I’m doing CampNano and so far, it’s not going great. My word goal was 65K, then I bumped it down to 50K, and I’m about 9K behind where I’m supposed to be now. I have had this story percolating in my brain for about 2 years now and I was so excited when I started it. I thought it’d be like November’s Nano. During Nanowrimo, not only did I keep up, I wrote a pretty damn good first draft.
And I’m not the only one having troubles this time. About half the people in my cabin and on the Nano forums are saying the same things. This isn’t like November, I can’t get into it, I don’t have the same motivation.
So what the hell is going on!
Part of my problem is allergies. I’m useless in April because once those trees start f*$#ing, my eyes may as well have been dipped in fire-ants. I spend half my time with cloth wrapped ice against my eyes and the other half sprinting to get all the other stuff in my life that needs to get done, done. Not to mention work and the fact that while last November was perfectly set up to have 5 full weekends, along with a few holidays off, April has 4 weekends and no days off work.
But, that doesn’t explain the lack of motivation. I was busy in November and I wrote when I could. I don’t think it’s the story, because I’m still excited by it, I just can’t seem to translate that onto the page. And it doesn’t explain why about half of the other Wrimos are having the same problem.
My best guess? CampNano is much less structured and smaller than Nanowrimo. We don’t have tens to hundreds of thousands of us buzzing around the forums, we don’t have that set goal that we can’t change, and we don’t have all the peptalk and inspiration stuff they put together for Nanowrimo, and a lot of us don’t have the regional groups doing write ins.
So April’s like any other month we’re trying to write. Sure, we get some done, or spurts of inspiration where we get a ton done, but it doesn’t hold that same drive and urgency that November does. Because it isn’t the same.
I think most of us have run into this problem because we expected it to be the same, basically for the crowd to move us into motivation, and we depended on that, so when it didn’t happen, we didn’t even have our usual motivation to fall back on, because we didn’t think we’d need it.
So, what can we do?
1st) Go back to the Nano website and read through the old pep talks under the inspiration stuff. http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks Sure, it’s not new for April, but there’s a whole archive all about writing a book in a month, I’m sure there’s at least a few you haven’t read. Even if there aren’t, re-read them. They touched you the first time, they may again.
2nd) Read the posts on the blog about writing. They are updating those all the time. http://blog.nanowrimo.org/
3rd) Outline your novel. I know. I know! You’re a pantster, you don’t plan, you just go go go. If it’s not working for you right now, at least give yourself a road map. You can take detours along the way, but at least know where you’re going.
4th) Sit down and write. Haha, concept. Biggest problem I have with writing? Getting going. This is why I love word wars, because they force me to sit down and write something. Instead of pussyfooting around, going, I don’t know, it doesn’t sound write, where should I go from here? It shuts your inner whinny critic the hell up.
So get on the forums and chat rooms, engage with your cabin, see if you can get a word war going. Just sit down and do it. One thing that works wonders for me is the Pomodoro Technique. You set the timer for 25 minutes and you work for that 25 minutes, and then you get a break. It helps cut out that pesky inner voice saying you have all day to do this so you don’t have to do it now. Nope, you have 25 minutes to do this, get to work.
Don’t wait for inspiration! Go hunt it down with a high power rifle and drag its carcass back to your writing cave.
Happy Writing 🙂