Camp NaNoWriMo is coming in two days. Yes, two. HOW CRAZY.
It seems like it came up by surprise, even though we’ve been talking about it ever since November’s ended. How is there so little time to get ready?? I still need to stock up on caffeine and dark chocolate!! HELP.
Plotters and Pantsers alike seem to pull themselves together at the last minute and churn out their sloppy yet fixable first drafts. Unfortunately, though, a large number of participants end the month with mental and physical pain that could end up being a serious health issue. And that is not how we want to celebrate ending our novels.
And so this begs the question: how do you win Camp NaNoWriMo without panicking and/or feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus?
After some thought of last November’s NaNoWriMo, I found 5 things that kept me from going absolutely insane.
get off that computer!!
I KNOW I KNOW. You’re probably going to be on the computer even more because, uhh, writing a bunch of words nonstop. But, please. Don’t just sit at your desk all day. Give your poor body a rest every hour or so.
In last year’s NaNoWriMo, I took short screen-free breaks by…
- making a snack
- going for a quick walk outside
- reading a light book for inspiration
- hand-writing on a fun side project
The hard part is not finding something to do. It’s getting off the computer and leaving your project for a little while. Your novel isn’t going to somehow evaporate in the next fifteen minutes. So go. Get off. Go do something AWESOME!
take! care! of! yourself!
When I finally looked at my word count and found that I’d hit that magic number 50,000 in NaNoWriMo 2017, I was so tired. I got up, announced the feat to my family, then immediately went to try and repair all the damage I’d done to myself.
And there was a lot of fixing to do.
- a hurt elbow from being leaned on for 30 days
- a sore back from the plastic chair I used
- a run-down feeling from my awful eating schedule
- a bunch of schoolwork and chores to catch up on
- a very, very dirty workspace
- to go sleep asap
That’s why it’s so. freaking. important to take care of your body, your workspace, and, well, your life while you’re doing Camp (or, really, any writing project)! Don’t come out of the end feeling like roadkill, physically or mentally.
By the way, you can get hurt pretty badly from NaNoWriMo. There are a whole lot of writing-related injuries you can get. Not to mention the crazy stress! Please (pleasepleaseplease) take care of yourself.
love yourself at your pace, your goal, & your quality
I know sometimes it’s hard around NaNoWriMo to love yourself. Other people are going to win faster than you, have bigger wordcounts than you, and write better words than you. That’s okay.
Don’t let other people’s accomplishments make you feel like you have none. Just because someone else got 10k on their third day of camp doesn’t make you any less talented. What will you get by comparing yourself but discouragement?
Here’s the deal, guys. There are two different types of writers in any NaNoWriMo — the people who make an effort to get out of their comfort zone, and those who give up. NaNoWriMo wasn’t made to judge or label you as a winner or loser. It’s meant to inspire you to pick up that novel you’ve been meaning to write and go, no matter where you are.
I don’t know how many times I’ve screamed this to my cabin. Have! Fun! If you’re going to do NaNoWriMo just to get a certain amount of words in a document, you’re missing out! Find a way to make your 30-day-typing-marathon the best 30-day-typing-marathon ever!!! I literally celebrated my 20k landmark with brownies and a weekend of Ninjago. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?
I decided to make the most of this coming month by adding a few special treats to my days. I began a journaling document to record my Camp progress and general experience. Plus, there’s this great writer-inspired April photography challenge from my friend Beth and I cannot wait to get started! And who can forget all the countless mood-inspired playlist you’ve stocked up on???
If you’ve got siblings, writer friends, or anyone who’ll listen, SQUEAL ABOUT YOUR WIP. Make photo collages! Act like your main character in the shower (or in public, that works too)! Whatever sounds fun to you and will get you hyped to write that novel!!, do it!
Ever had a writing accountability partner?
Well if you haven’t, now’s the time to go find one! Writing friends are soo fun, and you really do get more done as you keep each other in check. Besides, they help you though the rough patches where you feel like giving up, give advice and critiques, and are generally The Best™.
And don’t be afraid to include your family in the madness! They’ll be happy to give you some space this month and they might even keep you accountable, too!
Staying happy and healthy this month isn’t hard. It only takes a little motivation and willpower, and you’re going to be ready to win Camp! *battle cry*
Alright, guys, I’ve got to put the final touches on my WIP’s outline. Best of luck on all your writing endeavors, my friends!