Wednesday, March 7, 2018

IWSG: As Close to Camping as I Get


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One of my big goals for this year is to take my novella/novel as far as I can - writing, editing, researching publishing options, etc. I'm still kind of vague on what that should look like when December 31, 2018 rolls around, but I believe my gut will let me know.

Unfortunately, my gut is not big on deadlines.

So, I'm considering signing up for the April session of Camp NaNo. I've participated a few times over the years, but it's been awhile, and I'm hesitant.

Camp NaNo provides a deadline - great! But it also lets you set your own goal - project or word count - and this is not something I excel at. I make it either too easy or too hard, and I end up coming away from the experience with a stomach ache. (And, unfortunately, not one from eating too many s'mores.)

As March marches on, I'll continue to work on my novella/novel (for crying out loud, pick one!) and give more thought to Camp NaNo. Hmm, maybe I'll just go with my gut.

My gut really likes s'mores . . . .

*****

Any thoughts on what I should do? If I go to Camp, should I set a project or a word count goal? Have you ever done Camp NaNo? How did it go for you? 

71 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

I like groups where you make your goals public and thereby makes you feel accountable.

As for word counts. If you know 500 words is too easy, and 1000 is too hard, shoot for 6-700. We all need mini wins on short term benchmarks to make us feel like we're accomplishing something.

Another idea is to hook up with a friend who struggles with something similar. Maybe she can handle little goals but can't commit to the larger goal.

I've had a few friends that would do this with me every so often. It's more intimate, yet more encouraging too.

Julie Flanders said...

Go to camp!! The s'mores will be fabulous. :D

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Madeline, I've never done Camp Nano. Like your gut, mine too is on a long holiday, though from the last few days I've summoned him back.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Great ideas, Maria! "Mini-wins" are so important to keeping our momentum going and our positivity up.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I've never done Camo NaNo... I assume that's just like the one in November, only with prettier weather? (Nope, haven't done the chillier version, either.)

I don't think it would work for ME, because I like more flexibility in my writing schedule, but it might work for you. Lots of people love that sort of thing. Setting a goal of accomplishing X number of words within a given time frame might provide a bit of encouragement to stop looking out the window, and it could be just the incentive you need.

As for whether you're writing a novel or novella? Doesn't matter what you call it. Let the writing dictate what it ends up becoming. I thought I was only writing a single novel, and then the three parts of it became so clear, I decided to turn it into a trilogy. Then I worried I couldn't make part one long enough... then it was too long and had to be cut down to size. Just goes to show ya. I don't know what the heck I'm doing. I just do it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Ha! I've heard of these fancy s'mores, with artisan marshmallows, high end chocolate, etc. Might have to give those a try. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm glad your gut has returned, Rachna. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Camp NaNo is more flexible that NaNo - you set your own goals, whether for editing, revising, by project, word count, etc. NaNo has the set goal = 50,000 words.

I'm trying to be patient and let my WiP tell me what it wants to be whenever it's ready. Problem is, it doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. :)

Unknown said...

I've done Camp NaNo and I like it more than NaNoWriMo because your goals are a lot more flexible. If you need some breathing room as far as deadlines go, it's a good option!

The Cynical Sailor said...

I've never done Camp NaNo but might look into it as I'm very pressure prompted and work better when I have a deadline/challenge to win.

Anonymous said...

I say go for it, but set yourself a medium goal. Don't do something you know will be a cinch. Challenge yourself a bit - but not to the point of feeling sick. Remember, the only thing you have to ask yourself is "did I work today?" It's a piece of advice I was given and it helps me feel good about any amount of writing that I do.

Good luck!!

(S'mores are AWESOME!!)

Yolanda Renée said...

Follow your muse. Give it a task and then let go. It'll lead you in the right direction! Just believe!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I like the idea of having some breathing room.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

The April session is starting soon, and I think the next one is in July. Good luck if you decide to give it a go!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I love the idea of checking in with myself and asking "Did I work today?" As long as I can answer yes, no matter how much I did, then it's all good. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Letting my muse off the leash to follow that bouncing ball! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I tried it and struggled with the word count goal, too. I'm actually better with NaNo - where the goal is crazy and I struggle to finish. However, I do try to set monthly word count goals or chapter goals and most of the time, I stick to these - why is Camp NaNo different? Maybe those S'mores distract me too much. :)
Go with your gut!

Jennifer Hawes said...

Deadlines are great. They always keep me motivated!! I'd do a camp nano, but I'm in the middle of CPing and churning out my WIP.

Tamara Narayan said...

I went camping as a kid with the Girl Scouts, but it wasn't hard core. We did have bunk beds in screened-in structures and latrines. I wasn't a fan. I haven't tried the NaNo things, but I could use a strong dose of motivation to write regularly.

Nicki Elson said...

Maybe the goal can just be to make progress every day - each morning you can decide what, exactly, will constitute progress??

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think you should do it. You get to set your own goal after all.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I suppose I could set myself a crazy goal, like during NaNo, and go all frenzied for the Arpil. Although, not sure my husband and the tortoises could take that twice in one year.

S'mores are very distracting!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Deadlines, themes, etc do tend to help me stay focused.

Good luck with your projects!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I went camping once as a Brownie/Girl Scout, and that was plenty for me. I'm more of a suburb girl.

If you want to ease into the whole NaNo thing, check out Camp - it's more flexible.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

That's sort of how I work right now. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm leaning toward doing it...but that might just be the coffee talking. Caffeine makes me confident.

