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10 Tips for Surviving Camp NaNoWriMo

by Kellyn Roth |
March 27, 2017

Camp NaNoWriMo (at least April Camp NaNoWriMo) is even crazier than actual NaNoWriMo.
You know why? Because NaNoWriMo is in November. Soccer is over, school is dragging, it isn’t Christmas yet, and you’re just trudging through life like a tree. (What? I stand by that metaphor …) You want something exciting to happen, and if it’s anything, NaNo is exciting.
April, however? I don’t know about you, but by April, my brain is exhausted. It just doesn’t want to do anything anymore. (Hence, the hiatus we’re currently experiencing.)
As you can see, surviving Camp NaNoWriMo is indeed a daring feat. So, here are ten things you can do to make it through the grueling event without passing out. (And yes, only about half of these are serious …)

1: Don’t set an unreasonable goal for yourself.

Have you ever gone camping? Well, in theory, it should be relaxing (hahaha … *points to hiking trails* *glares at parents*).
So be relaxed. Don’t set an outrageous goal. I’m just doing 15,000 words this year, which is about 25% of what I did in November. Seems reasonable for a vacation, right? And that’s what camping is. It’s a vacation.
I have a friend who’s doing 100,000 words, though …

oh no you didn't

2: Make yourself a music soundtrack.

Whether or not you listen to music while you write, this is a good idea. Music is ibuprofen for the soul. Trust me. Make a soundtrack. It’ll inspire you in a dark moment when the evil internet mosquitoes threaten to distract you and the great bear writer’s block huffs and puffs at the door …
Or was that a wolf? I don’t know. I just know he’s big and black and ugly.


3: Don’t trap yourself into writing.

I’m starting a new draft of a story because that’s what I do … but you can also edit, revise, or outline for Camp … or you can even write something totally different, like poetry or a screenplay. It’s up to you.
If you don’t want to write, don’t write. Do something else.
Don’t trap yourself.


4: Set a time every day to write.

Seriously. Do it. It can’t be that hard. And time yourself, too! I usually write for fifteen minutes, check my email and social media, and write for another fifteen minute. I do this for about an hour … and voila! Somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 words … sometimes more.
It’s important to focus or else you’ll end up distracted by social media and such.


5: Get some healthy snacks to eat while writing

Because it’s just not good to write without food. You need the energy. Otherwise, your brain will collapse and your fingers will ache and your soul with die. Okay, maybe I made that last one up, but still.
Keep a nice stock of easy brain food around.

brain food

6: And some unhealthy snacks.

Also known as “soul food.” 😛

soul food

7: If you run out of inspiration, just dance.

Enough said.

just dance

8: Or add in a really neat plot twist.

AND THEN THERE WERE MONKEYS! (Yes, that totally makes sense.)


9: Bask in the little accomplishments.

If you do 100 words one day and you were supposed to do 1,000, congratulate yourself anyway! There’s nothing you can do about the words you didn’t write … so celebrate the ones you did. Don’t be afraid to change your goal a bit as you write (for less, not more … because trying to write more would be nuts).


10: Know you’ll never be Bailey.

I mean, seriously. The wonderful thing about Bailey is that she’s the only one.
So stop trying to be Bailey. Be yourself. Chances are, it’s an improvement on that mess. *gestures to all of Bailey*
Okay, I’m kidding. But really, just write and be yourself. Shakespeare said it best:

“To thine ownself be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, that thou canst be false to any man.”

Words to live by (even if I didn’t quote them exactly right).

you'll never be bailey

Thanks for reading,
~Kellyn Roth

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Is so, what are you writing? I’d love to hear about your project(s). Do you like Bailey? Do you think this post is going to drive her crazy with all those pictures of her? (I know it’s going to … *shivers at the oncoming storm*) Isn’t she beautiful? She thinks she’s ugly, but she need to get over herself. 😛

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37 Responses

  1. Yep, Bailey is gorgeous, unless her nose is buried in a bag of chips. (Sorry Bailey- I love you, cuz Kellyn loves you XD )
    And I totally agree- April is. just. THE. worst. time. to be writing. *collapses under exams*
    My word count is not happening this year. 🙁

    1. Ah, thanks! I’ll relay it. Or, you know, she’ll read it, either way. 😀
      I know! The thing is, I don’t really expect to write a ton in April. I always surprised myself in November, but Camp? I depress myself. 😛

  2. I don’t know why I signed up for this……. I don’t think I’ll make it through alive. Thank you for the tips. Tell your friend she is gorgeous, beautiful, and loved by God. She’s perfect to Him 🙂

    1. You can do it! It’s not that hard … you just have to write! (okay, yes, I guess it’s hard …)
      I’ll tell her! She was a little pretend-angry at me for doing that. 😛

  3. To me, 100,000 words is a vacation XD. It’s going to be a fun challenge and regular NaNo should easier after that. So… I guess I don’t relax. Ever.
    I agree with these tips! Music and small accomplishments and ALL OF IT. And Bailey is very pretty.

