Hey Everyone! Before I start, let me just say this: Happy Easter Sunday to y’all (for those of you who celebrate) and Happy New Month (for those of you who don’t).

A lot of you might be familiar with National November Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short). If you’re not, it’s all in the name. Writers from all around the world labour to write 50,000 words by the end of November. Camp NaNoWriMo, however, is when you set your own goal, is a better way of communicating with writers, and it happens twice a year, instead of once.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

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But, let me tell you something.

As someone who once attempted to do NaNoWriMo last November, I can honestly say that it is hard. Not only did I not meet my writing goal (I got like 8,000 words in), I spent most of the month – and weeks after – feeling bad for myself because I didn’t meet the goal.

The feeling isn’t good.

And, I honestly did try to write every day. For the first three days, I got out 2,000 words per day. I woke up earlier, used my journal more, and, quite frankly, I was on fire.

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But, I burnt out. I had exams, co-curricular, and socialisation (ugh) to worry about. My birthday and book launch was happening on the 15th and 19th respectively, and I had last-minute edits, testimonials, acknowledgements, dedications, beta-readers, cover art etc that just about consumed me. To top it all of, I actually got sick the week before exams and I had to be on a drip for a couple of them. I went to the hospital on my birthday for goodness sakes!

All in all, life happened.

But, that’s okay.

It took me a long time to realise that not everything will go according to schedule. As a very time-conscious person, and a bit of a perfectionist, this was a huge blow to me.

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I’m starting this Camp with a (slightly) blank canvas and a (fairly) open mind. I’m going to try and write 10,000 words for my first ever novel, Curse of Hearts. 10,000 because I want to see if I can actually stick to it this time and since I was able to get 8,000 before. If I don’t make it, that’s fine. If I do, that’s even better!

All in all, just remember that writing isn’t supposed to feel like a burden. It’s something you’re supposed to do because you love it, not just to prove a point.

Oseremen A.

Hey! First post on this thing *wipes forehead*. How many of you have tried NaNoWriMo (God, that’s difficult to type) before, and how many of you are trying Camp out this April? What are your experiences with deadlines in general? If any of you want to join me, my username’s Oseremen A. I’ve attached a link.

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Oseremen A.

Oseremen is a fourteen-year-old author who just wishes that she could be locked in a room with her laptop, a pair of headphones, good internet, and a truckload of books. She claims to be a walking contradiction and dares you to argue otherwise. She is currently working on her first novel.

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  • Great post! SInce this is my first time doing Camp, I decided to set my goal for 40,000 words instead of 50 because I wanted to finish my novel and it be a novel, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. You made some really good points!

    • Pressure is never a good thing. Take it from someone who knows XD. I, on the other hand, am in no hurry to finish my book. I still have another novella I’m supposed to be working on, but I’m trying to take it nice and easy. I’m happy to hear you liked the post!

  • Awesome first post! Tbh I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo because I’m afraid I won’t be able to complete the challenge and I’ll be discouraged. But I guess even if i don’t reach the goal it’s still…something…

    I hate to admit this but I sometimes go a month or two at a time without working on my book. I wish I was a more serious writer like all you guys on TAJ….I’m just…ya know. Writing when I feel like it hahahahhaha

    • Thanks! And you’re right, you just attempting NaNo is a huge leap of faith! Never feel bad if you don’t quite make it.

      And let me be honest. The last time I seriously wrote something for my book was in early January. It was Camp that made me get my act together.

      Never compare yourself to other writers: we all have our own way and pace of writing. Writing when you feel like isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s when you notice yourself never actively working on your book that’s when you gotta pull up and set some deadlines.

  • It sounds like you really had a tough time during NaNoWriMo. I was able to complete it (thought it nearly killed me). But even if you didn’t make it, it’s still great progress you’ve made during that month! I wish you the best of luck with Camp. You got this! 😀

    You’re sooooooo right about making sure writing isn’t a burden. When I set too many goals for myself and could never reach them, it frustrated me to the point where I never felt like writing.

    • Yeah, it was a mental (and physical) strain. But, I was already stressed out with so many things at that point (it was generally just a bad time for me) that taking on NaNoWriMo wasn’t a really smart idea. And you’re right, I’m happy with the little I did. Quality over quantity, you know what I’m saying?

      Being frustrated with writing, and not that ‘meh’ feeling you get things ain’t just working out, but truly getting angry and tired is never a good sign. My mom always said that there’s no pressure on me to write, just don’t let procrastination get the better of you!

  • NaNoWriMo can be messy. I’ve done the Big NaNo twice, and the Camp three times. I only succeeded once- during the big NaNo in November. Not everyone makes it, but that’s okay, we just gotta keep pushing forwards.

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