Review of My Camp Nano Experience

Or how to be disappointed by writing 58,186 words in a month.

You know I’ve drafted this several times in my head, but it wasn’t until I sat down to actually write it that I got that first sentence and frankly that sums it up! I set an outrageous goal – 68,000 words in a month, while working, being a dad, coaching soccer, having a bit of a life, and remembering to eat (most of the time). I remember the rationalization clearly — that is the pace that would allow me to finish the first draft of Book 2 in time to switch gears back to Book 1. Some back of the envelope math validated that this was a definite stretch, but achievable. So I set it as my goal.

I missed my goal and felt like crap about it for about a week. I had this really interesting internal debate about whether or not I could have used my time differently across the month and found another eight hours (about what I would have needed, but it might have been 10-12 hours). That debate was just me coming to terms with the fact that I hate missing a goal and I usually don’t miss them. The reality is that I couldn’t have done it any differently.

Here’s the funny part, the final night of it as I was wallowing in not making my goal I discovered that I could have changed my goal as recently as four days prior. Now four days prior I was still convinced that with a massive flurry of effort at the end I could still make a mad dash to my goal. Like I said, I couldn’t have done it any differently.

So ultimately I’ve got two and a half takeaways from this experience:

  1. Make your official goal the Nano suggested 50,000 words and also maintain a personal unachievable ridiculous goal.
  2. If you fail at #1 or have a bad month, change your goal before the deadline to make a change.
  3. It might be best not to sign up for this while coaching a soccer team.

With all of that blah, blah, blah out of the way here’s where I am today:  60,739 words, 283 pages, or ~76% complete of a first draft of Book 2 in my series. A book that 7 weeks ago I didn’t think I would be more than a few chapters into at this point with a completion goal of July/August. So I missed my Nano goal and I won’t get the draft complete before I switch back to Book 1 (sorry KD you’ll have to wait a bit to read the first draft), but damn! I got way more book than I was expecting. I might not have hit full on BadAss Word Ninja status, but that is still pretty BadAss and upon further review . . . I am quite pleased with it.

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4 responses to “Review of My Camp Nano Experience

  1. From where I’m sitting you achieved black belt Badass Word Ninja. Most folks only whisper awesome wild crazy goals inside their most secret selves (myself included). You’ve unleashed your awesome into something that is soul-satisfyingly tangible. Every word you’ve written is a flag to awesome. Maybe it’s not the goal you’ve set but it’s the one you’ve reached. Get down with your BadAss self.

  2. Yeah, I’m coaching two soccer teams this NaNo…crazy looks good on me?

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