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Camp NaNoWriMo Pep Talk: The Importance of Taking Breaks

Camp NaNoWriMo is the more laid back version of NaNoWriMo. Not everyone tries to push out a novel during Camp, but many people do. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth time there’s a rush and an urgency to the month.

An epic challenge has been laid out before you. It’s a duel you can’t turn away from. The month starts in a mad rush of words flung across the page. We move just as quickly as the heroes of our books jumping into their own new adventure.

As the month goes on we discover we don’t have the stamnia of our heroes. We’re not magical unicorns who never need to sleep! Burnout does happen. I lov the buzzy atmosphere of Camp NaNo, but in my expereince a break will help you write more in the long run. Feeling burnt out today? Take the day off. Tomorrow you’ll wake up refreshed and likely itching to get back to work on your book.

At the end of the day novel writing is like everything else in life: Best in moderation and balance.

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CampNaNoWriMo Pep Talk: How to Make Your Writing Time Sacred

It’s Day 7 of Camp NaNoWrimo. The excitement of the first week has worn off and you may be feeling the time crunch. Committing to writing a novel in a month isn’t an easy feat! Just attempting it is a courageous act of creation!

As a full time writer my friends always ask me how I keep going. I promise I’m not a mythical creature with extraordinary endurance for pounding my fingertips against the keyboard. I have my good, bad, and ugly days. I’ve just made my writing time sacred. I don’t have another job in the mix, but I do balance family,friends, free time, and hobbies with work. There’s no one formula that works for everyone, but here are 4 tips to be a magical unicorn with a daily writing schedule.

1.Be Realistic

When I first started writing I had outrageous daily word counts. I could easily pump out 5-7k of words 5 days a week. No problem. I can still do that in sprints, but as a lifestyle it’s not maintainable or realistic to me.

Like forming any other good habit you have to really consider where it fits into your schedule. Did you need to wake up 30 minutes earlier and squeeze in some writing before the kids wake up? Do you need to write on your lunch break? Can you clear Sunday evenings?

Figure out how much time you can realistically devote to writing. Sure, there are times where I’ve sacrificed other things to write. The muse is a demanding asshat some days. He’s there and he’s ready and screw the book I started reading last night and the errands I really intended to run. But if you intend to stick with writing and make your writing time sacred you need to set the time aside daily or weekly and stick to it.

2.Don’t Wait for Inspiration or Motivation

This advice is everywhere, but it’s worth repeating. Writers are writers because they write! If I sat around waiting for inspiration to slap me upside the head and invite me to the keyboard I’d never finish a book. Inspiration and motivation are fickle bedfellows and should be treated as such. Some days they’re randy and ready to go. Other days they go out and play with their other friends. Learn to work without them.

3.Close the Door and Hang Your Do Not Disturb Sign

It’s never easy telling our friends and family we need time to spend on something without them, but sometimes you have to. We’ve all encountered those in our lives who don’t take our passion or work seriously. They’re the hardest ones to get the point across to. Be firm and do your thing. If it’s your writing time. Turn off your phone and don’t answer the door. Remember, this is your sacred time to dedicate to your craft.

4.Aim for Scenes Not Words

This may go against the Camp NaNoWriMo spirit, but it’s in the best interest of finishing your project. Sit down with an intention of writing your characters from point A to point B. Don’t worry about how many words it takes to get there. Words make up your books, but it’s the scenes that make your story worth reading.

How do you make your writing time sacred?

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Of Plots, Ideas, and Trying NOT to Write on the Story: Day 5 Camp NaNoWriMo Recap

At 9:46 AM this morning I felt like I was chronically running behind schedule from a much needed lie in this morning. I was up and eager to get plotting. My first step to finalizing and tweaking my plot was to read through what I’d already written. I knew any of my official word count today would come from this and I had to walk to the fine line of only fleshing out what was necessary to connect the beginning to the plot that was to come.

What I accomplished today:

What I learned from Bane and Lee is that quitting smoking changed the way I write and plot. I now divide my plots into 3 sections. (Yep. The 3 Act Formula). Today I finalized the plot for the first 3rd of the book. This means there will be more days of plotting in my future, but I think overall it saves me time on tweaking a million times throughout the process.

Snags Along the Way:

My biggest snag was that I was breaking my normal schedule of writing and rest. I usually write for 3 or 4 days and then take a day off. It was day 5 of working straight and my brain was ready for a day of reading and just not thinking about the book. In the spirit of camp and with the promise of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon tomorrow (Well, today by the time you read this and if you’re reading this why not participate? Reading is a great way to spend a Saturday!)

The other snag was simply having too many ideas of how to take Blake and Jonah from point A to point B. Before I ever sit down to write a book I know two things: Where my characters start and where I want them to end up. The middle is a riddle until the first few chapters are written and I finalize a plot. I also had this problem with Bane and Lee in Healer’s Oath.

Bane and Lee taught me a few things, though. There are many roads to travel and as a writer plotting I should take the most direct path that also has the most interesting sights to see. Yesterday I wrote a scene where Bane interacts with Blake and Jonah and I missed him so much. He was one of my favorite Alphas to write. Maybe I need to read this blog post again myself. As evidenced below of what I caught myself typing. It was meant to be Blake, but I typed Lee. lol

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 11,053

Total Words Written: 143

Ending Word Count: 11186

After thoughts:

I’m enjoying camp so far, but I am so ready for the break tomorrow brings! I’m ready to shove my nose in the book and refill my fingers with some words!

Happy writing fellow campers!

 

 

 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 3 Recap: The Day I Wrote Anyway

This morning the universe conspired to keep me away from the keyboard or at least away from my Camp NaNoWriMo project! But alas, as a writer I have learned to laugh at the universe and jump over boulders. lol

But no really. If this morning happened during any other month (well maybe not Novemeber) I would have stayed away from my book for the day! But it’s April. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! So, I carried on like a good like book zombie. After switching the weight of todays and tomorrows word count I only needed to write 900 words to stay on track. There was no way 900 words was going to stand between me and staying up to date!

What I accomplished today:

Today was all about chapter 3 and 4! Both of which are finished. I think tomorrow I’ll be ready to go ahead and work out the rest of the plot. If not tomorrow then definitely Friday which was my original plan. I sprinted past my word goal for the day and came in just at 2k words. I can feel myself settling into my main characters and really getting inside their heads.

Snags Along the Way:

Today errands sprung up out of nowhere and a reader messaged me to say Healer’s Oath isn’t showing up on Amazon.au! I’m so sorry if any of you reading this have been patiently waiting in Australia for Healer’s Oath! I’ve contacted Amazon to find out what the problem is. I’ve published four previous books without any problems and this morning I discover Amazon is hiding my book from a whole country!

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 6,578

Ending Word Count: 8585

Total Words Written: 2007

After thoughts:

I’m a little on the nervous side about figuring out just how many chapters book 5 will have. Once I do I’ll have a better idea of how long the book will be. If the chapter lengths so far tell me anything I think it’s going to be *slightly* longer than just 50k words.

Happy writing fellow campers!