We’re two-thirds of the way through the month so I thought I’d do a bit of a summary of my CampNaNoWriMo experience so far.
So… it’s been pretty good! I’ve just reached 12,000 words of my 15,000 word target so, even though school holidays have now started (which means my writing time is reduced), I’m fairly confident of making the target. Of course, writer’s block has an unhappy habit of appearing just when I need it least so the last 3000 words might not be easy to come by but let’s think positive – I’m determined to make it!
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a stranger to setting myself word count goals (I did 20,000 in May and 10,000 in June) and might be wondering – is Camp Nano is any different to this?
Well, the quick answer is ‘yes’. Why? Well, here are my top three reasons:
Yes, as is so often the case in this crazy online world, the feeling that ‘you are not alone’ plays a large role. When you take part in CampNaNo you become part of something bigger than just being a solitary writer working towards your own private targets. For a start, you get placed in (or can choose your own) virtual cabin full of cabin mates with whom you can chat and swap advice and encouragement. I have a lovely group of writers in my cabin, all aiming for word counts similar to mine and I’ve enjoyed talking to them in our little private forum. I’ve also found a few new blogs and exchanged tweets with fellow campers through the #CampNaNoWriMo hash tag. This has been great for the inevitable moments of self doubt.
2) The incentive to win!
I’ve personally found that having stated my word count target somewhere outside of my own blog I feel even more determined to achieve it but – even better than that – with CampNaNo if you reach your target by midnight on the last day of the month you are declared a ‘winner’ and get a little winners badge to display on your blog! Ok, it’s hardly great fame and riches but for the *slightly* competitive amongst us (and if you saw my involuntary, two-handed victory air-punch (with accompanying roar) as my 4-year-old won the obstacle race in this year’s sports day you’d know what I mean) this a surprisingly big incentive!
Oh yes, that subject you hated at school really comes into it’s own with CampNaNo. At the start of the month you tell the site what your word target is and it calculates how many words you need to write per day to achieve that. It’s all displayed in a graph and as the days go by you can keep entering your word count (as often as you like) and your progress appears on the graph along with info about what your average daily count is, whether you’re on target etc. You can also see the stats of anyone else in the camp if you’re feeling interested/competitive/nosey. Feel free to take a look at mine here! I’ve found it really helpful and motivating. There have been days when I’ve not written at all and have felt like I’m not getting anywhere and then it’s been useful to look at the graph and see that actually I’m doing fine. I’ll miss it next month!
There are also other reasons to take part – for instance camp sends you daily emails with writing prompts and challenges which are helpful if you’re suffering from writers block. It’s a great idea but I haven’t read many of mine as I’ve been too focussed on writing!
So there you have it: for the first time in my life I’m enjoying camping!