It is safe to say that I will not “win” CampNaNoWriMo this time around. Could I have won? Given my word count from last November’s NaNoWriMo, I think the answer is “yes.” However, so far, I think I am walking away with something even more important than a finished manuscript — two lessons.
Lesson one: I have figured out my best time to write each day. Unexpected events aside, I can easily write 1,000 to 1,500 words in an hour. It’s nothing compared to the vigorous pace of “regular” NaNoWriMo, but it is sustainable. That will get me much farther in the long run.
Lesson two: I am learning how to balance and prioritize. Often times, I focus too much on “20%” activities, such as social media or blogging, and my writing gets sacrificed. While I love putting out a blog post every day and interacting with you all consistently, writing is where I should focus more of my time. And I’m going to try to keep it as my top priority in thought and practice going forward.
Okay, enough epiphanies. Here is my week three summary:
My Personal Goal: 75,000 — or the finished first draft Desert Child, whichever comes first
My Secondary Goal: Create a sustainable writing habit for the future
Total Words Written: 28,938
Words Written This Week: 11,882
Day 15: 1,377
Day 16: 397
Day 17: 1,673
Day 18: 4,564
Day 19: 1,241
Day 20: 1,000
Day 21: 1,630
Estimated Writing Time: 6.5 hours
Motivation: My motivation this week has been to keep my writing routine consistent. Even when I hardly have any time, I am still sitting down and producing work. While I will not finish this draft by April 30, I still want to finish Camp strong.
Biggest Triumph: Learning to write in tiny intervals. I’m one of those people who has to finish reading at the end of a chapter. Previously, this anal tendency had crossed over to my writing, making me write for huge chunks at a time to complete a chapter or scene — or simply not write at all. It was all or nothing. Now, I can sit down and write for ten minutes (as opposed to skipping it altogether) without stressing myself out. (Seriously, one of my characters is in the middle of being cremated right now, her corpse on full display before the tribe, and I don’t even care. Normally, I’d have to save her from the humiliation.)
Biggest Setback: There is construction on the highway, so my commute takes longer. Plus, I’m helping cover for one of my coworkers who is on vacation. Long story short, I’m tired a lot.
Helpful Insights: Push yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge your writing routine. I thought writing a chapter each session worked for me — and it does, but it also prevents me from stealing smaller bits of time for writing and limits what I can do in a session. By expanding how you work, you will be more productive and more versatile. This leads to increased sustainability and more consistent writing even when challenges aren’t happening.
How are your Camp NaNoWriMo adventures going? Anything fun to share? Any advice for your fellow campers?