Camp NaNoWriMo – April 2017

I’ve talked before about Camp NaNoWriMo vs Regular NaNoWriMo before. My preference is for regular NaNoWriMo, but I’m doing Camp in April because a few friends are dragging me along for the ride. I set a fairly low goal of 20k for the month. If I meet me goal, I’ll be back on track for the year for writing.

After a lot of back and forth, I decided to continue my NaNo 2016 Sci-Fi project. It has at least 20k left to get to the end, and it is somewhat fresh in my mind. Of course, it wasn’t as fresh as I thought… I spent the first two days of camp rereading the 50k I wrote in November.

On the days I write, I’m making good progress. I write at least two days worth of words when I get butt in chair time. Of course this would be more impressive if I was writing more than every third day. Ya, you might have noticed that math isn’t adding up well. I am currently caught up to day 7… it’s the 11th. My plan is to write another two days worth tonight and then I’ll only be 2 days behind. This in a nut shell is why camp doesn’t work for me. I’m always behind. In NaNo I’m usually ahead by day 3-4 and never drop below par. When I do camp, I’m ALWAYS behind.

I’m determined to catch up. I’m far from out of the game yet. Are you  doing camp this year? How are you doing at meeting your goals?

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July Round Up

August has been so busy that I never got around to reviewing my July goals. In July my goals were:

  1. Win Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve set a goal of 10k. – Done!
  2. Use my writing spreadsheet. – Done!
  3. Sew at least two nights. – Done! I spent one night on my shoo fly quilt (all but one row is sewn up), and I spent an afternoon fixing two pairs of shorts for my son.
  4. Continue to find fun ways to work on spelling words with my son. – Done.

I wrote a lot more than I expected in July. I wrote over 31k last month which was a pleasant surprise. Most of it was on a fluffy fanfic piece I likely won’t do anything with, but it was still writing and all practice is good practice.

I didn’t set any goals for August, but I’m going to set some for September. I’m not sure what all of them will be, but I know I want to work on some specific writing skills. Likely I’ll work on getting a solid outline for my NaNo novel for this year. The last few years I’ve worked from no or minimal outlines. This year I’d like to go back to working from a detailed outline.

I also want to go back to character development. I’ve said before that right now it is probably my weakest point. It isn’t as bad when I’m writing fanfiction, so I think the first step is to get a better handle on my characters before I start writing then.

Did you set any goals for August or are you on vacation as well? Have you started planning for NaNo in November?

July Camp NaNoWriMo Final Wordcount

On Monday I’ll post a full tally for my July goals, but today I want to focus on how I did on Camp NaNoWriMo.

I surprised myself. I wasn’t too worried about finishing (my goal was just over 10k). The surprised was how many words I ended up writing in July. I finished my NaNo goal on July 30th with 30 words to spare. But that wasn’t my only project for the month. On the 16th I was hit with a sudden, all consuming, NEED to work on a fanfic I hadn’t thought about in over five years.

I was on track for NaNo, so I decided what the heck. With half my nano words written I only needed three regular nano days to finish. Nothing to worry about, so I started writing… and writing … and writing. Over five days I wrote 20k on the fanfic project! It was fun and carefree writing, which in my opinion is the most freeing. This isn’t a story I’m likely to share with anyone. It won’t go to my critique group, and I won’t share it with family or friends. It was a story I wrote for myself. That let me take the long road, and several detours. In the end I got when I needed to be, but the journey was wonderful and far from a straight line.

julyHere is my word chart for the month. The blue was my NaNo project. It actually has a fairly consistent writing pattern through the month. A few days a week I wrote between 500-1500 words. It looks how I expected knowing what the rest of my month was like. The red is the unexpected project that took over my writing for the middle of the month. One day I wrote over 6000 words. It is my first >6k day in over a year I think. Overall I’m very happy with how camp went, and even more pleased that I found pleasure in writing for the first time in a while.

Did you participate in camp? Did you meet your goal?

Writing Fun Fic – Camp Update

This month I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 10k. I kept my goal small because I haven’t been writing much. I wanted something that was a stretch for a busy time of year, but not impossible. It turns out Camp has inspired my writing, just not in the way I expected.

As of today I am four days behind for Camp NaNo, but I’ve written a total of 25,000 words this month. How is this possible you ask? On the 16th of July I started a fluff fanfiction. In five days I’ve written ~19k on it. If I switched up my project on Camp I’d be done and then some! I am still determined to work on the camp project though. Last night I finally slowed down on the fluff fic, so tonight I’m going to work on getting caught up in camp.

