CampNano: First Impressions

I’ve officially survived the first two days of my first ever CampNaNoWriMo! Actually, this is my first time participating in NaNoWriMo, ever. What are my first thoughts?

Well, first it’s really not as scary as I thought it would be. Maybe I would be thinking differently if my goal were the full 50,000 instead of 20,000, but nevertheless, 646 words a day isn’t as much as it seems. 

The first day was pretty awesome. It was exciting to count down the minutes, and start the words just as midnight struck. I enjoyed interacting with other campers, meeting my cabin mates, and participating in some NaNo word sprints. Add that to not only meeting my word goal for the first day, but the second day as well, and I was feeling pretty good. 

But later that night, I was not feeling so chipper. With the initial rush gone, I was left with my own competitive drive, perfectionism, and self-doubt. Every single word was like pulling a tooth, and was just as painful because I knew every word was wrong, but I forced myself not to edit, and just kept stubbornly plugging along. 

Enter: day two (really? It seems like it’s been a week, already). I. Am. Exhausted. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I have been busy all day, non-stop, on only two hours of sleep. I don’t know how I’m functioning at this point, honestly. Thinking about coming home and having to get some words on the page felt overwhelming. I wondered why the heck I signed up for this in the first place, during what could be the busiest month for me in a long time. 

I am sleep-deprived, worn down, and still just as stubborn. Somehow, when I sat down to force myself to hammer out a few more words so I could sleep easy tonight, the words flowed. Not a lot, but this time they came of their own accord, and they felt right.

I guess it just goes to show you have to trust in the process. When I was fired up and ready, the words felt wrong. But I wrote them anyways, and now, when I am on the brink of collapse, somehow the right ones came.

My current word count is 1656, though I plan on getting a few more down tonight before collapsing in a heap of exhaustion. I’m trying to get as far ahead as possible, to build myself a nice cushion so I don’t have to stress out later, and have some flexibility on my trip next week. 

Please bear with me, as I can’t promise I’ll be as engaged on Twitter or WordPress this month, with so much else going on. I still love you all ❤

Hopefully the rest of this ride isn’t as much of a roller coaster as the first two days have been. Thankfully, I’m in a cabin with an awesome group of people, and the CampNano community is already amazing. I’m hanging in there, and I’ll try to update as much as I can. I still love to hear from you–both campers, and otherwise! Have a great week 🙂

 

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21 thoughts on “CampNano: First Impressions

  1. Ah the roller coaster that is nanowrimo! Don’t worry, it does get easier. It’s a lot like exercising or running. At first it’s painful and difficult but after awhile you’ll be amazed at how far you can go. I remember last nanowrimo I struggled in the beginning, especially when I fell behind on my word count but after awhile it was like my muscle memory kicked in and I would start writing as soon as I sat down at my desk. The words came easier, I even had a few 10k days and I found myself just enjoying the experience. Like a runner’s high but from writing 🙂

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  2. Congrats on the first two days of success! I also was successful! But with my exam coming up in like 3 days, my word count might drop as I focus on revision =/
    And it is a good choice you started with 20,000 words. I started my first time with 50,000 and holy crap, it seems like an unbeatable goal!
    And please don’t stress out over NaNo too much. If it’s stressing you out, it’s probably best to leave it for that day, falling behind on your word count or not because it’s suppose to be fun! Also, treat yourself – like chocolate! – every day you hit your goal! =] don’t forget; fun! fun! fun!

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    • Thank you!! Haha yes, I don’t know that I could do 50k my first time. Maybe next time, though (if there is a next time). I actually agree. Sometimes, it’s not always best to force yourself. Yes, I need to get words, and I should overcome my regular self-doubt etc. But if I’m actually dreading it, and start to hate writing, that’s not good. Ooh I definitely like the treat idea 🙂 Thanks!

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  3. You can do it! Secret for me with the 50k one was to adjust my daily word count if I missed it. Need to do 1000 a day, but you missed a day? Don’t fight to do 2000, you’ll only panic and get more behind. Aim to catch up by doing 1035 words a day. You won’t get further behind, and sooner or later you will do a few 1500 days and be caught without even realizing it! Most of all, good luck 🙂

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    • That’s actually really good advice. Thankfully the stats on CampNano shows you how many words you actually need each day to stay on track, based on how much you’ve written. I’m still pretty far ahead at this point, and trying to build an even bigger cushion, but will definitely keep that in mind if I fall behind 🙂 Thanks!

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  4. I have been forcing myself not to edit too. I have always done better in any of my writing though when I get let it all rush out of me. Once I am cleansed of all my jumbled ideas and have the first draft down I am able to go through it and polish. I usually keep all of my initial work too, so maybe the stuff you aren’t too excited about now will work out in the end.

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    • Thankfully, my own competitiveness counters my perfectionist editing impulses. I want to count every word I can, which means I don’t go back and change or delete any. Which is working, mostly, so far. 🙂 Yes! Just trying to get the jumbled mess out in the first place, haha.

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    • Do it! Like I said, it’s really not as scary as it sounds. It’s actually really doable, especially if you have a lower word count goal like mine. Two members of my cabin are only doing 10k. It’s not to late to sign up 😉

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  5. I think Hayley hit the nail on the head with the running analogy. The same thing happened to me last year when I first attempted November NaNoWriMo as is happening with you – but then, soon enough, habit kicked in, and before I knew it, I just auto-wrote a lot of that novel.

    Just know you’re not alone. I’ve had my own “like pulling teeth” moments already, too, hahah.

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  6. Pingback: CampNano: First Week | Coffee. Write. Repeat.

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