How Not To Do Camp NaNoWriMo

Unfortunately, April’s Camp NaNoWriMo has not gone according to plan.

The intention was to treat it like November and write a whole 50,000-word story: a sequel to my 2015 fantasy project, which was my second choice for last November’s effort. This target quickly proved unrealistic when I didn’t quite manage to finish my previous WIP before the end of March, and I couldn’t focus on both projects at the same time. So I decided to revise my Camp target to 40,000 words and finish the WIP first – which I did, on 5th April.

Even then, however, I just couldn’t get into the flow of writing this new story. I’ve failed previous Camp NaNos because I didn’t have enough of a plan beforehand, and because I’d been busy with the previous project the last few months, I had only made a basic outline for April. But I told myself that I at least knew how the first few scenes would go, and that I could work on developing the outline as I went along. Sadly, this didn’t work out any better than it has in previous Camp NaNos. To me at least, the task of writing a certain number of words every day takes up so much focus and mental energy that there isn’t much room to do more than tweak the outline here and there; building it practically from scratch wasn’t going to happen.

Without a clear idea of where I was going, I quickly lost enthusiasm for the project; even reducing my target again and trying to write isolated scenes only helped for a few days. Finally, I decided to give up on this project, until such time as I could do it justice, and spend the rest of April playing with other ideas to keep up writing momentum. With all of those words included in the count, I technically met my twice-revised target, but it feels less like a victory and more like drawing a line through this month’s goal so I can move on to something else.

I’m not feeling too downhearted, though. I am still writing, and the problems of this month have taught me more about what works and doesn’t work for me as a writer. I already knew that I need some kind of plan, but now I know for certain that the plan needs a particular level of detail if I’m going to have a chance of success, and that I need to make sure I can devote my mind entirely to just writing during the month itself. Right now, I’m still thinking about what to write next; eventually, with proper preparation, I will come back to April’s intended project, perhaps for the next Camp NaNo in July.

About R.J. Southworth

Hi there. I've been blogging since January 2014, and I like to talk about all sorts of things: book reviews, film reviews, writing, science, history, or sometimes just sharing miscellaneous thoughts. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you!
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3 Responses to How Not To Do Camp NaNoWriMo

  1. isoltblog says:

    You did at least write, even if it wasn’t exactly what you had planned. You have completed your previous WIP, and developed idaes for the other project. Most os all, you kept writing. Best of luck with July’s Camp. I’m hoping to finish my April Camp story asap-my goal was a paltry 3K & I failed lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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