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I won Camp NaNoWriMo!

I set a word count goal of 10,000, the lowest option, because I knew April would be a difficult month for me. Part of my goal was to write every day of April, not just to make the 10k word count. So far I’ve fulfilled that too, and plan on making sure I finish it. I’ve learned some good things this month.

1. It’s not that hard to be a little productive on my writing every day. With a goal of 10,000 words over 30 days, that works out to an average of writing 333.3 words a day, which I rounded up to 334. That’s not a lot. The book review I wrote yesterday was 375 words, and the last update I wrote about Camp NaNoWriMo was 299. The total for this post is 696. It really isn’t that hard to get in 334 words a day, or 500, or even 1000. My word count for Tuesday was 1026, which didn’t actually feel like much at all. I’ve done a lot of the writing this month in small chunks as I had the chance, and probably over half of it on my phone. There were times that meant I spent two minutes on writing while waiting for food to cook, or while the kids played on the playground. I use Scrivener on the computer, but when I’m not at the computer have my phone, I use Google Docs and later just paste what I wrote into Scrivener. That’s been a huge help toward me getting this done. Sometimes all I can do is slowly chip away at it, but that’s a whole lot better than not doing anything! So by setting my word count low, to what I felt was reasonable for me this month, I learned a valuable lesson.

2. I need to start planning and plotting more. I think I would have been a lot more productive this month had I actually had a structured plan on what to write. Instead, I bounced around between different projects and felt a little lost. I did make some good progress on a few projects, but I could have done so much more had I known what to write about instead of spending so much time floundering as I tried to think up what to work on. Now I’m finally making myself go through K.M. Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel ( and Outlining Your Novel ( , and will start going through the workbooks to plan out a couple of stories as soon as April is over. However, even though that was a big struggle, that’s not what limits me the most, which brings me to my next point.

3. A lack of confidence is my biggest obstacle when it comes to writing. Sometimes I tell myself I just don’t know what to write, when actually, the problem is that I don’t feel like I can write well enough. What if it’s cliche? What if my characters are flat? What if my characters are unbelievable? What if I just don’t know how to write well? What if… And the list goes on. What I really need to do is lock up my perfectionistic inner editor, just get the words on paper, and stop worrying about it. That’s what editing is for! It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. That’s why it’s called a rough draft.

While I might not have as productive as I’d like on certain projects, Camp NaNoWriMo was very beneficial for me. Now my plan is to take a step back from the writing on my novella, and spend a lot of time planning, outlining, and structuring. I’ll keep up the writing in small bits though, because now I know I can do that in addition to everything else. I’m definitely planning on doing Camp again in July. I hope to shoot for 25k words, but since we’re moving in June, I’ll re-evaluate as July gets closer.

If you did Camp NaNoWriMo, how did it go for you? Did you learn anything from the process? If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo in its various forms, check it out!