Camp Tip #3 – Target Practice

Consistency matters.

The main point of CampNaNoWriMo is to pursue you’re dreams and create a habit of working on your given projects every single day. For some us who have struggled to get words these last days, it can be daunting to continue this goal throughout the month. Maybe, you started camp thinking that you didn’t need an outline,and are discovering that you don’t know what comes next. Maybe, you had an outline, but you can’t get your inner editor to quiet down long enough to get words on the page. Whatever the reason that might be derailing you from your goal, just remember that there is still plenty of time to catch up.

 

The long haul.

I know that it can be frustrating to fall behind on your goal. It can be overwhelming to think of how many hundreds, or thousands of words you might be behind on. So don’t think about it. In these early days, its much more important to create the habit, and begin your journey, than to focus on the destination. Instead of worrying about how far behind you fell yesterday, focus on hitting you’re goal today, and the next day. The best way to catch up is to not fall behind further and then focus on catching up a little at a time. Once you’ve hit your words for the day, then try to get out one more sentence. One paragraph, and day by day you will catch up.

 

Tortoise or Hare?

Whatever you’re goal, having a deadline can put the heat on, but just because this is a short span of time, doesn’t mean you have to blaze through it. This whole process is meant to be a fun challenge, and if falling behind is taking the fun out of it, you can always lower you’re goal. Once the pressure is off, you may find that the stress and frustration was hurting your goal, and without it you may be able to get back on track. Either way, this is Camp, there is no right or wrong way to win, but if you show up and participate every day, it will get better, and at the end you’ll be better off than when you started, and closer to hitting your target. That is all that matters.

 

Progress as of this post: 2,890 /4500

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Camp Tip #2 – Take A Hike

Campers are starting to get words.

At least, most of them are. I was as well, until I finished the chapter I was on and encountered the dreaded blank page. As the blinker flashed on the page, my brain stopped. I still need another 1800 words for the day to be on par with my camp goal. So, how do I kick start my brain and get words on the page? There are lots of ways to get words, when you are staring down a blank page. You can brainstorm, or if that doesn’t suit you, skip the beginning of the chapter and just dive into the middle of the chapter. However, some people just need to take a break, especially if you have already been writing for a while. Sometimes the best way to get started is by stopping first. Sounds a bit backwards, but it works.

 

Take a break.

If you’re having trouble getting words, go have a snack, watch some TV for a while,  or even free write. Remember though, put on a timer. You don’t want to lose your whole day. And if you can, go outside. Take a walk, go for a hike, or just hit the gym and get some exercise. I love to run, and when I do, I don’t watch TV but I’ll think about my story and see what happens. It can help clear up blocks, and sometimes give me ideas as to where I should start.

 

Here’s the thing.

Just like when you’re sleeping, your subconscious is always working to help you deal or overcome the challenges of the day. So, if you find yourself looking at a blank page, or the end of a paragraph, or even the rest of the sentence and you don’t know where to go next, go anywhere. Take your mind off of it for a bit. When you come back, hopefully you’ll have some new ideas stirring, and even if you don’t, you should at least feel refreshed and ready to get that cursor moving.

 

Progress as of this post: 1148 /3000

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Camp Tip #1 – Dive In

Camp is back in session.

Writer’s everywhere are joined in cabins and working towards personal goals. I am among them, and while I still have a ways to go, I thought I’d take a quick break and give my fellow Wrimos, writers, and everyone else a few tips. 30 to be exact. Every day during camp, I’ll be working on my project and also providing tips. These tips will range from specific tips to writers as well as general tips for any goal seeking individual.

 

For my first tip, it’s pretty simple. Dive in.

Imagine being at the edge of a lake, or pool. You want to go swimming. You’ve been thinking about this all winter, but you know that first foray into the water will be shock of coldness, that maybe you aren’t prepared for. Some people will dip a toe in to test the water, and wade into it slowly to give themselves a chance to acclimate to the temperature. Others, like me, are more of the rip the bandage off kind of person. So we dive in. It’s cold, its startling, but its so much fun, and before you know it, you can barely remember the shocking cold because your just having too much fun.

