Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 1 Recap

CNW_Participant

This past week had a really great start and I was so excited to be able to say that my word count grew and grew quickly, but then I reached a lull toward the end of the first week and saw a little bit of a dip, but I wasn’t too far behind and was actually ahead of the goal for the day.

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of April 30th.

That’s the equivalent to a 200-225 page book. So my average daily word count goal to reach my main goal is to write 1,667 words per day.

Stats for Week 1

Day 1: 2,683 words for a total of 2,683 words
Day 2: 5,467 words for a total of 8,150 words
Day 3: 2,449 words for a total of 10,599 words
Day 4: 1,844 words for a total of 12,443 words
Day 5: 1,110 words for a total of 13,553 words
Day 6: 0 words for a total of 13,533 words
Day 7: 0 words for a total of 13,533 words
Day 8: 255 words for a total of 13,808 words

*I’m not including today, April 9th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Stay Motivated

Writing isn’t always an easy thing for everyone. For some people writing is the equivalent to what math is for others (like me): it’s something to dread, to turn away from, and to hate. But writing doesn’t have to be all of those things for many reasons, but I think one of the biggest reasons writing is a turn off for some people is because of a lack of motivation.

When writing for a challenge like Camp NaNoWriMo, it can seem daunting to write 50,000 words unless you’re practiced in the art of it. It really is a lot of words, if you think about it. When typed out into Microsoft Word in 12 point font, Times New Roman, it can reach upwards to 100 pages of manuscript, which is nothing to shake a stick at! That’s a great beginning and it’s definitely a smaller novel in the making.

But how do you get to that point? When will you be able to say, “I accomplished this because ___!”?

Stay motivated. It is so, so easy to fall off of the wagon and to derail from what you had set your goal to, whether it be 10,000 words or 100,000. Life gets in the way, things come up, and sometimes you’re just plain tired – trust me, I understand. But there are some ways that can help you to stay motivated that will help you be able to reach your goal in the time that you want to reach it in, and to be able to say and feel that you’ve accomplished something.

Here are some tips and tricks to stay motivated and to keep at it while writing:

  • Find prompts to churn some creativity. If you’re ever in a rut there are thousands of prompts online that you can find to jump start your creativity to make something awesome.
  • Reward yourself, even for small accomplishments. You want to be able to reward yourself with something each time you reach a milestone that you deem worthy of rewarding. For me, I’ll reward myself with something small every 10,000 words, such as a new book or something. You can deem whatever your prize is worth to the amount of words you’ve written, but giving yourself small rewards when you reach those little goals can really keep your motivation going. Reward yourself with something big when you’ve made it to the end and you’ll feel like you’ve truly accomplished something.
  • Take breaks. Yes, I’m telling you to watch Netflix (and chill if you want, I won’t judge), or read that book you’ve been dying to get to (which I’m doing in between writing), or go out to each with friends, or sleep. All of these things helps to bring you back to reality and away from your writing and it allows your brain to recycle through all of that stress that writing can bring on if you do it for too long. So try to breathe and relax every day, too (but not too much – you still want to reach your goal!).
  • Listen to music that can inspire the next scene you’re about to write. I often prefer complete silence when I’m writing because it allows me to think through everything I’m typing, but I think that listening to music can really help set the tone and mood for what you’re trying to achieve in the scene you’re writing. Need epic battle music? What about a movie score from The Lord of the Rings? Need something to lighten the mood? Find a tune that never fails to make you smile.
  • Don’t stress! I know that when people are stressed they tend to not want to do the thing they’re supposed to do, so the important thing to remember is to not stress out too much about not reaching your word count goal for the day. Real life is going to happen, jobs and kids and errands and responsibilities are going to get in the way, but don’t worry: you can always go back and write more the next day or over the weekend when you have free time.

In all honesty, this is supposed to be a fun time of writing where you get to learn about your characters and your world, how they all work together, and also learn more about yourself in the process. The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo is a fruitful and powerful one, and I know from experience that it only gets tougher from here when you start to hit those writing slumps.

Keep your head up, keep motivated, take plenty of breaks for water and food, and have fun!

If you’re participating in Camp NaNo, how was your progress the first week? What’s your overall word goal? Have you found this week to be a good one or do you find yourself falling behind already? Want to share what your story’s about? Tell me!

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