"N" is for NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo stands for "National Novel Writing Month." Traditionally, this refers to November, where wannabe authors attempt to pound out 50,000 words in 30 days. It's a frantic attempt to write a novel in a month (well, more like a novella).
I've blogged about NaNoWriMo (NaNo for short) before, and "won" it twice now. This
month happens to be one of the Camp NaNoWriMo months. April and July are both Camp NaNo months, but this is my first year participating in the Camp version. The awesome thing about Camp NaNo is that it's a little less pressure. Or, it could be even more pressure! That's because you can adjust your goal word count for the Camp NaNo months.
The default word count for Camp NaNo is 50,000 like for the traditional November NaNoWriMo. This time, I've left my word count alone, as 50K is a reasonable goal. It averages out to 1667 words a day, and that's plenty ambitious, especially if you have other things going on.
I'm a fast typist, so it's not writing the words down which challenges me. (I can accomplish my goal in an hour if I'm properly motivated.) The problem is coming up with ideas for the next scene. The past few days have been challenging, and I ended up with only 764 words for the past three days (Yikes, that puts me behind!).
Since I scheduled my April to give myself the weekends off, I didn't feel too bad. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I started off trying to get some editing done on a different WIP, and that was a big mistake. Instead of getting very far with that, I ended up spending about two hours editing less than 2000 words. And the rest of the day got way too busy too quickly to even think about Camp NaNo. Ugh. Can you say "guilt?"
But in my experience with NaNo events, there will always be days where life gets in the way. There will be days where other things slip to the front of the line, whether or not they deserve to be there. And then you're left wondering where the day went and how to catch up on my word count that I haven't achieved.
When low word count days occur, or even days where I'm not able to write at all, instead of getting discouraged and wanting to give up, I only need to readjust my goals. Whereas my daily goal for Monday through Friday was 2272, it's now slightly higher at 2584. If that becomes too much for one day, I know that I can take a Saturday or Sunday and punch out a few more words in order to catch up.
Another option is to focus on the weekly word goal (which works out to 12,500 words a week) instead getting overly concerned with the daily goal. If I can't reach my daily goal for one reason or another, I just look ahead to the weekly goal and work towards that. There are always days where I'm more productive than others, and often when I am up against seemingly insurmountable odds, I find a reserve of motivation and strength inside to continue.
Even if I don't "win" (as in reach the 50K word goal for the month), I have a significant chunk of a new novel started. And that's well worth the effort.