Camp NaNoWriMo – My Second Attempt at Creative Writing

What is NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, is a month long writing challenge conducted in the month of November every year (since 1999). It is creative writing project where participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days.

The rules are fairly simple – write a novel in any language from any genre of fiction. So for the total of 30 days, the average daily word count comes around 1667. Many other variations like NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) are also conducted during the same time. Read the website for details.

CampNaNoWriMo is an event created on the lines of NaNoWriMo but it is conducted in April and July (since 2011). All the rules of NaNoWriMo apply to CampNaNoWriMo. Go to the official website here.

camp nanowrimo, writing, novel writing, NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo Badge

My Experience with Camp NaNoWriMo

Now it’s time to discuss my second attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo. I participated in April 2013 event also, read my dismal experience here.

Despite my disheartening performance in April, I gathered enough courage to register for the July Camp NaNoWriMo as well. I think you will be able to sense my enthusiasm if you go to my April post (read here). I was determined to exceed my expectations or at least get some creative juices flowing.

Challenge #1: Aiming to achieve two big goals.
When I was asked to set my goal for this attempt, I put my word count goal as 30000. I knew writing 1000 words per day would be a challenge since I was also hosting a Daily photo Challenge on my blog in July, but I still wanted to try.

I did not follow all the rules – I wanted to attempt 30000 words rather than 50000 and I wanted to write non-fiction. I thought all that mattered was that I sat down everyday to write. I performed well for the first few days. Everything fell into place. I grew a bit over-confident of my abilities and by Day 5 edited my goal to 50000 words in my profile.

Challenge #2: Technology turning against me.
By Day 15, I reached around 17000 words. It was becoming a successful creative writing project. I had material for one of my books and was on my way to book #2. And that is pretty much when my laptop started breaking down.

Since I was hosting the photo challenge and luckily 20 people were participating, I gave my time and preference to my Photo A Day Challenge (called PADE). For the next 3-4 days I neglected writing. My laptop kept on getting worse and worse. Finally on Day 21 it stopped working completely.

I was lucky enough to have access to my husband’s laptop (after he came home). We did not have MS Word on his laptop so I started writing in Notepad, Notepad ++ and emails. I tried to organize my words as well as I could but suddenly my enthusiasm was gone. Writing became a chore.

All these days I did not even log in to the Camp NaNoWriMo website. It just wasn’t a big priority. My laptop got repaired on 27th July and was ready to work on from 28th evening onwards. Getting all of my written words in one place was a big hassle.

Challenge #3: Internet upgarde
According to my estimate, I should have written around 36000 words but I could only find 28000. I wrote another 2000 in the next 3 days. Another issue I faced during the last week of July was internet problems. Turns out there was some upgrade going on, so internet would work for limited hours each day.

I ran to coffee shops and friend’s house to meet my Photo Challenge deadlines and also interact with the participants. I did reveal the problems I faced and they were very considerate but I did not want to leave my responsibilities. So I managed.

Challenge #4. Health is the most essential element for success.
And as if all this was not enough, I fell ill. I caught cold and fever in the last two days. I am still recovering from the flu!

I know that everyone faces challenges and I’m not the only one dealing with obstacles to reach my goals.
All in all I am happy with what I achieved in terms of words – 30012 and my Photo Challenge but a little sad for not completing the challenge once again :( I will participate in NaNoWriMo this November and write my first ever novel!
How was your experience at NaNoWriMo,NaPoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo?


  • I have thought about it, but feel that I’m not ready yet. I’ll sit this one out and send good luck to you.

  • Its always Great to participate and Winning is just an icing on the cake 😀
    You participated and motivated me to participate and that really matters. Fortunately, I attempted a lower count and achieved it too :)
    Not sure about November, owing to holidays, but will try if be able to write down the skeleton of the novel beforehand.

    • You have holidays in November? Sorry that cliked me the most out of the rest of the comment…just kidding!
      Yes, I know partiipating is important, much more than winning but I really thought i could do it this time.
      You did great with your goal…and please do not say you achieved because your goal was set lower – you had your travels, PADE and other things too. Give yourself credit for your hardwork!

      • Diwali is on 3rd November, 3days leave! And, then I have a planned backpacking trip ending at my hometown Varanasi.

        Thanks for motivating :) I acknowledged on my blog too, but I seriously took up a target that I felt comfortable…

        • Wow. You are a ghumakkar in every sense of the word! Look forward to all about your Andaman and other trips!
          You set up an achievable goal, and yet challenged yourself at the same time – the best combination!

  • Good luck to you! Can’t participate this year, as I have a long trip planned, so gonna procrastinate again 😐 Anyways, I’ll try smaller writing goals first before NaNoWriMo.

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