Featured image from here.
Today, I’m talking about Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m sure lots of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place in November each year and your aim is to write 50,000 words in a month.
Camp NaNo (I’m calling it this from now on because NaNoWriMo is just too long) runs every April & July. You set yourself your own writing goal (Mine is 20,000 words) and try complete it in the month. You can start entering your total word count on the 20th of the month. I’m not going to be good at explaining it so just look here. You get assigned/invited to join a cabin full of people and you all write alongside each other. It also tracks your writing progress & creates stats for you. I enter my word count every 500 or so words I write & it provides me with easy, up to date statistics for when I’m predicted to finish, how many words I should write a day & also you can view your cabin’s stats as a whole to see when you are all going to finish.
This is my first year at doing Camp Nano – in fact, it’s my first year of anything NaNoWriMo. I actually am really enjoying it, but it’s been running over my Easter break so far so I’ve had more than enough time to be writing, but my break finishes on Sunday and I’m back to school Monday so we’ll see how much time I get for writing then. But I really want to get to 20,000 words – I’m currently on 8,103 which is the most I’ve ever written in a book. I know that what I am writing won’t be finished in 20,000 words and I’m hoping that having written a good chunk of it within a deadline will inspire me to write even when camp isn’t on, and possibly bring it into camp in July.
But, aside from all this today, I’m brining you my top five tips for writing at Camp NaNoWriMo, because, well, it can feel really hard when you loose faith for writing every couple of days or so.
- Loosing the will to write & having a lack of motivation: This had happened to me on a good few occasions in the seven days I’ve been doing this. You will sit at a computer (unless you’re writing by hand & counting up your words yourself, which I doubt you are, but if you are then congratulations to you, I couldn’t ever!!) all day long sometimes and do loads of writing and up your word count by thousands. The next day though, writing is the last thing you want to do because you’ve been at your computer for hours and hours, day in day out. My advice here is to have writing times, which is what I do. I prefer usually to begin writing at about 7:30pm and if I can (ie its the weekend or holidays) I will sit into the early hours of the morning just writing. If you can get at least an hour of writing in a day (depending how fast you type/come up with ideas, I do this quite quick and can usually do about 1,500 words in a little less than an hour) then you should be sorted. If you’re still lacking in the motivation and just thinking about giving up, then follow NaNoWriMo word sprints on twitter which are designated times where loads of writing people come together and just write for say, three hours and see how much they can do – I’ve not yet participated in any but I have talked to people who have and they say they are very useful.
- Where you write matters: I will always write sat down at my desk. My desk is close to a window so having natural light really helps me. If you can, writing at a desk is probably better than being slumped over your bed because you’ll probably end up deviating off task. If you’re comfy (like me on my big comfy desk chair) and sat upright and at a desk with little distractions (my desk has my calendar which has my entire month (largely NaNo based) planned out on it and some pens & pencils, and some pictures of my friends – that’s all) then you’ll be able to write more, or at least I can.
- Have somebody to proof read things for you and check out your work: So long as you’re comfortable with sharing things from your work with people, then you should really try get people to read over your work. I send a few chapters to my friend every so often and she’ll read over them and her eye catches mistakes I have missed. Even if it’s just a minor spelling mistake or something doesn’t quite make sense or sounds a little rambly, she can tell me and I can correct it. It’s also great to encourage you because your friend is most likely to tell you it’s good, unless you’ve got a horrible friend in which case probably don’t share it with them…
- Snacks & Drinks: You might want to neglect everything to do with yourself and just sit in your pyjamas writing and trying to get to your goal, but don’t. Well, I’m not saying don’t sit in your pyjamas but don’t neglect yourself. Grab yourself (or have someone else get you) a drink and snacks. Preferably in bulk, so bring up two bottles of water or two cans of coke or whatever and lots of snacks. I’d suggest you tried to keep it healthy with smoothies and fruit but really, that’s just not going to satisfy you. Chocolate, crisps & things like that will, and I’m not telling you to do this, I’m trying to move you away from it but I’m not a shining example of it myself. I’m trying to eat healthier though but I’ll save that for another day. So yeah, drinks which keep you alert and awake (water helps your brain but if your tired, there’s caffeine in coke and coffee so I’ll let you make your decision) and fruit and veg…
- Planning: Make sure you have at least half a plan. What’s super useful about Camp Nano is that it will tell you all your stats every time you update your word count. I have a calender on the wall next to my desk where I have various days to write on my word count, the day I’m predicted to finish and they day I want to enter my word count. Every time you update your stats change and it’s just good to have aplan to what you’ll do and when you’ll write. Keep up with your stats people!
So yes, there you go, my five tips for Camp NaNoWriMo from a begginer who has never before touched the website in her life. Don’t trust me.
And like I’ll say at the end of every post up until I get to 100 followers, I’m on 95 followers. Seriously. If like one person followed me today I’d be more than happy. Thank you, so much to everyone who does follow me, I love you. And like I said in my last post, I’ll be doing a 100 followers Q&A so feel free to leave me questions & stuff in the comments of this post even though I will do a more official post later.
Are any of you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year? If you are I’d love to hear from you in the comments or if you want to add me as a buddy on there, my username is the same as the title of my blog ‘Zalfie Fanatic’!