Camp NaNo – April

April is here and along with it, another session of CampNaNo.  Brought to you by the same people at National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), Camp NaNo is much less strict version of the November event.  In November, participants spend the 3o days writing 50,000 words towards finishing a novel.  Offered in April and July, Camp NaNo allows campers to pick their word count goal for the month as well as pursue other non-novel projects.

For April, I picked a word count of 30,000 words.  I’ve already been writing about 2,000 words a day so I thought giving myself a daily word count goal of 1,000 words would be fairly easy to achieve, and without adding any extra anxiety.  Three days in and I’ve written an average of 2,500 words each day, so… so far, so good.

Overall, I’ve kept at my writing and although it can be really frustrating at times, I am totally loving writing every day.   I’ve been wanting to rededicate myself to my writing for a while but told myself that this year was going to be my year.  So far I’d been dealing with various things that needed to be done around the house and putting off writing.  I promised to post here every week and that’s been a bit hit and miss too.  Apparently though I found my ultimate motivation, trying to help my husband.  Almost two weeks ago Sully had a difference of opinion with his boss and without going into too many details my husband and his employer parted company the following week.  I’ve been procrastinating about writing and this just seemed like the kick in the pants I needed to get my butt in the chair.

After two weeks, I’ve got over 20,000 words and I am really enjoying it and I am hoping that I will keep it up.  I’ve already developed some elements of my process.

Here are my top two…


My writing notebook –

.It’s a Mead Five Star Stay-Put Folder, it has prongs inside and is made out of the tougher poly material, rather than paper.  I tucked a legal pad into the pocket on the right.  The left pocket holds daily word targets, and any loose notes.  I secured the legal pad with a binder clip, which also doubles quite nicely as a pen holder.


notebook   180952_1785968616469_4114111_n


The legal pad is home to notes on story outline, characters, locations, chapter notes and anything else story related that isn’t actual story.  I take this anywhere that I might end up waiting for any period of time.  It’s a sure bet that if I am sitting quietly waiting for doctor’s appointment or for the oil in my van to be changed and my brain will suddenly work out some plot point that I’ve been struggling with for days.  Being able to make notes when it’s actually in my head is essential, before I get distracted by the doctor talking about prescriptions or the mechanic’s recommendations about new brakes and tires.  In a pinch, I can type some notes into my iPhone or iPad but putting pen to paper can be so much quicker.  I also think making notes quickly can be key, there’s something about that peppering of ideas that has it’s own life.

Monitor –

The other fun thing I’ve added is an additional monitor to my computer.  It’s great to see my Mural.ly corkboard, or an inspirational picture or even just having iTunes open where I can easily scroll through my library.  Right now I’ve got an older non HD monitor and it works well for what it is but it’s more of a square shape and somewhat awkward.   It was free and therefore I am not really complaining.  I just know that eventually I’ll want to get an HD monitor that will fit on my desk better.


This is my basic setup, ignore the bad photography.