Posted in Writer's Problems

Camp NaNo!

How many of you have heard of/like NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo? Well, guess what I got in my inbox the other day? That’s right. Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up! (*Squeals excitedly* *remembers that I don’t even know what project I should work on* *cowers*)

One thing I’ve noticed about the NaNos is that there is a lot of debate about them. They are amazing! They are terrible. I completed a book with them! They cause hurried, terrible writing! Everyone should do it! It shouldn’t even exist! 

I must admit… I’m somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I think it’s amazing. The next day, I think it’s terrible. There have been some super good points for and against it, but in this post, I’m going to show the good and the bad that I personally have seen in NaNo.

The Good Side of NaNo

Probably the biggest point that people have brought up is that… stories are indeed completed with the NaNos. I have proof. The first year I did NaNo, I completed two stories: Listening to Destiny and Uki. (Uki was, however, written with a friend and on the Young NaNo site, so it wasn’t quite a full 50K story.) The point is… they were finished. Now, I don’t believe that I couldn’t have finished them if I didn’t do NaNo, but there is something about having a deadline that tons of other people are working on at the same time. The support structure of Camp NaNo, I especially love.

Another good thing about the NaNos is the people you meet. The people from the very first cabin I was in for Camp NaNo… we’re still friends! We have a Google Chat where we keep in contact. They are amazing. They give me feedback, help me write, we talk about writing struggles and writer’s block and all that great stuff. If you are looking for a writer’s community… absolutely check out Camp NaNoWriMo!

The resources are fantastic as well! The NaNoWriMo team do an excellent job of getting together a ton of resources to help you with writing, querying, editing, revising… being that they are such a big community and that so many people do it every year, they can attract some top-notch authors to write posts for them.

The Bad Side of NaNo

Beware. Insaneness is a by-product of the NaNos.

Stress. Oh my word. Nothing produces exhaustion and stress faster than looking at all you have to do and then adding 1,600 words on top of that. Some days are so busy that I feel like crying when I add the word count to that as well. Exhaustion and Saturdays full of catch up writing does indeed happen. It has happened to me ooohhh soooooooo many times.

Sloppy writing. Did I complete Listening to Destiny? Yes. Did I have tons of editing? Yes. Did I cut out a ton and add a ton? Yes. Would I do that if I had written it without NaNo stress? Probably. I have heard of people who are so thrilled by the thought that they just completed a full-length book that they submitted it directly to agents without even editing it. YIKES. I can see why editors would hate the post-NaNo season for that reason.

Insaneness and Burnout. These are definitely reasons to stay away from NaNo. At the end, your brain is fried. You can no longer think or act correctly. You are a gibbering mess of… are you even still human? If you somehow managed to stay human, then you are a burned out human. I do recall getting to the end of a NaNo and literally not writing a single word for a month. I was so. so. so. burned out. I have had friends tell me that NaNo is a muscle. You have to exercise it in order to be good at it. But at the end of exercising, you are definitely done exercising.

 

Conclusion

 

This is the important conclusion where I strictly inform you of the one way of doing it. Where I tell you whether NaNo is amazing or terrible. Not.

I’m not going to do that. I think it basically boils down to this. It works for me, it may not work for you. It depends on your style, how you write, where you get your motivation from. Me… I work better under deadlines. Otherwise… I have other things with deadlines that I have to do and things get pushed aside. Including my writing. I will be doing Camp NaNo this summer. You? You may not work that way. You may not do deadlines at all. You may not be doing Camp NaNo. But you know what, peoples? That’s perfectly fine.

I am curious, though. What do you think of the NaNos? Have you ever tried them? Do you have a success/horror stories? Let me know in the comments below!

TᕼᗩᑎKᔕ ᖴOᖇ ᖇᙓᗩᗪIᑎᘜ, ᙓᐯᙓᖇYOᑎᙓ! ᙎᗩTᙅᕼ OᙀT ᖴOᖇ ᙎOOᗪᙓᑎ ᑎIᙅKᙓᒪᔕ!
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Author:

Jaylee Morgan is a teenage author with her sights set on publishing. She’s written short stories since–uh… um–before she can remember. Her family isn’t quite sure what to do with her (mental hospital, maybe?), as she carries around a folder that she’ll randomly open and start scribbling in. She grew up (er, is still growing up) on a little hobby farm. She was basically born riding horses and hopefully will continue to ride horses for the rest of her life. She loves, loves, loves the cowboy lifestyle and might actually write about it someday. (Right now, she’s too scared that she won’t do it justice.) She reads. Like crazy.

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