Posted in For Writers

Good Reasons Not to Do Camp

I’ve been considering whether to do Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’m working on the second draft of the sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships, and though Camp didn’t work out quite like I expected when I was redrafting last year, I thought that perhaps a semi-random cabin might work. But, no, I’ve decided not to do it. NaNo can be useful, but you’ve got to know yourself and your project, and use NaNo only when it’s a good fit. Right now it wouldn’t be a good fit. I have a sufficient amount of new words that I need to write to meet their minimum, but although I need “more”, I don’t need “faster”. Sometimes I’m annoyed that I’m not further along in getting this draft ready for beta readers, but I really do not need to be working fast; at this point I need to be writing well. Fast is what gave me this rough sloppy draft. Slow is what turns a rough draft into a real book manuscript. The story is complete in the sense that it goes all the way to the end, but it’s patchy with a lot of rough edges. In this draft I’m back-filling scenes and things that I left out, and carefully stitching the details together. Also, I’m cutting as well as writing. That doesn’t play well with hitting a word count goal. Camp has a formula for counting editing, but using it feels like cheating (see last year’s post-Camp post on my author blog). Right now, for this draft, writing fast with a word count goal is not the right thing to do. The NaNo thing is the exact opposite of what I need to be doing, and of what I am doing. It tempted me because I want to be finished with this draft so I can go back to my other project. But I don’t need the pressure of “fast”; I’m making good, steady, progress — and it’s possible that I’ll finish the draft by the end of April anyway, without any unnecessary pressure. (Especially since last year I actually worked less than when I wasn’t doing Camp!) Re-writing is less fun than writing; adding the pressure of word count and deadline would suck even more fun out of the process. I do think that Camp would be fun for the right project and the right time. This isn’t it. It’s important to evaluate projects, and your needs for a project, to match things up so that your working experience synchs with your needs for each project at each point in the project.


Ainy Rainwater has been writing and publishing short stories, essays, and novels in various genres for about 30 years. She lives in the greater Houston area with her husband and rescue dogs. She enjoys reading, writing, playing guitar and percussion, gardening, knitting, tea, baking and other kitchen improvisations, daydreaming, and wasting time online. Her novels are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, and other bookstores. She is presently working on a chick lit fantasy series as well as a number of side projects, including a sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships, a science fiction novel published in March 2016. Her most recent fiction and works in progress are regularly posted to her subscribers on Patreon. She is also known for the digital pop which she makes under the name Gymshoes. "Everest Sunrise" was featured in the documentary What It Takes. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita she released an EP of songs, A Tropical Depression, the profits of which go to benefit the American Red Cross. Gymshoes albums are available from iTunes, Amazon, and other online stores. For more about Gymshoes music, please see, which has liner notes, links to social media, streaming music, and much more. You can find the author on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and Twitter. She occasionally contributes to the group food blog, The Usual Suspects: and posts short miscellaneous things on The Mighty Microblog: A Truant Disposition, is Ainy Rainwater's official author site.

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