For the first time since 2012, I have won Camp NaNoWriMo! My MS is nowhere near finished, and a chunk of the words that I wrote toward completing my monthly goal have already ended up in my Cut file, but who cares? A victory is still a victory.
What helped me the most this month was having a cabin full of writer friends to keep me accountable. Three of the five of us won, and another person battled back to within 3k of her total goal by the month’s end, even though she was dealing with one health issue after another the whole time. It’s easy to feel inspired when you’re surrounded by people who are pushing themselves so hard.
I’m still not writing every day, but I’m finishing multiple chapters a week at my current pace. Sometimes, I even start and finish a chapter in the same day. Most importantly, I’ve developed a much better radar for when my chapters are true to character and relevant to the plot vs. when I’m rambling without purpose just to fill space. Instead of wasting time with transitions or pointless description, I’ve started throwing my characters into new scenes and writing away from there.
All of these things probably sound pretty basic, but they’re changing the way I work. When I’m not bogged down in narration that’s just going to be cut later, I can get to the meat of the story sooner and stay excited about what I’m writing. When I’m excited, I’m eager to sit down and keep going, which means I procrastinate less and accomplish more.
I’m not 100% sure at this point if I’ll have a finished draft on the table by the end of August, but at the rate I’m going, I think I’ll be pretty darn close.
Do you prefer to fast draft, or take your time? Let me know!