Greetings, everyone! Today marks the first day of April. For many, that means a day full of whoopee cushions, workplace pranks, and taking years of our families’ lives with some ill-humored jokes… but aside from April Fool’s Day, April 1st brings the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo! That’s a whole extra month of NaNoWriMo goodness for those of us who can’t wait a whole year for the challenges, camaraderie, and sleep-wrecking productivity we so look forward to every November.
As many of you know, we held sprints all day today on our Twitter as a part of our Camp NaNoWriMo kickoff #SprintParty. And while the first day may already be over, never fear—there’s still time to get started if you haven’t yet!
Faye wrote an excellent post on the 25th regarding choosing your perfect target, but I’d like to expand a bit on the best ways to reach that target. One of the great things about Camp NaNoWriMo is that the minimum word count goal is 10,000—or, 333 words per day for the month. For many of us, that’s just one word sprint! However, while it might be comforting to know you don’t have to make that long 50k sprint more than once per year if you don’t want to, setting your own goal and following through with it can be a challenge in and of itself.
In her post, Faye mentions what factors to consider when choosing your word count goal: what do you have going on this month? How much time will you realistically have to write? Does your goal seem reasonable as a whole, but become a bit too daunting a task when broken down to the minimum daily word counts? Ultimately, it can be hard to find a goal that’s challenging yet not too ambitious. Some may lowball, others might overshoot. Either way, the important thing is that you’re trying!
For those who have a busy month ahead, as I do, here are my tips for following through with a challenging, yet doable, word count goal for April:
-Join in on sprints. Didn’t see this one coming, did you? We may reiterate this a lot, but ultimately, we do so because it works. As I said above, some daily word count goals can be knocked out in a simple sprint or two. This helps you squeeze your writing into a busy schedule in true NaNoWriMo form—sprinting shoes on, inner editor off!
-Build a support network. In the same vein, it’s helpful to participate in events such as sprints to build up a network that will keep you accountable. We’ll be holding sprints all through the month, as well as keeping our eyes out for other sprinting events. Try making a #NaNoWager or simply ask a friend to stay on top of you (but make sure it’s a writer friend; muggles just don’t understand!).
-Be flexible. Since goals are a bit less rigid than NaNoWriMo, be somewhat flexible with your word count goal if need be. And I’m not just talking about lowering it! If you find your word count goal isn’t quite where it should be—whether that be too low or too high—adjust it as necessary. Of course, it’s always best to work toward your original goal, but many campers (ourselves included!) are often a bit more lax about their word count goals during Camp NaNoWriMo.
Most importantly, have fun! Think of this month as one long campfire story. Will you get to the end of yours before the flames flicker out? Are you in a cabin with some of your close-knit writing buddies? Let us know what your experience is like throughout the month, and be sure to check in for regular sprints to boost that word count!