 

Writing can be just like that.

And in Camp, you can inch in, or dive. Some of you may not have done much prep and don’t know where to start. Maybe you did a bunch a prep, but now the blank page seems daunting in the wake of all that work. For me, I haven’t written consistently in a really long time. I haven’t won a Nano in even longer. That could make me hesitant, but it didn’t. I woke up this morning, and though I had to work, I got up, and got some words on the page. I dove in, and now, I can finish what I started.

All of us will be writing for 30 days to achieve our goals. So you can go slow and steady, but I recommend just going for it. Let out all that anticipation onto the page. Enjoy it, because there may be harder days ahead, so have fun with this first day of camp. I hope you all reach your goals. For me, I’m planning to write 45,000 words. That is 1,500 words per day, not including any that I do for these tips. I’m just going to dive in, and do it all.

 

Progress as of this post: 207/1500

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I Won NaNoWriMo!

It was much harder than I expected, and less impossible than I thought too. I’m glad I did it, and I plan to do Camp NaNoWriMo as well. I estimate that I’m actually half way through the novel, but it was a good ride, and I can’t wait to finish it.

There is something so amazing about pushing yourself. Especially when you can do that with a whole network of people also doing the same thing. If you’re a writer and you haven’t written during Nano, I recommend it, and not just for the prizes. It really is a great experience and a huge motivator.

 

 

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Write

So many people say that they should write a book.

They say this because people have told them that they write well or because they feel like they’ve led an interesting life and that alone would make a good book, and so many more reasons. No one should write a book. If your writing a book, then you should be doing it because there’s nothing else you want to do more than that. Writing is a long, lonely pursuit, at least at times. And, while I love writing, that doesn’t mean that everyone does, and trying to do something for the wrong reasons, will almost certainly blow up in your face.

So here are my 5 reason why you shouldn’t write.

1) To get rich

The numbers are just not with you on this. Most writers, who love to write, struggle to sale any books let alone make a living off of writing books. While that doesn’t mean you can’t or that people haven’t made crazy amounts of money from writing, it should give you pause if you think that writing is going to get you out of debt, or out of your day job.

2) Because you’re good at it.

Some people just have talent. They have a captivating way of writing, but trying to force yourself to write, is just painful. The average book is around 90,000 words. That’s a lot of words, and a lot of time spent on doing something that you just don’t really enjoy. It’s okay to be good at something and not have to make it your profession.

3) Because you love reading.

Some books can be so inspiring. However, loving to read and loving to write are not always a given. I love to read and love to write, but there are some genres that I just could never write in, because, although I might enjoy reading them, I just don’t have any desire to write in that genre. This could be true for you too. You might love to read, but when it comes down to actually writing it  might not be for you, and that’s okay.

4) Because you have a story.

Whether that story is about your life, or the next best fairytale retelling, maybe it doesn’t need to be written in a book. Maybe it would be better as a blog, or a movie, or maybe not. We all have a story, and if you want to tell yours there are so many ways to do so, but again, sometimes the passion you have for one thing doesn’t transfer into a love for writing, and in most cases, if you’re going to write there needs to be passion for it.

5) To become famous.

Realistically, if you are already famous you can write a book, and you might not even have to write the book. Some people will have it ghost written and then slap their name on it. However, its very unlikely that a book will make you famous, because as I stated earlier its hard enough to make money that making money, and becoming known for your book is just unlikely.

Most of these I think are obvious, but they still need to be said. Some people may like the idea of writing, but when it comes to the practice of it, they learn that it’s just not for them. That’s okay. Not everyone is a writer. Not everyone is an artist. Not everyone is an athlete. But if you are, welcome to the club.

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