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.