Camp NaNoWriMo: My Experience

Two days ago I completed Camp NaNoWriMo.  For those of you who are not familiar, Camp takes place in April.  Unlike NaNoWriMo in November, you the participant set your goal. You decide on the project and your target goal of words or time to log during the month of April.

I initially set a goal of 15,000 words.  But after some evaluation I went with writing 1000 words 5 days a week for the four weeks putting my goal at 20,000 words.  Spoiler alert I finished with 26,302 words. I was, in a word, ecstatic. I did it. I won Camp. I set a goal and I not only met it; I exceeded it.  Woo hoo!

Back in November I tried and failed at the 50,000 words in a month.  I finished with less than 18,000 words. Why was this time different?

For starters I wrote regularly.  I wrote five days a week. Usually exceeding my set limit of 1000 words a day.

Another big help, my subject.  I came up with a great project to work on this past April. One I had plenty to say. In November, I came up with an idea for a novel the day before it begin.  I started out strong but then I lost where the story should go. It came down to do I even like this story.

What did I gain from Camp?

The biggest thing Camp helped me with, developing a daily writing habit.  Well at least a five days a week writing habit. During the month of April I couldn’t wait to sit down and write for Camp.  I had passion and excitement for my subject. It was easy to crank out 1000+ words each day.

I signed up for this experience in hopes I would gain some insight and I surpassed that.  I knew I could write 20,000 words in a month and it felt great to sit down each day to make that happen.

Whether my project makes it off my computer and out to the world is still undecided.  By taking part I gained a sense of accomplishment. I established a routine I love. And I gained valuable insight into myself by working on this project.

Now I am more equipped to tackle NaNoWriMo in November, where the goal is to write 50,000 words in 1 month.  I can do it with a great project to work on and a daily writing habit deeply ingrained.