April Writing Challenge: I’m Going Camping!

I’ve heard that if you share your goals with people, it’s easier to stick to them, because you feel more accountable. And if people ask, how’s it going with Goal A or Goal B, you can answer them with something positive (instead of mumbling something like “I’m about to get started soon” or “Oh that, it’s just… great. Just great. Really.”)

A little back story first.

The last few months have been a bit insane, starting pretty much the day before Thanksgiving. That’s when we learned that we had to be out of our rental house located just outside Blowing Rock by the last day of January. We had to scramble fast to find another place to live. December was a bit of a blur. But by January 31st, we’d bought our new log cabin halfway up a mountain between Blowing Rock and Boone.

It all worked out, right down to getting the lawyers and the lending company to get all the papers ready by the last day of January, and moving out of the rented house into our new house. (I won’t even go into how the rental truck loaded with all our stuff got stuck going down our snowy lane on move-in day.)

And then February was all about unpacking and settling into the new house and getting it in order (log cabins can be very drafty in the winter, so I had to get some folks to come seal up the house on the inside so we didn’t see our breath on frosty days).

I though March would be the month I’d get back on track with writing and exercising, but while I did join an area gym and got back into weightlifting and cardio, I promptly overdid that and threw out my back. Doh! So I’m recovering from that and seeing an excellent chiropractor, and I’m plotting my next fiction-writing scheme.

I’m determined to get myself back on track, so I’m sharing my goals right here with you.

I’ve had the idea for my next novel for a while, but I was struggling with a plan for getting the words down. And I believe I’ve found the answer: Camp NaNoWriMo!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014Here’s more about NaNo, from their website:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. Participants work toward the goal of writing a 50,000-word draft during the month of November. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.

Camp NaNoWriMo is a more open-ended version of our original November event. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 10,000 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers may attempt non-novel projects. Camp is a creative retreat for whatever you’re working on!

So I’ll be taking a “writer’s retreat” to Camp NaNoWriMo every day in April as I plug away at my novel (tentatively title The Finder Team). My goal is 50,000 words, which is 1,667 words a day, but I’m hoping to do more once I get back into the swing of it.

My camping/writing time will be from 5 to 6:30 a.m. every day, before the rest of the house wakes up. That’s my creative time, and I plan on switching off the wireless on my laptop and leaving my phone in the bedroom. No distractions. Just early mornin’ storytellin’.

I figure I’ll do an hour an a half of writing each day, plus an hour (at least) of exercise as well, whether it’s walking, hiking, biking, or hitting the gym again, once my back is back in working order.

So your job is to not let me stray from my goals in April. Because if I can keep up with my daily writing and daily workouts all month, I’ll have some excellent habits engrained in my brain, and they’ll become required parts of my daily life. I’m excited about this plan, and look forward to May and beyond, when writing 6-8 pages a day and exercising an hour or more each day is no big deal. They’ll be just what I do.

Then I can set some NEW goals for the rest of the year… 🙂

NOTE: If you want to help support the NaNoWriMo cause so they can continue to promote literacy across the country, check out my donation page. Your donation will help fund the Young Writers Program for teachers and students, and the Come Write In program for libraries, bookstores, and other community spaces.



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