My words on the camp project since my last update:

  • 509 words on the 13th
  • 903 words on the 17th
  • 660 words on the 18th (this caught me up)

Tonight if I write at least 1000 words I’ll be happy. Right now my expected finish is August 7th. I need to get my butt in gear and move that date into July! I’ll have to take some of my own advice on how to catch up if you’re behind on NaNo.

How is Camp going for you this month?

First Camp Update – July 2016

My goal for Camp NaNoWrimo this month is 10,000 words. I wanted to keep it simple since it’s a busy month. I also haven’t been writing as much as I’d like the last few months.

The low goal seems to be working this time. Often when I set a low goal I end up faltering because I always think “I can catch up later”. The pressure just isn’t there when you know that if you really need to you can write 10k in two days. This month though I don’t want to do that. I’m not even sure I could manage two 5k days in a row right now. Instead I’m working hard to write 1k every second or third day

My writing so far this month has been:

  • 875 on July 3, putting me a 1/2 day behind.
  • 1,433 on July 4, to put me almost to day 7.
  • 992 on July 7, to put me almost to day 10.
  • 717, on July 10, to put me at day 12.

I haven’t been quite as consistent as I wanted, but even with the uneven spread of days I’ve been keeping up with the line. Right now I’m caught up to tomorrow, which is when I have my next critique meeting. It takes the pressure off until after the meeting when I’ll have more time to write again.

How is camp going for you? If you aren’t doing camp what other projects are you working on?

July Goals

Usually I recap my goals from the previous month at the start of these posts… That isn’t going to happen this month. June was a write off. June is never to be mentioned again. Ya, it went THAT well.

Here are my goals for this month:

  1. Win Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve set a goal of 10k.
  2. Use my writing spreadsheet.
  3. Sew at least two nights. Probably on my shoo fly quilt, but I might make my son a pair of shorts.
  4. Continue to find fun ways to work on spelling words with my son.

I’ve also decided that regardless of how I do, I have to post my spreadsheet at the end of the month. My hope is that will be a little additional motivation to get some writing done this month. It would be pretty embarrassing to post an empty spreadsheet… right?

How did your June go? Do you have any big plans for July?

Camp NaNoWriMo – July

I’ll post a goal update later this week, but today I want to talk about camp.

This year I did Camp NaNoWriMo in April with a goal of 15k, and for the first time I managed to win it. I’ve won at regular NaNo nine times, but camp was something that hadn’t worked for me in the past.

For the last few months I’ve been struggling with getting anything done. Stress has been high, motivated has been low, and I haven’t done anything worth while. I’ve barely sewn, I haven’t written, and I can’t seem to finish a book. When I heard it was Camp time again I decided to give it a go. I set the bar at 10k and am going back to world that I’ve only written a short story in before. This month is going to be a fun month of writing. I don’t have any expectations, the story line isn’t set in stone, and the characters are flexible.

I want to meet my goal of 10k, but more than that I want to find the joy in writing again. I am giving myself permission to write crap. I don’t care if my story has plot holes, characters that come and go without reason, and big inconsistencies. What I care about is getting practice writing words again.

I’ve written in the past about the pros and cons of doing NaNoWriMo. This month the pros definitely outweigh the cons for me. I want exactly what NaNo will give me: Butt in chair time and quantity not quality.

Are you doing camp this month? What do you hope to get from it?

May Goals

How is it May already? Time to recap my goals for the last month, and set some for the new month.

My Goals for April were:

  1. Write 18,000 words. (15k on the Steampunk Novel, 3k on whatever I want) DONE! and I tried
  2. Use my NaNo style spreadsheet for any writing or editing I accomplish. DONE!
  3. Find at least two nights to sew. DONE!

I won Camp on the 25th. I had enough time to get another 3k, but I other things kept cropping up. My son’s birthday is tomorrow and things for that had to take precedence over my own writing.

I had forgotten my goal to sew at least two nights. Lucky for me I made a quilting update post in the middle of the month. I am further along on my Shoo Fly quilt which means I must have found at least one night to sew after that, and I know I did some sewing on at least one night before that.

My goals for May are:

  1. Write 8 times.
  2. Continue to use my spreadsheet.
  3. Read at least one book.
  4. Finish (100%, REALLY finish) the digger quilt.

