Can you believe July is here and Camp NaNoWriMo is back? I don’t know about you, but it feels like April just ended. Alas, here we are already a day into Camp NaNo. I’m pretty excited!
This July will be my third time participating in Camp NaNo and my fourth NaNoWriMo activity overall. My first Camp NaNo in April 2018 proved unsuccessful as I wasn’t able to reach my word count goal. My first NaNoWriMo last November yielded the same result. No win for me. But, last April I WON Camp NaNo and I can’t even express how elated I was about it.
I’m ready to win another Camp NaNo this month. I want to help you win, too! I’ve gathered up 3 tips that will help you achieve your word count goal and win a NaNoWriMo activity.
Set Realistic Goals
The beauty of Camp NaNo is that you have the power to set your own goal. I don’t know about you, but the 50,000-word count goal for NaNoWriMo feels so intimidating to me. That’s a lot of words! Even in April of 2018, the goal of 30,000 words wasn’t realistic for me at the time. I just couldn’t make it happen.
Last April, I set a goal of 25,000 words and I crushed it. Even though it was only 5,000 words less than the previous year, it was a goal that made sense to my life and schedule.
I’m a big advocate for challenge yourself and think it’s so important. But when we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and we find we aren’t meeting them, it can have an adverse effect. You start to feel bogged down by your lack of progress, find the goal unattainable, and can’t get the motivation to keep going. Setting a word count goal that has the balance of a challenge without overextending yourself is the best place to be.
Take Advantage Of Every Opportunity To Write
I have a tendency of being a bit obsessive about my writing sessions. I feel like they have to be perfect. I need to have a good block of time to complete my writing. I need the place I write to be neat and tidy. Sometimes, that’s not realistic!
I’m a mom and I’m a freelancer. I have tons of things going on at all times. The “perfect” writing opportunities are few and far between. Last April, I took every advantage I could to sit down and write. Every time my son would take a nap, I would be writing. I would sit up late at night when my family was sleeping and get those words in.
I had to be forgiving with myself about how much I was writing. Some days I only logged 500 words. But those words still mattered! My advice to you is to be open to finding any possible opportunity to pull out your computer and write.
Don’t Overthink Your Writing
I am the first to admit that I used to be terrible at following the write now, edit later mantra. Every single time I would sit down to write, I would read through my story, usually the whole thing, before writing any new words. What a time sucker!
I’m proud to say I’ve kicked this habit and am fully in recovery! I kicked the habit during my first Camp NaNo. It wasn’t easy to do and I often had the desire to read through my work. But I fought it and now I don’t even have the urge anymore.
If this is something you struggle with, the best advice I can give you is to just go cold turkey. Suppress the urge to edit at all during Camp NaNo and just write. You can always go back to edit later.
Another struggle I continue to find myself in, which is not something that can really be stopped, is writer’s block. I would get to scenes in my story where I was just stuck. I didn’t know where to go!
In this case, it’s best to just skip it and come back later. I know it’s not easy, believe me! I have trouble not writing things chronologically. But on the flip side, you can’t waste your time trying to write something that’s not coming to you. Keep chugging along in your story where you can and get the words down. You can go back later to try the scene again when you’re feeling more inspired.
Good Luck Campers!
If you’re participating in Camp NaNo this month, I want to wish you the best of luck! We are in this together and I know you can reach your goal. If you find you need advice, an accountability partner, or anything else along the way, I’m here for you. Just shoot me an email!