I know I’m not in this boat alone when I say I’m a goal motivated writer. I envy those who through serious dedication wake up an hour or a half hour earlier each day to squeeze in that writing time.
This is not to say I’m not motivated – I absolutely am, but the way I work best, both in life and in writing, is through short term goals. Word wars. Group challenges. Weekly critique groups.
Compared to the rest of the world, I’m fairly new to NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), having only participated for the first time in 2013. From the second I started, seeing the ticker go up and up, I was hooked. I didn’t reach the mandatory 50,000 word count, but heck, I’d written 40,000 more words than I likely would have, especially considering I was on vacation half the month!
I’m a stick and carrot person. And it’s not like the carrot needs to be massive (um, hello, gold star sticker children of the world, do you relate?). A simple ticker that tells me I’m reaching my self imposed word count is enough.
Then there’s Camp NaNo. Camp (April and July) allows you to set your own goal between 10,000 and … they say a million words. Whoever reaches that, I’d like to meet them. And bow at their feet. I might even kiss their feet, odour dependent.
The fact that these manageable Camps are interspersed throughout the year really provides me those surges of energy when I need them. They allow me to focus intently and really be with my characters morning, noon and night. It’s quite fun. Why, you might ask, if I love it so much, am I not this regular a writer throughout the rest of the year? Well, I might respond, define regular. My stories never leave me. I just take a little extra time to mull my characters over, read a novel to think a little differently, or stare at the ceiling developing my plot.
But Camp, and the true NaNo, allow me to let the words flow. I love it.
Will you be doing Camp this summer? What’s your goal? I’m officially setting mine at 35,000 words. It’s now in print. You’ve seen it. Drat.