Writing

Why I Failed Camp NaNo πŸ–‹ and Writing Plans

Camp NaNo Wrapup

Hello fellow bookwormsΒ πŸ“Β As I teased in my Wrapup, I failed Camp NaNo this April, but as this is stuff for a longer post, I decided to make a separate one. So, for me this is the first time ever that I failed anything NaNo related. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with that, I just wanted to mention it here as it had a bigger impact on me. I tracked minutes this time around and after doing it again, I’m convinced that this just doesn’t work for me no matter how hard I try. Tracking words for revision didn’t make as much as sense as tracking time for me, but I just work so much better if I have a wordcount to reach than a time count. I feel like I can always thrive to write more, but with time it depends so much on how you use it and I don’t get extra points if I work really hard in my designated time – if that makes sense. I won’t be participating in Camp NaNo in July as I will be super busy, but fingers crossed, I can participate in NaNoWriMo in November πŸ™

Before I go on I just wanted to thank Sophie @ sophiexli for inviting me to join her cabin, it was great how friendly everyone was and quickly got talking! Thank you for having me, even though I wasn’t this active during Camp πŸ’•Let's Talk (2)

Why I quit Camp NaNo

I was very busy with classes and my internship. I mean I knew that before going into Camp NaNo, but I had no idea how much it would effect and stress me out. I started having classes again the second week of April (I was on vacation before that, meaning even less time to do anything writing related) and the week after that my internship hit full force. I was basically busy Monday through Friday and had 4 papers to write that I needed to start squeezing into my free time. All in all, it was very overwhelming for me, because the workload was so much more than the last semester.

In addition to that or maybe because of itΒ I was blocked when it came to writing. I could have still made time for writing even with everything going on, but the truth is that I didn’t feel like writing or more accurately revising. Especially as I have never edited a WIP before it made for such a daunting task and I didn’t have the energy and heart to tackle it, even with my plan of revision in place. Every time I sat down to do it, I was really blocked, and I could have still done something (I did try some things and made some sort of progress).

However,Β I didn’t want to burn myself out, that’s why I didn’t push myself further to complete Camp NaNo. I was afraid that I would start resenting my story if I forced myself to edit it or that I would edit so badly it would all be for nothing. Giving myself the permission to stop was probably the best thing to do, because trying to regain my writing motivation was more important than winning.

Let's Talk (2)

What I actually managed to get done

It wasn’t much, as I quit trying to do anything after two weeks, but I didn’t want to gloss over what I managed to do nevertheless 😊 First off, I listened to writing podcastsΒ more specifically 88 Cups of Tea, which is really good! It’s not so heavy on the craft and rather could be described as an interview/talk between an author and the host, who creates such a nice atmosphere in the podcast. I kind of procrastinated revising with this activity, but it was so inspiring hearing about the author’s stories about how they discovered writing and managed to get published. It really impressed me how some never gave up and almost always took different careers first, it made me feel better about myself, especially as so many highlights that they didn’t get published in their 20s and that’s okay. I would highly recommend this podcast; it was a great motivation!

Furthermore, IΒ fixed my main character’s Arc & some plot problems. This is technically a much later step in my revision plan, but I had written down some notes on what I knew needed fixing and started writing up some solutions. I knew my main character’s Arc was all wrong and had to be adjusted to the new theme that was stronger and better suited for the story. Then I noticed several other problems, especially with some plotlines, that I brainstormed solutions for. However, there is so much more to be done with this WIP, it is far from revised yet.

When it comes to my minute count, I already reduced it from 1800 minutes to 900 minutes, because I figured out, I absolutely could not do 60 minutes a day. But even with a daily target of 30 minutes I ultimately did fail to reach my goal. Here are my stats!

count

Let's Talk (2)

Future Writing Plans?

To be honest with you, I don’t think I will get done much writing wise before my summer break Mid July, because I’m still going to be super busy and probably stressed with everything that is going on. That makes me sad, because I feel like a fraud, like I’m not a real writer, because I’m not doing much writing πŸ˜₯ I feel like I should make it a priority, but I’m in no headspace to work on my story right now and fear that forcing it will make frustrated and bitter about writing in general πŸ™ I just have a lot of conflicted emotions about my future writing plans, because so much will be going on and I feel a bit overwhelmed jugglign eerything and fighting off the writing doubts.

However, I really want toΒ Finish the first round of revision before October, because I finished this WIP in April 2018 and it has been a year during which I have been meaning to revis it, but never actually got around to doing that. I’m still following Susan Dennard’s revision guide, that is actually very good, I just need to actually get around to finally going it. Revision is very new to me, so that might be why I’m struggling a bit. Another top priority for me is to Structure/Edit the Outline for book 2Β that I wrote during the last NaNoWriMo! I just wrote it down stream of consciousness, so I need to structure it in Scrivener and maybe heavily edit it to, because the revision might change the ending of book 1, impacting everything that comes after it.

