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  • Writer's pictureElira Barnes

3 Lessons Camp NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me So Far

I can't believe a whole week has passed since the start of Camp NaNoWriMo!

Time passed so quickly, and luckily, my manuscript did not stay behind.

Well, at some point it did, but I played catch up during the weekend.

My work in progress (#wip) is at 10609 words, of which 7178 were written during the first week of Camp NaNo. According to my stats, if I continue at this rate I will reach my goal of 25000 words by the 26th of April; that's four days before the end of Camp!

I just need to keep the momentum going.

Camp NaNo is definitely a journey, and like many journeys we go through in life, it has has taught me three lessons I'd like to share with you.

1. You need someone to hold you accountable

I have mentioned before that one of the reasons why I miserably failed at November's National Novel Writing Month is because I did not have anyone to hold me accountable. I knew I had to write 50000 words in a month, but everyday after work I would tell myself that I was tired and that I deserved to rest.

However, for April's Camp NaNo 2019 I have a whole group of people holding me accountable, and I hold them accountable too. I recently joined author Bethany Atazadeh's group of Patrons, and there's a whole bunch of us participating in Camp NaNo. We do writing sprints together almost everyday for at least an hour or so, and we encourage one another to keep going. Plus, we created our very own Camp NaNo cabin!

2. It's okay to be slow as long as you keep going

I started really strong during my first days of Camp NaNo because I was off from work. But by the middle of the week I was back at work, and my momentum slowed down a bit. I wasn't writing as much as I was supposed to, but I tried to write at least a little (around 100 words before going to sleep), planning to catch up with as many words as possible during the weekend.

And I did!

During the weekend I was back to writing sprints with my Patreon friends. And guess what? I caught up with the number of words I lacked, and even exceeded the word count I needed to get back on track!

You can do it too, by not discouraging yourself, but instead reminding yourself that you are human, and as such you can't be always "perfect" (I don't even believe in perfection).

If you find yourself falling behind your goals, take a moment to yourself to refuel, and come back to your project with fresh eyes and a fresh mind, for a fresh start.

3. You do not have to stick to a schedule

I know many writers advise setting a specific time of the day to dedicate to your writing.

This is great advice for people who have a daily routine, who know what time of the day they'll be working or doing other stuff.

But if you are like me, working shifts, in different places, and not sure where you'll be next, a writing schedule can be pretty useless, because you will never stick to it.

Instead, I suggest you write as much as possible whenever you can: when you wake up in the morning, during a lunch break, before going to bed, or when you can't sleep at night.

What I normally do is, I write as much as I can when I'm free, so when I have a busy day, I don't have to feel guilty or worry about not meeting my targets.


That's what Camp NaNoWriMo has taught me so far!

How are you finding Camp NaNo? Are you enjoying the challenge? What goals did you set for yourself this month?

Let me know in the comments below, and share my advice with friends if you found it useful.

Have a lovely week, and happy writing!


Join The Write Space Forum to start your own conversation.

You can also join my Facebook group, The Write Community, and chat over there.


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