Okay, so you've decided to jump into Camp NaNoWriMo, and you've gotten yourself pumped — but now what? Your schedule's a mess, you don't know if you'll even have time to write. Maybe you haven't written since last year sometime. How are you going to get back into the practice? Step two of my Camp NaNoWriMo prep covers that: find yourself a writing partner and start training.
Need to go back and read the previous step? Six Steps to Camp NaNoWriMo: #1 Are you in?
Who else do you know is doing Camp NaNoWriMo?
A good place to start looking for a writing partner for your Camp NaNoWriMo prep is amongst your friends or family members. Do you know anyone planning on participating this year? If so, offer to help them get prepared and to be their accountability partner in exchange for the same.
Check your favorite writers groups on Facebook.
I guarantee you there are writers in every group out there planning on Camp NaNoWriMo. Go on a hunt in a few of them and find some people to partner up with. If you want, you can even create your own Facebook group specifically for Camp NaNoWriMo to invite all your new (or old) friends to.
How does an accountability partner work?
An accountability partner is just what you think it is: someone who will help you stick with your goals by holding you accountable even if all you want to do is make excuses or quit. And in exchange, you help hold them accountable. You do this by helping each other establish realistic goals that will push you to try without overwhelming you, then establishing regular meetings to discuss your progress and make any adjustments that you might need.
The way you do this is complete up to you and your partner or partners. You can do weekly phone meetings, daily meetings over Facebook messenger, short text messages: anything you like and can commit to that will help your partner.
And yes, you can have more than one accountability partner! That's what our cabin and Pinterest board is all about — keeping each other accountable and motivated.
How do you train for Camp NaNoWriMo?
To win at Camp NaNoWriMo requires writing almost every day of the month. You may be able to get away with skipping a day here or there, or you may have to forego writing to make room for other things like research. But the more days you miss, the more pressure you place on yourself. Writing, like anything else, is an exercise. Especially routine writing. Now, if you already write every day, then congratulations — you're already training. But if you aren't already used to writing every single day, now is the time to start getting yourself into that routine.
Pick a time where you can dedicate at least 20 to 30 minutes of time at the same time every day. Then do it. You might have to make adjustments — I know this because my toddler follows her own clock that pays no attention to my writing times. If you can, do short sprints during these times: three or four 5-minute sprints or two 10-minute sprints. Over the next ten days (ten!!), if you can do this every day, then when you get started for Camp NaNoWriMo it will be much easier to kick your writing habits into gear.
What should you write during these sprints? Anything you want. Work on a short story, write a series of poems, or just work on an old idea you once had for a book. The point behind these exercises is to help stretch out those writing muscles and get your creative juices flowing.
Just a few more days and counting! Make sure to let me know how your training is going!
Follow along and get prepared with us!