I prefer to have a goal related to number of words rather than number of writing sessions, but I have no idea what I’m working on right now. The book is beause I haven’t been reading much. Time to get back to reading a book before bed instead of playing Sudoku. My son really wants his digger quilt, and this month is his birthday so I think he is right and it’s time to finish that thing.

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to in April? Have you set any big goals for May?

Camp NaNoWriMo vs Regular NaNoWriMo

I’ve won NaNo in November nine times. This year I won Camp NaNo for the first time. About halfway through the month I found myself thinking about the differences between the two versions of NaNo and what I liked about each one. Now that I’ve won both, I thought it was time to put some of my thoughts into somewhat readable words.

50,000 vs Pick your own
50,000 words is a lot to write in one month. I’ve gotten better at it over time, but it’s still a LOT of words. It’s the number of a words a lot of professional authors aim for in the course of a writing month. Most of us have families, jobs, friends, other commitments. Getting to pick your own word count during camp lets you have complete control. It can let you set a daily writing habit, or force you to stretch your current writing commitment. However when everyone has a different word count winning can feel a bit anticlimactic. This year I wrote 15,000 words. It was a lot for me with everything else going on in my life right now, but many people in my cabin went for higher word counts which left me feeling a little insignificant.
Winner – Tie

Cabins vs Writing Buddies
During Camp you can assign yourself a random cabin, or make a cabin with friends. This year I did a random cabin assignment. During November you can link up with friends by being Writing Buddies. Meeting new people in my writing cabin was fun, but overall the motivation was low. Roughly half my cabinmates met their goals for the month, and because I didn’t know these people I wasn’t sure how to help motivate the others. Many cabin members disappeared after a few days or weeks. With Writing Buddies you can have as many as you want, while cabins are limited to 12. In cabins you see stats for yourself, as well as you entire cabin. I found it disheartening as other members of the cabin stopped writing. My cabin is only going to reach about 75% of its total goal for the month.
Winner – Regular NaNoWriMo

What to write
Unless you want to be a rebel, the rules for NaNoWriMo are clear. You must start a new novel(la) and write for 50,000 words on that project. Camp is more flexible. You can write a collection of short stories, or write a script (script frenzy no longer exists). When it comes right down to it a lot of people bend the NaNo rules. People write on existing projects but only include the words written during NaNo, write a collection of short stories, or just count the words they write on multiple projects over the course of the month. I have always done NaNo as intended. Overall I think Camp feels a bit less ridged than Nano, possibly because you are already picking your own word count. Writing 50k on an existing project you care about is really intimidating, but getting 20k on something you care about seems easier.
Winner – Camp

Overall I enjoyed Camp. I prefer NaNo in part because it has become such an important part of my yearly writing cycle. Writing 50,000 words with a group of people who have the same goal is much more motivating for me than writing however many words I want while everyone else does the same. Isn’t that just like every other month?

Have you done NaNo or Camp? Which did you prefer?

Back on Track for Camp NaNoWriMo

campnanostatsGetting back on track this month took longer then I expected. On the 11th, when I gave my last update, I was still four days behind. I managed a double day that night, the 12th, and the 13th. I was in great shape to catch up on the 14th. Except that isn’t what happened.

I didn’t actually manage to catch up until the 16th. Not writing on the 15th certainly didn’t help, but I had other things that needed to get done. The whole point of setting a low goal this month was that I wouldn’t have to write everyday. The story is slower going than I expected though, and writing even a thousand words often takes twice as long as it usually does during NaNoWriMo. Once I get going, I sometimes manage to zoom through an extra 500 hundred words in the blink of an eye.

On the 17th I prove that point by writing triple my one day word count. That sounds amazing right? Except that I took the next two nights off. It didn’t put me behind, but it took away that great buffer of words I had. When I started writing yesterday I was on track, but needed a solid day of writing to stay there. I manage to get a day and a half of words. If I can do that again today, I’ll be happy. It would be nice to have a bit of a buffer again.

At this point I know I can win. As long as I keep hitting the keyboard, and don’t give up, I WILL win Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s exciting since it’s my first Camp win, but I feel like I’ve worked harder for it than I have my last several NaNos even though the word count is so much lower. At this point I just need to get through the words and win, so I can figure out what I’m submitting to my critique group in far too short a time.

How is your Camp NaNoWriMo going this year? Will you be joining me in crossing that finish line?