Troubles With Camp Nanowrimo

I am participating in Camp Nanowrimo this year. Well, mostly participating. Some days I’m happily reaching my goal and others I’m barely trying. I don’t know why but it’s hard for me to take this as seriously as Nanowrimo in November. Part of it is definitely that I am taking a very time-consuming class. Another part is I find myself wanting to work more on my WIP than my Camp goals.

It’s so strange because in November I felt horribly guilty if something kept me from reaching a daily goal. Even worse when I wasn’t able to write at all due to life. This month, if I can’t concentrate on Camp, I feel…nothing. I try to make up for it of course, but I feel no remorse.

It could be that I’m all self-reproached out from November. Also, why on earth should I feel bad that I want to work on my WIP, my most important project?

My goal isn’t as high as Nano was, I set it for 25,000 words. I am sitting at 7687 for Camp only writing. I believe I can reach my set goal, especially now that I’ve changed tactics a tiny bit.

My original objective was to write a collection of short stories, whether they be flash fiction pieces or traditional shorts. The word count I selected was a best guess really. Before yesterday I had written several of these and begun several more. Yesterday during the writer’s discussion group everything changed.

I can blame Daredevil for this one. Most of the people in my group had binge watched it. I was planning on watching it later that day before the Game of Thrones premiere. I was at one end of the table and the folks at the other end started talking about the show. At first everyone tried to hold back on spoilers but the inevitable happened and I needed to tune them out until they had it out of their system.

I picked up my pen and I wrote a scene with a conversation between two of my main characters. These two characters are oil and water yet drawn to each other and the scene was an argument. So getting lost in it was easy and fun. It basically consisted of a man who was angry that a woman was so secretive and hard to trust. She was angry that he wanted to know all her secrets and always watched her.

When I finished I had lost all interest in what the people around me were saying. My mind had jumped ahead to the man griping to his brother about the woman, and the brother having zero sympathy, so I wrote that scene too. After completing it I decided I should write a short story showing why a major character had to be protected at all costs (backstory). This led to several other short story ideas, all backstory, that cover a part of a specific character’s childhood/young adulthood that defined who they were as an adult.

What I’ve managed to come up with are several stories that are companions to the main piece and several that will make it into the books themselves.

This is what I will do for the rest of April as my Camp Nanowrimo project. It’s the best of both worlds for me. I’m still writing shorts, but I’m staying in the WIP that I don’t want to put aside for a month. I have so many ideas that this could carry over past Camp, we’ll see.

I do hope by November that I am able to somehow found middle ground. I haven’t been taking Camp Nano seriously enough and I took Nanowrimo entirely too seriously. I want to participate but I don’t want to stress myself out the way I did last year.

For others participating in Camp Nanowrimo, I hope it’s going well for you, but if it’s not, don’t beat yourself up. Good luck! As for me, I need to go write a short about my Big Bad’s first meeting with his evil god.

Oh and to anyone in my writing group who reads this, sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring anyone, but we all know how it is when inspiration hits.


  1. All the best for this “thing” that people seem to be doing. Personally, I can’t see why a “word count” should be a goal. Writing is about limitation, not about expansion. It would be a challenge for many to limit themselves to 30 words a month, or 5 words a day… This is not a criticism of your writing, which I find most appealing. I’m glad you don’t feel bad about not achieving a goal of what I consider to be nothing short of inane verbosity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I’m doing Camp this year, but only 10,000 words. I’m way ahead of schedule just by writing 500 a day. I just wanted something comfortable to still encourage myself to write everyday. It’s a lot less stressful than November!

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  3. I bailed on NaNo last year and with our move underway Camp is just out of the question. There’s no time between packing and managing A-bear. That said, I’ve written a fair number of shorter pieces this month and even have submissions out, so I don’t have to turn my writer card in yet.

    It’s funny, but I think the problem with any NaNo has to do with word count. All my spare moments have been consumed by writing for a long time now. But that daily goal can quickly become an impossibility and when it does it’s no longer fuel for the fire. Just a club to hit yourself.

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  4. I’m in an “overachiever cabin,” where we all have word goals over 50K, and I think 3/12 are actually keeping up with their words goals. The rest of us are having the same issues as you. We just don’t have the same motivation we did in Nov. I blame the month. This is April’s fault 🙂

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  5. I’ve always used NaNo as a sort of writer’s therapy, to help me learn to squash my overly enthusiastic inner editor. So, I’m used to breaking NaNo rules all over the place. ^-^

    Last year I had the best NaNo ever. I used my WIP, and also gave myself a MUCH lower word count goal for every day: 500 words. I went so far as to include any blog posts I wrote as part of my per day words; because writing is writing!

    The result was the most uplifting experience I’ve ever had with NaNoWriMo. I was able to meet my goal, to write almost every day, and I really felt like I was getting things done with my story. ^-^ I plan to basically do the same thing next year.

    Who knows, perhaps I will even make my ‘badass’ word count goal of 1,000 a day? ^-^

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  6. I’m currently doing Camp NaNo and it’s my first time to NaNo of any kind, the main reason being I already have first drafts for multiple projects and don’t need to add another one to the pile just yet 🙂

    But some writers that I’m aligned with for mutual support were going to do it, so I figured I’d give it a shot–revising a short story where 1 hour equals 1000 words. I’m pretty much on track so far, although I can’t believe how much time I’ve generally spent on this one story.

    If anything, Camp has helped me pick up the pace a little bit. I set a monthly goal that was a little higher than what I was managing to do before, so that’s a pretty good thing. And it kinda makes me want to beat the goal, which would be even better. So I suppose I’m getting some benefit from the experience.

    Sounds like you have your plate pretty full with your class–I’m in school myself, so I know how that can get. Find a good balance is hard.

    Liked by 1 person

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