What If You Don’t Win Camp? [Camp NaNoWriMo]

On April 21, I reached 50,074 words on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, Unwritten.

I was excited and realized that I still had more of the story to write, so I’d continue writing until the end of April and see where I am.

I wrote the final chapter on Saturday and the epilogue on Monday. Even though the story is now “complete” I know the editing is going to be quite a challenge. There’s a scene I already know that I have to take out and rework. There are also a couple scenes (or chapters) that I want to add in.

Still, the main first draft portion is complete and I have to say… It feels pretty good to get another novel under my belt.

What if you don't win Camp NaNoWriMo? [April 2017]

Throughout this month, however, I’ve received some comments on my blog and tweets on Twitter, and even some people in my cabin have all said various things that are all the same:

“I’m going to lower my word count.”

“I can’t find the time to write.”

“I’m not going to be able to reach my goal. I’m going to lose.”

At the start of every NaNo, I vow to write about 2,000 words a day as opposed to the standard 1,667 words for a 50k goal.

This is because that daily goal works for me.

I wake up two hours earlier than I have to before work each morning so I can get my writing done first thing.

This is because that time of day works for me.

Did I always write like this? No. In fact, it took me quite a few NaNo sessions (a few years) to figure this was the best way I worked.

NaNo is about finding your writing routine. It’s about finding your writing style. It’s about getting the words down on the paper to tell yourself the story before the grueling editing process begins. It’s also about getting to know other writers and making friends with people who understand you and know what you’re going through.

It’s not about winning and losing. It’s not about racing to meet your word goal so that you need to write as little as possible.

Sure, if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get that nifty certificate. Sure, if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get those discounts at the NaNo shop or the sponsors.

But guess what? There will be another NaNo in a few months.

If you…

  • Wrote more than what you typically write in a month
  • Wrote a little every day even if it wasn’t your daily word goal
  • Put a brand new fresh idea down on paper
  • Rambled various plot ideas, character sketches, and the like without a concrete novel, or
  • Had a wonderful time in your cabin and made lots of new friends


NaNo isn’t easy.

April is a work month as is a school month for most. July seems easier (no school, but people still have to work). For me, I go on vacation at the end of the month so my Camp NaNo for July is three weeks as opposed to four. November… Well, there’s school, work, and not to mention the holidays.

Don’t even get me started on other life happenings that go on throughout the month that no one can see coming until it’s right in front of you. If you get my Newsletter, you should already know that I had a death in the family at the beginning of April.

Writing certainly takes the backseat when it comes to family and friends.

And that’s okay. That’s how it should be.

So, if you don’t finish your NaNo by the end of the month, there’s always next month. And while it may not be a NaNo month, you’ll still have those wonderful people you met in your cabin to keep in touch with and help you all year long.

Just remember, any writing is progress.

We’re in the final home stretch, guys. Good luck!

Have you reached your NaNo goal, or do you still have writing to do? Let me know in the comments below!

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Bookstagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double Jump


8 thoughts on “What If You Don’t Win Camp? [Camp NaNoWriMo]

  1. I really like this post! I hit my word count goal yesterday, but was still lamenting about it on my blog because it was only 30k instead of the usual 50k, and it didn’t feel like a real win…but like you said, as long as I wrote something, I’m doing better than I did at the start! This was my first time doing NaNo in about 2 years, because for the last 2 years, I’ve gotten to the start of every event and said “Well…this month looks like it’s going to be a busy month for me, better not attempt to do NaNo.” But then I realized I could find a reason to say that about every month. And then I’d never write anything.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. And good for you for reaching your goal! Any writing is progress and that’s all that matters. 🙂

Let me know your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.