is more within my reach. For now, I really want to push myself to stretch my limits. 30,000 words is a point right between my usual monthly writing output and the breakneck pace I make myself take during NaNoWriMo. It seems like the perfect goal.

I’m hoping real spring is just around the corner. I can’t wait for sunshine and warm rain. I want to see flowers instead of snow!

How’s CampNaNoWriMo treating you? Have you changed your goal or are you sticking to your guns?

CampNaNoWriMo Struggles – Why This Year Is Different

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CampNaNoWriMo always comes with a unique set of struggles. The energy is different from the main NaNoWriMo event. The community is smaller for camp and the ability to set our own goals is both a blessing and a curse.

Even the weather works against us during Camp. I know the weather is just about the opposite of my experience for friends in the southern hemisphere so I cannot speak for their seasonal-related struggles. These conditions will mostly apply to my experience, which are probably similar to the experiences of other writers in my region of the world.

Normally, the distractions in April come from warm weather and increasingly green landscapes. We want to be outside soaking up the sunshine between rain showers. It can take us away from our writing, but it can also bring inspiration through renewed energy.

Writing this month is a struggle because winter refuses to loosen its grasp. The dark, dreary, cold weather works to our advantage in November. The transition from bright, crisp fall to dark, frosty winter is in full swing. We enjoy it and use it to our advantage because the transition makes it new. So far, this month is not so different from November weather-wise, but now it is nothing new. The near-constant cold and ever-present discussion of forecasted snow showers wear on our nerves. We want warm days and green as far as the eye can see. So far, we’re just getting more winter.

Maybe the weather will improve as the month progresses. I hope so. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to get back to my normal Camp struggles of wanting to spend my days outside instead of writing.

What’s the weather like for you? Are you feeling discouraged this month like me?

3 Weeks Until CampNaNoWriMo

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It’s been a few weeks since I did an update on my thoughts for the April session of CampNaNoWriMo. Since the event hasn’t started yet, there isn’t too much to say.

I’m definitely going to continue working on draft 3 of The Dreams. I want to get back into having a steady stream of scenes from the new draft for my patrons (be sure to check out my Patreon if you’re interested in that) and Camp seems like a good time to help myself get back on track with that.

This morning I finally settled on a word count (for now). 30,000 words seems like a totally sensible amount to write in April. I don’t want to put myself under the same sort of strain as November since I’ve shown myself many times before that I can’t pull off NaNoWriMo outside of November. 30,000 words comes to 1,000 words a day which is plenty of a stretch from my current word daily word counts.

Something I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t done yet is find cabin mates. Cabins are one of the most unique features of CampNaNoWriMo so I want to make sure I’m in one. There’s still time to figure it out, of course, but it is easy to let time get away from me when we’re talking about a few weeks until the start of an event.

How is your CampNaNoWriMo prep going? Have you picked a project? Settled on a word count? Joined a cabin? Need someone to talk to about your plans for Camp? Let me know in the comments!