Posted in Writing

Week two report – Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017

It’s the second Wednesday of Camp NaNoWriMo which means it’s weekly accountability report time! What do you reckon, have I hit my targets? (spoiler: nope) Let’s see what happened…

Statistics

Target words by end of day 11: 25,000
Actual words by end of day 11: 11,654

Not so good

Week two of a monthly challenge is always the hardest for me. The initial enthusiasm that got me through the first week wanes and the end date seems so far away that deadline-mode hasn’t kicked in. So I expected week two to be difficult. But I didn’t expect my writing routine to completely fall apart. I’ve been sticking to it successfully since February. So what went wrong?

When April arrived I wasn’t done outlining but I’d committed to this 80,000 word goal so I decided I’d better start writing. Everyone has a different creative process; mine involves a huge beast of an outline spreadsheet and all I had was a vague flowchart.

To torture myself further temper my desire to continue outlining, I decided I wasn’t counting outline words towards my Camp NaNo total. I became fixated on not ‘faffing’ with my outline so that every word I wrote ‘counted’. For another person, that might be a great way of focusing and staying on target.

I joked in one of my vlogs last week that perhaps accountability was actually bad for me since my daily word count fell off a cliff as soon as Camp NaNoWriMo started. Well, many a true word is spoken in jest.

I don’t actually think accountability is bad for me, but I did start prioritising word counts over the real goal: writing a book.

It took me a few days to realise that banning myself from outlining was a hindrance, not a help. It took a little more time to process my options: could I do a bit of outlining to get unstuck but keep drafting? Maybe I should just discovery write and worry about fixing it later. I’d also become weirdly fixated on word counts, regardless of quality, and I needed to stop that because 2,000 words of exposition dialogue is dull AF.

Eventually, I went back through my bullet journal and looked at my goals. That’s when the hindsight got all 20/20 on me. It all looks so simple written down in that nice neat paragraph, but this killed days.

Decision time

I needed to go back to outlining and if the Camp NaNo goal was stopping me doing that, then the goal needed to change.

I then had to freak out about that for a while, because my brain desperately wants to see everything as failure and tell me that I will never succeed at anything, ever. So that wasted another day or two whilst I put the fail whale back in its box.

So I’m not aiming for 80k words anymore, I’m aiming for 55 hours. I’ll outline for as long as I need to, and start again on the first draft when I’m ready. Let’s see how that goes.

How’s your Camp NaNoWriMo going?

 

 

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Multi-purpose geek. Mum. User Experience Designer. Retired WoW player. Reader and writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

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