Hey all! It’s been awhile since I’ve done Camp NaNoWriMo (2014, to be exact.) I really enjoyed the experience the first time around, it was a bit more lowkey, the cabins were fun, all sorts of things. What I liked the most? Being able to set my own word count goal. In 2014, I set the goal of 40k. I had the novel I was working on completely outlined, I think. I was able to gauge how many words I had left to write.
Camp NaNo helped me finish that novel. Granted, I’m going to be working that novel over from the ground up. I’m less than pleased with how the novel turned out. There were a lot of issues. But I’m glad that NaNoWriMo honed my focus onto that novel. It gave me tangible goals, I think.
This year I’ll be working on my Opus Crescendo revision. It might be a bit of cheating to use a revision as a NaNoWriMo project, but it’s one that I need to be working on. I gave myself the goal of 50k, which is a bit low for this particular novel. I don’t want to stress myself out too much though. If I hit 50k? Grand, glorious. That’s 50k words I didn’t have on this revision before. If I surpass it? Awesome! Perhaps I’ll finish the novel in the month!
If I don’t reach 50k? I tried my hardest. I made progress on a project that wasn’t getting progress before.
reasons to do NaNoWriMo
There’s a built in support group! There’s a ton of other writers all working toward goals during the month – and Camp NaNoWriMo is particularly interesting because you’re in cabins. Meaning, there are a number of people who you can easily chat with and bounce ideas off of. Struggling? Talk to one of your cabin mates. Need someone to do word sprints with? Talk to a cabin mate. If you’re cabin is particularly quiet? There are forums as well.
NaNoWriMo gives you a goal with prizes. We all have regular writing goals, you know, hit X words per day, make sure to write a little bit every day. Things like that. I don’t really keep track of how many words I do a month – though perhaps I should. It would be interesting to see how much I actually write in a month. But NaNoWriMo gives that big goal. 50k is a huge accomplishment. And NaNoWriMo gives rewards to those who complete their goals within the month. Be sure to check out the sponsor prizes on the website – some of them are pretty cool!
I don’t know about anyone else, but NaNoWriMo always gives me a bit more focus on my writing. I tend to not work on the piece beforehand – only outlining and world building and hyping myself up for everything. That way once I start, I’m chomping at the bit and racing through everything. During NaNo, I only work on that particular project. All other ‘professional’ projects get put on hold for the month (though I’ll make exceptions for Patreon, of course). Usually, I’m working on multiple projects. It works well for me. Maybe NaNoWriMo is close to hyperfocus for me. I don’t know. But yes, I feel it gives me focus.
I’ll admit that NaNoWriMo doesn’t work well with some people, but it doesn’t hurt to try. If you find yourself getting too stressed? Stop. Don’t burn yourself out. Anything you did during the month is an accomplishment. Part of writing is finding out what works best for you.
Anyone else doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year?