Camp NaNo? More like, Nah, no... (How Not to Feel Like a Failure for Not Writing a Novel)

  Okay, forgive me for that play on words, I am a bad person. And I definitely don't have anything against Camp NaNo at all! In fact I would love to be able to do it. The trouble is that the put the camps right in two of the busiest months of the year (April and July) and this is a problem when you're me.*

  *Forgive me also for literally ALWAYS making posts about NaNo that are along the lines of me saying "I want to do it but I'm a lazy butt who can't this year haha maybe next year hahahahaha" 

  However, this does not mean that I can't be writing through these months (even though I certainly won't be finishing any novels), and I'm excited to be working on what I hope will be my next indie publishing venture!

  The Snow Dragon is kind of a weird George MacDonald meets Stranger Things meets Vikings mixture of fantasy and fairy-tale, and quite a bit different than anything in I've done in the fantasy genre before. I'm still ironing out the bugs and kinks and sorting out just how everything is going to go, but I'm really excited for how it's shaping up. I think it'll be a really neat piece of fiction when completed!

  So that's kind of what I'll be working on over the next few (hyper busy) months. I love my characters and the world I'm crafting and I'm really excited to see how everything goes.

  But aside from all that, today I want to discuss Camp NaNo and How Not to Feel Like A Failure for Not Writing a Novel. Because sometimes seeing everyone else pounding out stories in a month can make the rest of us feel like losers.

  I love that NaNo gives you the opportunity and motivation to write a whole story in a month, it's an awesome program that writers the world over enjoy - including me! It's an excellent way to interact with and be encouraged by the writing community and to participate in something that generally lights a fire under your pants.

  But sometimes it just doesn't work for us to write a novel in a month. Whether it be the busyness of schedules, the lack of a solid project, or the desire to focus on other things in that month, trying to add writing a whole book to your day-to-day can be more of a hassle than a benefit. There are times when even perseverance and hardwork can't quite make something happen.

  Does that mean things like Camp NaNo should be neglected entirely? Absolutely not! There are plenty of other, completely productive and worthwhile writing activities to pursue in the month of NaNo! What are those you ask? Well...

  Ideas for Participating in NaNo BESIDES Writing a Whole Book...

  • Finishing a draft you're already working on

  • Outlining a new novel 

  • Editing a draft of a completed novel

  • Beta-reading for someone (or multiple someones)

  • Scheduling a couple 5k In A Day (or some other number) events to at least get a large chunk done, without filling up your whole month of free time

  Those are just some of the ways to make NaNo months equally productive, without resigning yourself to a fate of stress, too much caffeine, and not enough sleep, which often results in massive disappointment when you can't keep up the pace. Don't be hard on yourself! Don't take on more than you know you can manage! We writers really like to over-commit, but this NaNo month, let's not have a burnout, let's be accomplished and happy without sacrificing sanity, responsibilities, or health!

  Well, that's today's small post! What about you? What sorts of alternatives do you like to commit to for NaNo months when you're busy? Are you doing anything for NaNo this April? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I've honestly never done a real NaNo event in my life because life is crazy and ain't nobody got time for that. (AKA, I don't have time for that, lol) but when things would come around about writing everyday and trying to reach that 50,000 goal, I would participate outside of NaNo and just do it without the actual event or signing up because I thought I was cool like that. XD

    Personally, I think it would stress me out, but I do hope to try maybe Camp NaNo someday just to say I did it and tried it because at least I can set my goal with that one. Right now, I'm working on editing my debut, which I hope to publish this August! Things are falling together and I'm really excited about it! And I just got a full-time job, so NaNo can't be a thing as I navigate that right now. XD XD

    I think this post is super encouraging and helpful to those who feel a little down about not participating. So thank you for that! Sorry for the monster comment, but I have to say that your new book sounds AMAZING! I love things with vikings and dragons and I can't wait to learn more. <3 <3

    ~Ivie| Ivie Writes

    1. SAME. Haha, I've always wanted to do it officially, but I just never manage to make it work. Maybe this November?? Who knows. Probs not. :P

      Wow! It sounds like life is full and busy for you! Congrats on soon being published! What's your novel called? I'll have to check it out.

      Thank you so much! Even though I'm kind of in the dark with the story, I really love the premise and the world I've created, so I'm keen to see it work! Too bad I'm having such a busy month and getting like, zero writing done.

  2. I like Camp NaNos because you can do timed goals as well, instead of just a word-count goal. That lets me "DO THINGS" instead of "WRITE" which is really nice. I've never actually done an actual NaNoWriMo but I've done several Camps!

    1. That sounds pretty cool actually, ahhh, I wish I could just devote a month to this instead of always ending up so flipping busy!! Maybe the both of us can try a real NaNoWriMo this year. ;)

  3. This title reflects my love/hate relationship with nano. XD

    Thank you for these tips! I tend to burn myself out, so I'll put these to use. ^_^

    1. Haha, that's what I was going for! You are so welcome!


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