Reflections on Camp NaNoWriMo 2014

What worked:

  • Having an outline – it was easier to get through the first part because the outline was loose, but when I got the 2nd part and had strict rules, I knew how the book should play out. Of course, by knowing what exactly should come next made me feel guilty, in a sense, when I just wanted to let a scene run where it wanted.
  • Staying away from Twitter – I love the writers I talk to online, but not knowing what they were doing, and not having much conversation about the month’s goings on helped me not compare myself to anyone else. I liked the community chat in my “cabin” but it ended up only being me and one other author who chatted occasionally. As far as the NaNo stuff went, I just posted my daily word count and left it at that.
  • Getting a good start – having the push of NaNo is always good for me to at least get the book on the right track. In previous NaNos, I’ve been all over the shop by just writing out stuff for the book, but this time I had a bit more of a cohesive goal. Of course, there’s going to be lots of edits, as usual.
  • Knowing the material – I thought up this book idea ages ago, so I pretty much knew what elements I wanted and how the plot should go. When I come up with some new project idea, I know now that sitting on it and really taking time to think about it works best for me.
  • Focusing on one project – when I’m left to my own devices and have no deadlines set up by anyone other than myself, I can drift off into other project ideas. I’ll write notes and dabble with scenes in my other book. NaNo keeps me focused on the project that needs to get done.

What didn’t work:

  • Physical problems – aside from the backaches and the eyestrain, I ended up sick from allergies (I guess that’s what this is) so I took a lot of days off. By the time I got to Easter and was too sick and out of it to bother, I knew I wasn’t going to get to 50K words by Wednesday. This has happened during every NaNo I’ve done before. I always get eyestrain and one year my fingers ached something awful. I like aiming for a daily goal, but I need breaks.
  • No real incentive to “win” – by knowing that I was running into mid-May for a finish date, I started realizing that trying to struggle again with eyestrain, backache (which is better now that I have a new computer chair, by the way) and the ickiness from being ill, there wasn’t much to keep me going back to the book straight away. I know what I need to do for P2 and P3, but now that it’s half way done, I can take my time getting it finished. Besides, everyone knows 50K isn’t novel length. A final draft will have to be at least 60K.
  • Racing toward the end, makes for sloppy work – this has been my problem in NaNos before. The last book I wrote, that my CP is now helping me clean up, was thrown together and tried to get finished “in time.” It just made it rushed and in need of more work than usual.

Final reflection for Camp NaNoWriMo 2014:

All in all, I’m really glad I started working on the book. I know that I have a lot more work to go for May, but a first draft has a much better start than if I hadn’t tried to follow the Camp NaNoWriMo daily word count goal.


About Suzanne Schultz Pick

Married to Steve. Mother of Jack. Librarian IT Assistant. Writer, teacher, blogger, podcaster, technological princess.
This entry was posted in All About Me, Books, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflections on Camp NaNoWriMo 2014

  1. Stuti says:

    WOW. Congrats! I am a lazy-ass but my one dream is to compete in the NaNoWriMo, not to win but to actually write because the only time my creative juices flow are when I’m under pressure or really feeling it- the latter happens rarely. :/ So I kinda like pressure and yeah, I’m gonna use what you did. Staying away from twitter, though…….ummmmm…… 😛 I think I’ll manage that.

    • Thanks. I’m terribly lazy too, that’s why I try to keep up with the challenges just to get some work done. I’ve been all right with not being on Twitter that much. The less you post the less anyone tries to talk to you, sadly. 😦

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