Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Three tips for succeeding at #CampNaNoWriMo — week 1 in review #amwriting #writing

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Dear mom and dad,

Here I am at Camp NaNoWriMo!

As you know, I was super excited to come to Camp NaNo for the first time this year. In fact, before camp began I was thinking, “Yay! The support of NaNoWriMo in a spring month! I can’t wait to get writing!”

I’m writing to let you know how my camp experience has been going so far.

Here’s what happened on April 1st:

“Well, it’s not REALLY NaNoWriMo — I mean, I got to pick my own goal and it’s lower than normal NaNoWriMo — so I could blow off the first day and still be okay.”

Here’s what happened on April 3rd:

“Even with my lower-than-50K goal I still need to get almost 1,000 words per day. Better get going!”

One week in, with a goal of 7,000 words the first week, I’ve only completed about 2,000 words. (cue Debbie Downer music: wah wah wah waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.)

But you taught me to always look on the bright side. Just call my Pollyanna! Here’s what I plan to do for the rest of the month to re-start my momentum:

Tips for Camp NaNoWriMo

1) Treat it just like you treat NaNo in November.

That means no excuses. Somehow, in November I managed to find time to finish 50,000 words even with work, kids, laundry, etc. So this month, I need to stop letting work be an excuse. And just because I set myself a goal of 30K rather than 50, I still need to take it just as seriously if I actually want to meet that goal. (And I do. I soooooooooo do.)

2) Shoot to exceed, rather than just meet the goal

For most of us, even when we’re not using excuses, there just isn’t time to always write every day. Given that, rather than shooting to meet goal each time I sit down, I’m going to write as much as I possibly can. If that falls short, meets, or exceeds the goal for the day, I’m going to be proud of myself for getting it done. And if it exceeds enough times, hopefully I can make up for what I missed.

3) Make use of the time you have

Who says writing has to all happen in one big block during the day, anyway? Back in November, I took my Chromebook everywhere I went. If I was in a waiting room for 20 minutes, that meant 20 minutes of writing. In an effort to catch up to my goal for Camp, I’m pledging to myself that I’ll do the same this month.

Bonus tip:

There are SO many resources available at the Camp NaNoWriMo site (cabin mates, pep talks, writing resources, etc) — if you’re not already taking advantage of these, this would be a good time to start doing that. (Yes, I was talking particularly to myself just there, but you’re welcome to take that advice as well.)

After taking the time to write all of this, I’m pumped! Maybe I’ll take this momentum and get going on catching up. 30K, here I come!

Happy writing!

P.S. If you’re at Camp NaNo as well, feel free to message me and say hello! I’m JaeRuss on the site.


One of the amazing things about being part of NaNoWriMo last year was the momentum. So many people working towards the same goal, constant support, the ability to tweet out word counts late at night and still get back a distance high five….

That’s why, even though I’ve lost some of my momentum without the NaNo deadline (don’t get me wrong — the great people over at NaNo are still providing tons of support during the “Now What” months; it’s just harder to meet my own deadlines than someone else’s), I’m still using the #amwriting hash tag.

That way, when I have a word count or celebration to tweet out, at least there are still people out there who will be celebrating with me.  🙂

Why would anyone want to #write a novel?

The other day, a friend of mine mentioned to a mutual acquaintance that she was beta-reading my first draft. The acquaintance responded with a question that I am certainly not the first person to be at the other end of: “Why would anyone want to write a novel?”

She didn’t literally mean “anyone,” of course. She meant anyone like her, or like my friend, or like me. Anyone who has a job as anything other than a professional novelist.

There are many, many ways to answer this question. Because I love to write. Because there’s a story inside of me that wants to get out. Because disappearing into the fantasy world of writing is often even more fulfilling than reading a novel, an activity which I also love. Because when it’s difficult — when the characters won’t cooperate, when the words won’t flow — is when it helps me grow even more as a person and as a writer.

The good people over at NaNoWriMo probably said it best:

“The other reason we do NaNoWriMo is because the glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self.”

Might not be the same for everyone, but that’s why I want to write a novel.

I write to write. I write because I love it. I write for me.