For the past three years I’ve been participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and in NaNoWriMo for far longer than that. I enjoy the Camps because of how much more laid back it is than November’s NaNo, how it’s a virtual camp with the cabins so you have other writer’s you can talk to about your writing, writing in general, and other writerly things. But I also like participating in the camps because I usually try to finish up things that were already started. It’s all part of my “having follow through,” and living a “creative life,” as well as my “getting organized and staying organized.”
I’ve often said that I’m a work in progress, that life itself seems to be a work in progress. Part of the reason I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo this month is because I’m trying to finish my WIP. There are a few things I like to remember, they’re my tips for Camp:
- Remember it’s supposed to be FUN!
- It’s a first draft, or finishing up a draft, (or if you’re lucky, editing a draft). No one else has to see it. You don’t have to share it with anyone. And you can edit it later, or do more edits later. There is an invisible permission slip that comes with writing a first draft: It’s okay if it’s shitty. First drafts are supposed to be shitty, just ask Hemingway.
- You get to choose your own word count. So you can be the tortoise–slow and steady wins the race, or you can be the hare–and try to get all the words out on the page, or you can be the salmon and swim against the tide. Whatever works for you. My word count goal for this month is 30-40K.
- When you choose your idea you loved it. During this month keep that in mind. Why you choose the story…Why you loved the idea.
- The NaNoWriMo Forums, they’re great for advice, for ideas, for socializing, for information. And other writer communities such as #writestuff, #writetube.
- BACK UP YOUR WORK!!!
- Self-Care is important! Don’t forget to hydrate, exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Yes, I’m a coffee addict, but I also drink water, sweet iced tea, hot tea; apple, grape, and orange juice; Dr. Pepper, and hot chocolate. Often when I am stumped I’ll take a walk outside, take a long hot shower or bath, go for a drive, go somewhere else to write. Sometimes I take a break and read.
- Write! Get your (my) ass in the chair and just write.
- Morning pages are a great way to kickstart the creative juices.
- Make it a goal to wear your NaNo and Camp NaNo t-shirts and use your NaNo/Camp NaNo coffee mugs during the month.
I hope you’re having fun and that you get all the words written this month. Time for me to get back to writing. I have at least 1000 words to write today.