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Things I learnt during my first (successful) Camp NaNoWriMo

This was not my first year attempting a NaNoWriMo project, but it was my first year completing the 50 000 word count. Here are a few things I learnt on the journey-

  1. It Doesn’t Have to be Good

You may have 50 000 words at the end of the month but you will not have a novel. At best you will have a draft. Which is good news because it means that if you’re writing something and you think ‘oh God this is crap’, that’s okay. You can make it not crap in the re-write/edit. Erin Morgenstern (author of The Night Circus) has a great post on her blog about this. I think this was a huge thing that stopped me in previous years- it didn’t feel good enough to be a novel. But that’s fine. Because it’s a draft.

2. Protect Your Writing Time

Writing means sacrifice. When you have a deadline to meet you need to keep your writing time sacred in order to get the job done. I wrote on my lunch break or during down time at my temp job. I wrote in to the wee hours of the night. I sacrificed social time, sleep and the occasional meal to get things done. People who don’t write seem to forget that an author doesn’t wake up one day with a book magically on their desk. It takes time to write a book. Find that time in your day and protect it.

3. Some Days Will be Easier Than Others

Some days you’ll write over your goal and the words will flow out of you. Other days it will be like pulling teeth. Just make sure you get it done. If you’ve under written one day push for an over-write day to even it out.

4. It’s Okay to Fall Behind

I’ve definitely given up on past Nano projects because I fell behind and thought I could never catch up. I felt like a failure and rather than push through I just threw the towel in. I didn’t see that even if you’re on 10 000 words, but 5 000 words behind you’ve still written thousands more words than you probably would have that month. And that’s great. Also, for the record, a weekend trip away with friends did put me about 5 000 words behind, but I managed to pace myself over the remaining days and catch up. You can too!

5. You Will Fall Out of Love with Your Project

You know what it’s like when you first get the idea for something and it’s all you can think about? That rush of excitement and the burning need to write. This idea is amazing. This is the idea you’ve been looking for… If you’re anything like me you’ll have days where you’ve grown to hate it. The excitement isn’t there any more. The idea was good but you don’t have the skill to execute it properly. Whatever slump you’re in, write through it. You can take a few weeks off looking at it and fix problems the month after. You’ll find that spark again.

That’s all I can really think of just now, I just wanted to get it done coming off the back of my post-Nano high. It may not have been that coherent, but my brain is fried!

If any of you did Camp Nano this year I’d love to hear about it. Whether you completed it or not- I’m proud of you for getting some writing done!


They met for a drink in a rooftop bar. He wore red and she wore blue and the night moved faster than usual.

She invited for dinner the following Tuesday to her flat with the midnight blue door. They sat in a kitchen she’d painted to look like the sky and for desert she served blueberry shortcake.

The next week she knocked on his crimson door and he returned the favour. He made bolognese, they drank Merlot and made plans for their next date.

A year later she moved in to his house and they painted the front door purple.

via Daily Prompt: Purple


A spider drops down from the rafters above my bunk. It is tiny and brown and spinning a web. I am so big to it, so massive that it does not notice I exist until I move. It freezes mid-air.

Does it know what I am?

Does it know it’s on a ship? Does it matter?

It is a small spider spinning from a thread on a big boat, but the boat is only big to the spider. The boat is cramped to me and tiny to the ocean. The ocean is small to the world and the world itself is not all that big. It is a tiny thing, spinning through space and time.

I am travelling from England to New York and I will spin myself a new life there. The spider will do the same, but it will never know.

via Daily Prompt: Massive