If you’ve been following me on my April Camp NaNoWriMo journey, then you’re probably wondering what happened to me after Day 19. Three job interviews, four flights, and one wedding reception happened! Which means, I didn’t get any other writing done for the month. But let’s take a look at what I did write!
This is my free downloadable April Camp NaNoWriMo word-count tracker that I made available in my Pre-NaNoWriMo Planning & Preparation post, filled in with the writing I accomplished in April. I loved having this calendar for Camp NaNoWriMo! It was incredibly useful and it served as great motivation for me to crank out as many words as I could during the times that I actually sat down to write. There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting to color in all of the boxes. I will definitely continue using this to track my writing habits and my writing progress in the future.
All in all, I only wrote about 11,082 words in the month of April. That fell short of my overall goal of 50,000 words, but I don’t feel the least bit bad about what I accomplished. I only wrote 5 days out of the month, which means I averaged about 2,216.4 words on the days that I did sit down to write. That’s a great accomplishment, especially considering that in the most hectic month of my life I found 5 days to dedicate to writing.
Here are a few things that I learned from this experience that I’m going to try to apply to July’s Camp NaNoWriMo:
- I have to have a clutter free dedicated writing space.
- My husband and I currently live in a small apartment. He’s in school right now, so his coursework has taken over our desk, making it an unmanageable space for me to use for my writing. This leaves me with the kitchen table, but that often gets cluttered up with our mail, bills, and random things that we accumulate throughout the week.
- I need to carve out and dedicate a clutter free writing space for my work. No excuses.
- If I can’t carve out a dedicated clutter free writing space, then I need to find a library or cafe that I am comfortable camping out in for large chunks of time.
- One thing that I think will help with writing out in the wild is to create tradition, so that I build up that muscle memory of writing, even if I’m in a cafe or a library. This could be as simple as picking out a regular table, ordering the same drink (like my dirty chai latte), or bringing the same tools with me (like Zoraida Cordova’s porg writing companion).
- The other thing that I think will help with writing out in the wild is noise-cancelling headphones. I simply cannot tolerate bad cafe music.
- I am obviously most productive on Saturdays and Sundays, so I need to make sure I set myself up for strong writing sessions on Friday nights.
- The weekends that I did not write were a result of me not being proactive on Friday night to keep me clutter free and distraction free on Saturdays and Sundays (like doing the laundry, or cleaning up the apartment, or going grocery shopping). Putting in the extra effort on Friday evenings will go a long way to help keep me productive on Saturdays and Sundays.
- I need to force myself to write during the week and the best way to do this is to be realistic about how much I can actually write during the week.
- I think the biggest problem I have trying to sit down and write during the week is that I’ve gotten in the habit of dedicating full days to writing, where I’m able to crank out almost 3,000 words on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s not realistic for weeknights after I’ve worked all day.
- I need to get myself in the habit of doing two 25-minute word sprints every night during the week. It’ll only take me an hour total and I guarantee you I can write more than 750 words during that time. Even though 750 words is less than 3,000 words, it will be great progress and it will give me great momentum going into my weekend writing marathons.
Those are three tangible goals that I can easily accomplish moving into July’s Camp NaNoWriMo.
“But wait,” you may be saying, “there’s another Camp NaNoWriMo in July??” Yes! There is another Camp NaNoWriMo in July, which means I get a second chance and a second dose of motivation to finish my novel! Stay tuned for my next post where I share my July goals and some free downloadable writing and planning tools!