Campfire Stories

After participating in NaNoWriMo in November, I wasn’t sure if I would also gather ’round for their “camp” sessions, which are less structured, and can have any target word count. I thought I should save up that kind of marathon energy for a once-a-year event.

By the time April rolled around, though, I knew a deadline was all that was going to motivate me to knock out some crucial scenes for the novel I started in November. I figured, why not just a little campfire story? Surely I can work time for that into my schedule. (And maybe sneak in a few chocolates and marshmallows while “camping out” with @NaNoWordSprints, my favorite writing prompt buddies!) So I set a small goal of 10,000 words, which I handily achieved.

And then, this July, I started a new project. I wanted to see if NaNo’s 2014-Participant-Twitter-Header-2philosophy of going in plot-blind would turn out something workable again. Again, I’ve set a fairly low goal of 20,000 words (since 10K was almost too easy in April) and I’ll see where that takes me. (Yes, for NaNo-ers, 20K is “low.” November’s winning target is 50K.)

And so far, I’m still in awe, but it works! At least for me.

A part of me wants to attribute it to some kind of magic the people at National Novel Writing Month work upon their participants, but of course, I know that’s not true.

Goal setting gets stuff done, my friends. Especially when combined with a little community inspiration and encouragement, winner’s prizes, and the good feeling that comes from knowing you’re doing what you set out to do.

It’s why I think I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo, both the November edition and camp sessions, for many years to come. It feels great to say, “I will write. I will do it! Some words are better than no words!”

In fact, I just hit today’s word count target, and it reminds me of the scene in Emperor’s New Groove where he comes out and says, “BOOM, baby!” Achieving goals feels like this:


And with that, I’m going to get back to writing. I hit the target for today, but why not put a little buffer in there, right?


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