You’ll definitely see another update from me in the future! Until then: keep writing, I believe in you πŸ’—Β πŸŒΊΒ If you ever need some motivation Madeline has a fantastic post calledΒ Dear β€œAspiring” Authors // How to Stop Aspiring & Start BeingΒ πŸ’›

Let's Talk (1)

How did you do with Camp NaNo? What are your current writing plans?Β πŸ“

21 thoughts on “Why I Failed Camp NaNo πŸ–‹ and Writing Plans

  1. I failed Camp NaNo this time around as well Caro, so you’re not alone (actually come to think about it I’ve never won at Camp NaNo but I’m keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to win come Camp NaNo July, and NaNo in November). You had a lot going on, and still have a lot going on, but I think the most important thing is that you didn’t burn yourself out when it comes to writing. I did that once and it took me years to get back into it again. πŸ™‚
    It sounds like you still managed to achieve a lot, so hopefully you’re focusing on that rather than your word count for the month, and oh I may have to check out that podcast. I’m always looking for new podcasts and I’ve never thought about checking out writing ones before.
    Great post, I hope you’ll be taking part in NaNo come November, and I hope you achieve all your future writing plans and more. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear I’m not alone, but also sad to hear we both didn’t make it. I do wish you all the best for July and November! ❀ I’ll hopefully be able to participate in November, as July is quite busy! Oh no, sorry to hear that! I definitely tried to take it more slowly, because I knew that applying more pressure wasn’t the way to go. Now I’m still not 100% back, but trying my best each week.

      Thank you! I definitely loved the podcast and watching some WriterTube, that has helped me stay in touch with my writing, even when I can’t dedicate as much time to it. I hope I’ll make it to NaNo as well and I hope that your writing is going well!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m impressed that you managed to do anything at all while being so busy, Caro, really. ❀ I'm glad that you decided to quit before burning yourself out, it's always the best decision to take and, it seems like you still got some great inspiration from podcasts and things, so that's AMAZING! I get the guilty-feeling, when you're not writing, that you're not a "real" writer, somehow. I get that feeling all the time, but if you're thinking about your story, it's also work, in a way, too ❀ ❀
    Sending you lots of love and I hope you'll get back to your writing plans when you have more free time, take care of yourself, your stories are always there for you ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you so much Marie!! πŸ’• I definitely feel like it was the right thing to do as well, as I really don’t want to end up with an even bigger writer’s block – I’m glad to have found such a fantastic podcast 😊 Thank you!! ❀ I try to tell myself that too, but sometimes the doubts still come through. I’m trying to at least do something writing related, even when things are busy!
      Thank you for the lovely comment, Marie! I wish you all the best for your writing as well, I hope things are going great for you!! πŸ’–πŸ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Caro!
    First of all, it was a pleasure to have you in our cabin, and I am so glad that you were able to join us! Great work on Camp Nano- you’ve given it your honest effort, even though it didn’t pan out as you’ve planned. Life happens. Sometimes it gets busy and we don’t always feel inspired, and that’s okay πŸ™‚ I know the feeling of being a fraud- I’ve been there so many times when I am not writing as much as I think I should be, or if I am not in a good part in my writing/editing. As long as you have plans to go back to writing, and as long as you still hang on to your writing dream, then you are a writer πŸ™‚ Even though you’ve hit a bit of a roadblock in your editing journey, you will find inspiration and new ideas in time. Take care and wishing you all the best ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! ❀ Life was really more hectic than I thought it would be, but there are hopefully quieter months to follow + I have now settled a bit more into my situation. Thank you!!! I’m relieved to hear that I’m not the only one struggling with ths right now and am trying to remind myself that I’m still a writer πŸ’– Again, thanks for the lovely comment, I hope everything with your writing is going okay too!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes sometimes life happens and we can’t always control our schedule. That’s good that it’s been quieter these days πŸ™‚ I’ve definitely had days and weeks of low or zero word counts haha. But I think as long as we have our story and our characters in our hearts, then we can call ourselves a writer. Hope that you’ll be able to have some time to write in the next little while πŸ™‚

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  4. Oh my goodness, I definitely wouldn’t call this a failure! You have so many more minutes clocked on your project than you did at the beginning of the month. Progress is progress. Also, I looooove 88 Cups of Tea! It’s hands down my favorite podcast ever and I’m glad you found it!

    Don’t feel like a fraud for not being able to write. I totally know what you mean about taking a break because you don’t want to resent a story. For me, creating a Pinterest storyboard, making a playlist, and filling out free worksheets I find online help me connect with my story on a positive level. There doesn’t always have to be an output when we write. Sometimes, I sit at my computer for hours and have like 5 words to show for it. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t spend that time writing. πŸ’› Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Iβ€˜m trying to see it that way as well even if it’s not always easy πŸ’• Itβ€˜s such a good podcast and so inspiring, Iβ€˜m really glad that I discovered it too 😍

      Thank you for the lovely words!! πŸ’› Iβ€˜m trying to count in anything writing related as progress, so I do what I can right now, trying to let it be enough. I hope your writing is going well!! 😊

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  5. First off thinking about things and fixing issues with plot and arc definitely count as writing to me. But it sounds like you made the right choice with stepping back. Burnout sucks!

    Liked by 1 person

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