10 Tips For Surviving Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s upon us. That time of the year where the most ambitious of writers try to write a lot of words in a short amount of time.

Here’s to your survival during Camp NaNoWriMo. May you come out of July with a terrible first draft.

  1. Do not research. You could have researched before. You can always do so after. It doesn’t matter. Your priority during Camp should be writing as many words as you can. Not researching how to bury a body. 
  2. Do save your work everywhere. Make multiple copies and drafts of your novel, so you can sleep easier at night.
  3. Do not procrastinate. Easier said than done. It helps a lot. Writing 1,667 words in 24 hours is much easier than writing 50,000 words in 1 day. 
  4. Do sit in your chair and pound keys. Try to stay seated until you hit a goal you’ve set for yourself.
  5. Do not read everything in sight. You can pick up that awesome book once you’ve hit your word count for each day.
  6. Do tell people you’re busy writing a bestseller. They’ll hold you accountable. They might even ask to read it.
  7. Do not edit. Don’t do it.
  8. Do reward yourself handsomely. Exercise. Sleep well. Eat good food. But treat myself. 
  9. Do not waste your precious writing time. It’s precious. Cherish it. 
  10. Do have fun. Make writing fun again.

See you in August. Feel free to wave your manuscript in the air and scream your victory at the top of a mountain.

I Bite In April

Camp NaNoWriMo is so close.

I can’t believe it. 

Where did the time go? How in the world is March nearly over?

I want a three month refund on 2017. On second thought, I don’t.

These last few weeks have been stressful, especially the past couple of days.

I’ve been moody and breaking out and not fun to be around. So I’m hoping Camp NaNo will change all that. Is thirty days of pure happiness, clear complexion, and genuine friendliness too much to ask for? Probably. If anything April might make me more emotional and increase acne production. Worse, I’ll probably feel the need to bite everyone who comes near.

December Plans

After NaNoWriMo, I need a month long nap. But I can’t sleep for an entire month. And even if I could, I wouldn’t want to.

So I haven’t fully fleshed out my plans for December just yet.

I’m warning you in advance. This post is going to be as messy as my life is right now. I’m trying to figure things out.

I want to read more. Problem is I read my school books during my commute. Commuting is annoying and exhausting, but at least I get some reading done. For some reason, reading Robinson Crusoe at home is a lot harder than I thought it would be. 

I want to continue writing every day. But what do I write about now? I’m taking a break from the characters I created during NaNo. I’ve been dabbling in poetry, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I suck. 

I want to be a better blogger? What does that mean? I’ll let you know when I know.

Where Did NaNoWriMo Go?

I don’t know.

How is it possible that NaNoWriMo is almost over? 

It felt like it just started yesterday.

As busy as this month has been, I’m not ready for the darkness of December to descend upon me. I’m not ready for NaNo withdrawal, which is very real in my world.

I need something to use as an excuse.

Why do your blog posts suck?

Because it’s National Novel Writing Month.

Why are your grades so bad? 

Because I’m writing a novel.

I won’t have a legitimate excuse in December. Not like I had one in November. But at least as of late I could try to justify not doing something or not doing it well. 

I hope you don’t take this post too seriously. I’ve already started to suffer just thinking about saying goodbye to NaNoWriMo.

Trying To Write

I’m trying to write. It’s NaNoWriMo for crying out loud.

I really want to write a lot this month. But the world won’t let me off so easily.

It’s beyond frustrating.

Technically, I am writing essays and papers for school. But that’s not the same as writing for myself. Writing creatively, unrestrained by grades and rules.

Leave me alone, academia. You’re not welcome in my perfect world. 

Can’t you see I’m trying to be creative?

NaNoWriMo | You’re Halfway There

You’re halfway there.

And maybe halfway gone too. Did you get that song reference? No. Okay.

We’re fifteen days into November. Isn’t that insane? There’s just a month and a half left in 2016. That’s even more insane.

But we’re closer to the end than the start. Unless you’ve travelled back in time. Even if you could, why would you? 

You survived week two, arguably the toughest week in NaNo. 

You’ve come so far.

Don’t give up now.

I think one year I gave up right around this point. And by give up, I mean I stopped writing 1,667 words every day for the story I was working on. I didn’t give up writing. I hope I never do. Future me better listen to present me. Don’t give up writing, you hear? 

At the same time, I think future me is hoping present me knows it’s going to work out. So long as I don’t give up on myself. I’m imagining grandma Herminia shaking her fist in frustration. 

Side note: I’m bothered when other people refer to themselves in third person, but I have no issue doing so myself.

Anyway, I want to wish you and yours a happy second half of NaNoWriMo or November for those mere mortals who don’t write. I jest. I joke.

Herminia jests and jokes.

NaNoWriMo Problems

I use the word “problems” lightly. Like I do with most words.

First off, I can’t seem to write the novel I’m working on in a linear fashion. It’s a mess. Much like my whole life. I started in the midst of things, and now I’m telling some much needed backstory. I think my mind is just trying to piece together events or moments in a coherent yet jumbled manner. Good job brain.

Have I ever mentioned that I rarely outline? Outlining isn’t a skill I’ve acquired, much less mastered. So I don’t know what happens next. I don’t even have a concrete ending. I just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Especially when it doesn’t.

I love my characters. I just don’t know them as well as I’d like. Up until today I didn’t have a surname for my main character. I do now. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll find out what she does for a living. Because right now the only thing she’s doing is driving me insane.

These are nice problems to have. Don’t you think?

NaNoWriMo: Week Two Reminders

  • It’s okay to be stuck.
  • It’s okay to change something that isn’t working.
  • It’s okay to want to give up on your story.

But…

  • You have to get unstuck.
  • You have to make that change yourself.
  • You have to keep going.

I usually dread week two. It’s a tough time to say the least. This year, however, I’m dreading week three because of school. I can’t wait to work on three assignments at once. 

In my past experience, when I get past week two, I finish the rest of the month just fine. 

NaNo feels like an uphill battle nearly all the time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like wading through my own words before drowning in them.

If you can survive week two, you can do anything.

One Week Of NaNoWriMo 

It’s been a week already? Wow, times flies by when you should be writing but you aren’t. Clearly I have yet to correct my procrastinatory ways.

Time really flies by when you’re writing or thinking about writing. I’ve done more of the latter because it’s easier.

Here’s where I am…

I have no idea what’s going on. My protagonist doesn’t either. Although she probably knows more than I do.

I don’t know if I can sustain my story much longer. I’m sure my characters won’t leave me alone if I abandon them though. 

I am confused. Like everyone else I’ve created this month.

A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

You’re doing fine. You’re doing well.

If you’re doing your best, that’s enough.

You should not compare yourself to other people, yet you still do. Don’t be bitter. Don’t be jealous. Use their accomplishment as your motivation. 

It’s not about the word count. It’s not about the end result. It’s about something so much more. Something greater than just a number.

Remember those days when you wrote freely? Without limitations and rules? Do you remember how fun it was? How much you enjoyed yourself?

Back then it was about the process. The creative process. So very difficult but also enjoyable. You failed. You learned. You allowed yourself to create worlds and characters without unnecessary critical judgement.

So get back to that. Get back to writing for yourself.

Because if you don’t, no one else will.