For Writers – Coming Back from a NaNo False Start


Do any of these scenarios look familiar to you?

  1. You started Camp NaNo on July 1 with every good intention, but something wasn’t clicking and you quit trying a few days later.
  2. You intended to do Camp NaNoWriMo, but Day 1 rolled around and the hardcore procrastination began. Here we are, halfway through the month, and you haven’t even started yet.
  3. You tried so hard to stay on track, but real life had other plans and writing had to take a back seat. Now, you’re woefully behind and losing motivation to continue because winning is pretty much out of the question.

Maybe your situation resembles one, none, or all three of these. Regardless, we’re sitting at the halfway point of Camp NaNoWriMo with almost zero progress. Yep. Me, too.

Do you still want to make the best of Camp NaNoWriMo? Read on for a few tips and tricks to making the most of this month’s writing time.

  • Camp NaNo is a tool. Tools are meant to be used. Tools are meant to help. Tools are a resource. But only if you know how to make it work for you. Familiarize yourself with NaNoWriMo features like word sprint timers, the Camp NaNo cabins, your novel’s stats page, and the #NaNoWriMo community on Twitter.
  • It’s not just this month that you’re going to have a hard time making progress. Every writer deals with false starts, hiccups, interruptions, doubt, block, wasting hours on entire paragraphs of trash, real life emergencies, distractions, health problems, and feeling judged for not working harder, faster, more efficiently, prettier, more consistently… you name it. These are all very real, very normal issues that writers learn to deal with, and every single day you will need to make the decision to keep writing in spite of it all.
  • That being said, if you’re treating your writing like a drudgery, you’re not going to enjoy it. Remember to have fun. Camp NaNo is a great time to incorporate writing games/activities like word crawls or word sprints into your writing time. I’ve found that these are great ways to ease the tension I feel toward writing because it turns work into play.
  • Don’t get caught up in the mentality that only the big word counts matter, or that if you’re not going to win anyway, it’s not worth playing at all. In writing, all progress is good progress. Even if it’s only a couple hundred a day, you’re still heading the right direction.
  • NaNoWriMo is about celebrating our writing, pushing ourselves to make progress, and making new discoveries about our stories, ourselves, and our writing process. There’s no need to feel guilty for not “doing well” so long as you’re checking off all of THOSE boxes.


Feel better? Good. Now, go open up your WIP and get writing.


Camp NaNoWriMo is hosted by the lovely people who created NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It runs during the month of April, and again in July. Find out more about Camp NaNoWriMo here, or sign up to join now! Yes, you can still join halfway through the month.

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