April wrap-up – this writing month

Writers Wrap-up (1)In which Camp NaNoWriMo happens

That’s right, April means it’s time for NaNoWriMo’s more chilled cousin. In Camp, you can set your own goals instead of going for the big 50K novel draft. Write, edit, blog, bring forth poetry and screenplays, anything you feel like.

Of course, the downside of all this freedom is that I have no one to blame for the inevitable ensuing pressure of meeting the goal but myself. Sigh.

Speaking of goals

With the lockdown and homeschooling situation – well, it didn’t seem the most helpful atmosphere for creative progress. I wasn’t sure how I’d get on no matter how gentle a goal I set. And the new NaNo website still isn’t up to full functionality; the only way of counting progress is words written. Kinda takes away from the purpose of Camp, if you ask me – and yes, I know no one did, but if I can’t share uninvited opinions on my own blog, where can I? But a few minutes of muttering under my breath as I counted past drafts provided a rough equivalent of 450 words to a page, so the 30,000 word goal I went with would be around 67 pages.

Time for the complication, because there always is one. I was supposed to be continuing the first draft of Curse and Ghost. I’m writing that by hand, hence the pages goal. But as April approached, I still hadn’t finished the first draft of Sparrow. On Scrivener. Where I can count words but not (reliably) pages.

So it was a cobbled-together accounting for the month, but I did meet my goal! It’s the first NaNo or Camp I’ve managed that for some time, so fingers crossed it’s the start of some upwards momentum. I was even pretty consistent throughout the month, no stops and starts and 10K days trying to reach a goal I’d left a bit late. I finished Sparrow, and made a bit of progress on Curse, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Camp secrets

two men with feet up and mugs by a campfire (photo by Taryn Elliott)No, not campfire gossip, though there was a bit of that. I’ve said it before but that doesn’t make it less true now – the key to a good Camp NaNo is your cabinmates. Get an engaged, active group who’ll sprint with you, cheer you on when you’re doing well and encourage you when you’re not. I joined a writers’ group on Discord before April and they’ve been wonderful both through Camp and either side of it. You know who you are, folks – and I’m looking forward to lots more evenings of writing and gossiping to take us through to the next Camp in June.

What’s next?

Well, like any uncooked lump of dough, Sparrow is resting now while it waits its turn for review and revision. This was more of a draft zero than anything else, so there will likely be a lot of chopping around to get it into final form. I didn’t start on Curse until something like the 25th of the month, so while I’m pleased to be moving forward there’s still a looong way to go, and for now that’s my focus. Hopefully the support of a lovely group of writing friends will continue to keep my momentum going, because I could get used to it!

Are you a NaNo writer?

Did you meet your goal? Are you carrying on this month? Let’s chat!

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