5 Tips for CampNaNo Success

I DID IT!!!!!

Last night I reached 50,035 words for the month of July bringing my total word count for my novel up to just past 62,000 words. I started Camp NaNo with 12,000 words, and those 12,000 words took me four months to write. So, I am super excited and maybe a little proud of myself for hunkering down and getting out those 50,000 words in just one month! YAY!!!! My story isn’t finished, but I’ve got a basic skeleton to work from and flesh out. I’m excited about the story, and I have more confidence in who I am as a writer. I would definitely recommend Camp NaNo to writers, both new and experienced. You can always jack the word count up if 50,000 words isn’t as much of challenge to you.

So, how does a busy Momma find the time to get 50,000 words down in one month? It wasn’t easy, but here’s how I did it:

1. I had the support of my husband. I suppose you could tackle this sort of thing without the support of your significant other (or if you rock the single crowd, the support of your family and/or friends), but I wouldn’t recommend it. Really, I couldn’t have done this without my husband. He went solo many nights with the kiddos, and every Saturday. And when I still had 15,000 words with less than a week to go, he made me believe I could do it; he encouraged me and pushed me and enabled me. (I love that guy!)

2. I practiced writing when my kids were in the room. Before Camp NaNo, I couldn’t write with the kids in the room because they are 4 and 2, and in case you haven’t heard, very young children always have a lot to say, a lot of questions, and require pretty much constant attention (not to mention all the daily chores and meetings with friends and errands to run). But I knew that if I could knock out a couple hundred words here and there during the day when my kiddos were climbing on me and in between listening to their stories and for the five minutes they were coloring or playing nicely together, those words would bring me a little closer to my goal.

3. I developed more discipline as a writer. Even if I didn’t want to, I kept writing. Even if I wasn’t sure or I had that nagging from my Inner Editor to go back and fix something, I just kept writing. I made a note to the side of my document and I just kept writing my story. My goal was to get that beginning, middle and end, not to make the story perfect on the first go around.

4. I recognized and utilized the places where I could be most productive.  I went out to do most of my writing. For me, I am most productive when I am sitting in a coffee house or at subway with my ear-buds playing white noise and my chromebook out in front of me. That uninterrupted time of writing was essential to my success.

5. I recognized and utilized the times I could be most productive. I did my writing at home with the kids before lunch; that’s when I found my mind could do the most multitasking. And when I knew I would get to go out to write in the evening, I took a nap with my kids (something I don’t normally do). I knew that if I wanted to be productive in the evening, I couldn’t be tired, and I’m almost always tired in the evenings these days. I did what I had to do to make use of the times when my mind was at it’s sharpest, when I wouldn’t have to sit in front of the screen slamming my head on the table trying to figure out how to spell liqueur  or  spend twenty minutes coming up with a name for a minor character.

If you attempted CampNano, do you have any tips for success?! Did you reach your word count goal?