Chrys Fey said...

Maybe the combination of their deadline and your goals will help you. I’ve been debating about signing up. I’ve never done it before. I’m not even sure what to work on...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Maybe signing up for Camp will help you decide on your next project.

Christine Rains said...

My gut enjoys s'mores too! Good luck with Camp. I've done NaNoWriMo in November several times, but April is too busy outside my writing life.

M.J. Fifield said...

I love participating in NaNoWriMo in any form, really. I've done Camp NaNo a couple of times, and I always struggle to set a word count goal, too. The first year I just went with 50K, and that was fine. The second year I bumped it up to 65K...and that gave me a stomachache. When I hit 50K and realized I still have 15K left to go...I was not a happy camper that day. I did manage to limp across the finish line that year, but it was probably more stressful that it should have been. :)

Lee Lowery said...

Definitely go for the s'mores! I'm not much on camping, but I love a good weenie roast. I've never done any NaNo, but it seems like a good way to set a focus.

Anonymous said...

I've never done Camp NaNo, so I guess this comment really is kinda pointless. ^^;;

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

The good thing is that I have my focus - the novella/novel. The problem is I need to actually focus on my focus, if that make sense.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm guessing the July session would probably busy for you, too, since school is out then. But, hey, any time is a good time for s'mores! :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

To paraphrase J Peterman from Seinfeld - that certainly was a lot of words. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

No comment is ever pointless around here! :)

Diane Burton said...

S'mores are great if you like marshmallows. (I don't.) LOL I've never done NaNo (Camp or "real"). I set deadlines and, mostly, never make them. But I aim for them, so that's good. Good luck with your novella/novel.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm as bad as you. Deadlines are vague sort of mysterious things. What does help me is having a reader/writer friend shoot me an email that says-- hey, aren't you done with that by now?! I'll happily goad you, if you'd like :)

Gina Gao said...

Deadlines are great, they help me stay on track.

www.ficklemillennial.com

Sarah Foster said...

I did Camp NaNo last year for editing and set a time goal - like how many hours I wanted to spend editing. It did not go that well. I think I'm just not that good at setting concrete goals for myself. But maybe I'll see where I am at the end of this month and try it again, too!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've never tried any kind of NaNo. Best of luck to you.

Olga Godim said...

I never tried NaNo. I know that it works for some people and doesn't work for others. Maybe, it'll work for you. You'll lose nothing for trying.

Jen said...

I've never done Camp NaNo but I was thinking about it, briefly, this year. But I've got my own goals in mind and I'm going to go with my gut and let Camp go on without me.

But I definitely won't say no to some s'mores!!

~ Jen

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

At least if we aim for our goals and don't make them, we still will have accomplished something we otherwise wouldn't have.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks for the offer, Elizabeth! I think, though, that between my husband and the tortoises, we've got the whole goading thing covered. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

They do for me, too, for the most part.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Sounds like a good plan. We're still early in March - who knows what the end of the month will bring? :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks, Susan!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You've got a point about having nothing to lose. As long as I keep working on my novella/novel, whether that's through Camp or some other way then I'm good. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

If I go to Camp, you can have some of my s'mores. :)

Good luck with your goals!

Lee Lowery said...

Yes, actually, it does. :-)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I did the April Camp Nano a few years ago, setting an editing goal. It was a bit less satisfying than the 50K words goal from November! But anything you can do to create a deadline is probably good.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Eat the s'mores... It's less stressful.
Then write a little each day. Do the camp, but don't bust a gut over it. Celebrate each little victory.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I can see how it would be more satisfying to watch the word count increase versus the editing.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

How about a s'more for every 1000 words? Or, hmmm, let's make that one for every 200 words instead.... :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I like the pressure and deadline of NaNoWriMo but am not sure I want to do it more than once a year. I tried one of the camps one time and bailed out after a week.

Juneta key said...

Not sure if will NaNo this time or not. Happy IWSG day.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I kind of like the idea of setting myself another big, audacious 50,000 word count goal, but I'm afraid I might end up curling in a ball and sobbing. :o

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good luck if you do!

Loni Townsend said...

I've failed all the times I've tried Camp NaNo, though for me, it's because of timing. April seems to be roughest for my schedule and managing family events.

What if you ask someone else to set a word count goal for you?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Hmm, I suppose I could ask the tortoises to set a word count goal for me.... :)

Liza said...

Could you use Smores as a dangling carrot? (Each time I finish X number of words, I get to eat one?) What a yummy reward!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Oh, maybe I could use that for running, too! A s'more for every minute I run? Hmm, that might be counter-productive. :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

I've never participated in NaNo because I'm a snail writer. I believe you'd have to set some kind of goal each day. I wish you luck in making the right decision.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks, Cathrina!

Kalpana said...

April is the cruellest month - far too much work to participate in NaNo. If word counts don't work for you - how about setting a timer for 30 minutes or 20 minutes at a time and writing in chunks of time? Good luck though.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

There's also a July session, if that works better for you.

Thanks for the good luck wishes!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Carpe diem, my friend! Go for it :) I know you well enough to know that you will succeed...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Aw, thanks so much!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Hopefully this doesn't discourage you, but the camp didn't work for me. That accountability we experience during NaNoWriMo just wasn't there in the same way.

That said, why not try it? If it works for you, great, and if it doesn't, no harm done.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I agree that the accountability isn't the same as in November. I feel the same way about the energy itself, if that makes sense.

I am going to give it a try, though - with a smaller word count goal.