Hello Mudder. Hello Fadder. Here I am at. Camp NaNoWriMo

by Julie Frayn on August 19, 2012 in  Writing

Anyone who’s taken part in Camp NaNoWriMo knows the plan. Write 50,000 words in one short month. A first draft of a fully formed novel in thirty days. Of course in August, we get an extra twenty four hours. So we got it easy.

Don’t worry, I’ve not become an outdoorsy tent-loving fire-building survivalist. It’s a virtual camp. My cabin mates just avatars on the screen. There are real writers behind there (real young writers I might add. I am the cabin mother), all with a common dream.

When I first heard of NaNoWriMo (short for national novel writing month), it sounded daunting. Could I do it? Can I write more than 1613 words a day, every single day? Still have to go to work. Still have to sleep. Still have to spend some time vegging with my kids. Still have to throw a birthday party for my mom who turned 80 on the 11th. Still have to finalize edits on my first novel. Oh yeah, and still have to blog.

How will I ever get ‘er done?

I signed up for this in mid July. Then July 24 came along and messed with my mojo. All of a sudden, this writing thing didn’t seem so important. I could just skip it, focus on helping my sister and managing everyone’s emotions. Including my own. But writing is where I hide from the bits of reality that are hard to face. So I decided to give it a go. If I didn’t hit the 50,000 mark, that was all right. I would make some progress on a new WIP. And any progress is better than nothing.

But wouldn’t you know it, my deadline loving self kicked in. Give me a task, a goal. A deadline please and thank you. I will make it happen. Up at five most mornings, kicking out 600 to 1000 words before work. Lunch hour comes and my office door is closed and a few hundred more words spill out. After dinner, on weekends. Any time I can eke out a few minutes, I am writing.

The beauty of Camp is, it allows me to practice my writing philosophy. Word vomit. Free flow writing. At a very fast and high output.

Projectile word vomit.

That’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Kind of appropriate, don’t you think? Pass me my hundredth virtual roasted marshmallow please.

So, here it is, end of day 19. The goal by the time my head hits the pillow on this Sunday is 30,645 words. My total? Wait for it…


I am kicking Camp’s ass.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jester Queen August 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Way to GO!! Also, I thought NaNo was in November. I confess, I dread NaNoWriMo because everybody is talking about it, and it’s just not my writing style, and I feel guilty for not participating. Give me a deadline and I panic. But you’re kicking its ass, and I heartily approve.


Julie August 20, 2012 at 6:44 am

Hey Jessie, thanks so much. :) NaNoWriMo is November, but the group that brought us that started a June “Camp” with the same goal. Then an August one too. It is a deadline and daily goals, but they are all self imposed. Nothing bad happens if you miss them (except whatever punishment you heap upon yourself). And if you do hit the 50K, you are declared a winner! Along with all others who hit the mark. Win-win really.

Jason Sharp August 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I’m so proud of you. I love doing this in November. I’m so proud of you for sticking to it :-)


Julie August 20, 2012 at 6:46 am

Thanks, Jason. I really appreciate that. I’m going to give November a shot too. I skipped over my second novel idea to try out a new one in August. Glad I did. Quite liking the result and the characters. Will use November for the second one and see what flows. We can push each other! 😀

Mitch August 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

You go girl! I know you can do it. Just keep swimming, er, writing. (Finding Nemo)


Julie August 20, 2012 at 6:47 am

Ha, yeah I’ll stick to writing. Swimming is not my thing, thus virtual camp. Not a brave river rafter like you and Carson.

Jen Chatfield August 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

That’s fantastic! Projectile word vomit…love it. It’s so good for you every once in a while :)

And please, don’t worry about my book. Take your time. Writing and taking care of your sister are so much more important.


Julie August 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

Thanks, Jen. I’ve finished reading it :D, just wanted to let it simmer in my brain before I got my thoughts down for you. Before next weekend is out!

mj monaghan August 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Wow, amazing Julie!

I’m just glad when I hit 500 words on a post. hehe

Carry on, you writery-writer, you!


Julie August 21, 2012 at 7:19 am

Thanks, MJ. I’ll keep gettin’ down with my bad writer self. Topped 34,000 this morning. Woot! The best part is it’s not dreck. About 32,000 of that is edited and formatted. Needs a good few re-writes after August, but still. Not too shabby.

Heather August 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm

go you!! I must confess that nano is on my bucket list 😉


Julie August 28, 2012 at 8:38 am

Thanks, Heather. I highly recommend it especially if you are driven by goals and deadlines. Word count is over 46,000 as of yesterday, so I’ve altered my end goal to 54,000. Going to do it all over again in November!

J Timothy Quirk September 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

How’s the word count? Will there be any update on your blog?


Julie September 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I ended with 52012. Now up over 54000 but now it’s editing and trying to fill in blanks, so it’s a bit slower for words. I shall do a final camp blog post :)

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