Thursday, August 1, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo

I'm sure a lot of you don't know this, but July was Camp National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It's an event where in 30 days, you attempt to write 50,000 words on either a new project or a current WIP. I knew about it in April when they did one, but didn't participate because I didn't think I write anywhere near 50,000 words in a month. That seemed like an insurmountable goal to me.

Nevertheless, I like challenges, so I convinced myself to give it a go in July. I started off behind, and didn't get any writing in two of the first three days. It took me until day 10 to catch up to where I was supposed to be. By then, I was kinda hooked. See, they put you in virtual cabins, and you can see how other people are doing. If anything, I'm competitive. I wanted to win. I'm also goal oriented, so knowing that I had that goal, and knowing that if I didn't meet it, it would be there for everyone to see, really helped me stay on track.

Here's what I learned about me and my writing from Camp:

1. I like word wars, which is where you set a timer and see how many words you can write. Whoever has the most, wins. Adrian, my beta, is the only one who can beat me.
2. During a word war, I can consistently pound out 1000-1200 words in 30 minutes. Who knew?
3. Having a goal keeps me on track. This is the fastest I've ever completed a novel.
4. I like to win. I was determined to have the most words in my cabin, just to prove that I could.
5. I can write 50,000 words in 30 days. In fact, my total for the month of July, was 84,164.

I know a lot of you are writers, and if you're like me, some days the words flow and other days they don't. This experience really showed me that the block is all in my head. If I want to write, I can. I don't know if my fear of failing is just stronger than my writer's block, but this worked for me.

There's another round in November. You should all join me!

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