Back in November I took part in NaNoWriMo and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. It was a spur to beat procrastination and it worked.
Now, it’s April and there’s Camp NaNoWriMo.
For this month you set your own target. It’s hard to know what to aim for. Should I just copy the 50,000 word target of the November project or be more conservative? Should I go fully manic and aim for double that? The beauty of this project is you do what suits you.
Camp NaNoWriMo can be many things to many people. To me, the purpose is to set a realistic target that I believe I can achieve. Too high and I get de-motivated by mid-month when I realise I might not make the 50,000. Too low and I leave it to the last second then rush it and feel down on myself for being so lazy.
I do have kind of an excuse in that I suffer with ADHD and anyone who knows about how it works, anything taking commitment over any length of time is a huge mountain to climb for people like me. In this way Camp NaNoWriMo is the perfect vehicle. I set my target – 26,000 words for the month in case you wondered – and i know that each day I have a certain number of words to write as a minimum.
Also the beauty of it is that if, on one day, I get hyper-focused – also a function of ADHD – and I write two or three thousand words, then I have the luxury of taking a day off. It’s not ideal and it’s best to avoid missing a day because, as many who write know, one day easily drifts into two then three then..
Today I feel excited and at the same time I feel the pull of distraction. Tea to make, oh I have to read the article I meant to read, oh I have to mop the floor (I live in Hong Kong, not a prison by the way – we don’t have carpet), and a thousand other things. But write I will and by the end of this month I’ll have a piece of writing I won’t be ashamed to call mine.
Here’s my plan to avoid the dreaded procrastination:
– Each night, list the things I have to do the next day (work, washing, etc) and set a time to write and stick to that time.
– Set the mobile to vibrate rather than ring – come on, admit it, you can’t really turn it off, right?
– Get whatever drink, snack, etc, I need so I don’t need to get up
– And this is the crucial part, for me, DO NOT GET UP OR DO ANYTHING ELSE UNTIL THE ALLOTTED TIME IS OVER
– When the time is up, do something completely away from anything to do with writing. Do not edit (it’s a first draft), do not go back to write “just a little more i just thought of” for at least an hour
That’s my plan. It might not work for you but after I write, in that zone you get into, you writers know how that is and what it feels like, I am drained and need to get right away and walk it off as they say.
To anyone who may happen upon this, and who is committed to Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m with you all the way in this.