  4. Thanks for the tips, I definitely need them, like I have at least an hour of homework every night and I don’t get home until at least 2 hours after school gets out and ughhhhhhhh… also Bailey is very pretty. (Ps I totally agree with you on the part about music, like I make new playlists daily, music is my writing savior.)

        1. (Oh, lots … I think I have at least a partial list on my about me page now? Maybe not? Idk. Anyway, my music tastes are so varied that I like basically everything but the songs I don’t like. 😛 )

  5. Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? If so, what are you writing?: Yes I am! I’m working on my glorious novel If Memory Serves that will be discontinued after Camp. Woohoo.
    Do you like Bailey? Do you think this post is going to drive her crazy with all those pictures of her?: Yes, I like her! She seems so nice and funny! And haha, yes, your post will drive her crazy. XD But those pics were the second best part of this post (besides your tips, of course 😉 ).
    Isn’t she beautiful?: SHE ISSSSSS.

  6. Bailey, you’re beautiful! 😀
    *claps for tips* *doesn’t have anything interesting to say, since you already know what I’m writing for Camp* *awkwardly leaves short comment*

  7. IS BAILEY DOING 100,000?!?!?!!! GEEZ LUIS GIRLFRIEND! GOOD LUCK AND ROCK ON. ;D (p.s. You are not ugly, honey! You’re beautiful, and have a funny personality. )
    Kellyn, love the soul food. ;D Mine is Pocky right now. And cookies. Hmm. ALSO, I love the dancing part! Good advice. And the plot twists… *head desks* AHHH.

    1. No, Bailey doesn’t write. I think someone in our cabin is doing 100,000, actually! :O
      Right now my soul food is actually chips … but that’s only because we have them right now. 😛

  8. “If we had a monkey, we could get in.”
    These are actually really good tips. Most of the blogging “how to survive NaNo” are jokes (and they’re fantastic), so it’s nice to come across a genuine one now and then. 🙂
    I’m working on a novel for the OYAN Summer Workshop, which I’ll be going to this June. It’s a contemporary adventure with a constantly evolving plot. *glares at book*

  9. You just gestured to all of me.
    OH MY GARSH KELL!!!!! Oh my gosh!!!!! How? Could? You? Do this awfulness to me!?!?!? *throws self on bed, sobbing like disney character*
    *stops sobbing sudeenly*
    (Yes yes yes I am being pretend mad;)
    (Exept the dancing pic, I AM mad about that one!)(and your gonna get it)(just wait till tomorw…I have a gun, a brick, a toothbrush, and a tortilla…and I can think up some pretty horrific revenges with those tools so YOUVE BEEN WARNED)*eerily backs away into the darkness*
    Oh my gosh kell all these people are way super sweet!!! You have the best blogging freinds!!;)

    1. Hahaha, yeah … best ever! Ah, Hiccup and Astrid …
      But yep, I got bored … bad stuff happens when I get bored …
      Ooh, now I’m scared …
      But everyone’s just telling the truth, girl! They’re not liars. Okay, not most of the time … 😛

  10. You mean Hastrid!! Oh yes it doesnt get better than httyd!!;) hahaa!
    Yeah ok next time u get bored call me and ill give u somthing to do so that all this *gestures to all of blog post* doesnt happen again. (Unless u wanna do a post filled with pics of say, sonja, in which case I will totally HELP you!!!) 😉 lol
    Yeah u should be scared! Ive cooked up a punishment to end all punidhments!!! It involves fire sooooo yeah, its gonna scar u a bit. *maniacal laughter*
    Ya know what, im just not gonna question! If all these Amazing Fantastic Most-of-the-Time-Honest Bloggers say I dont look bad, do I really wanna question? No I do not haha!!;)

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