What I Learned From Camp NaNoWriMo

I tried Camp NaNoWriMo last April for the first time and I have to say, I completely failed. I did not prep at all and I honestly had way too many exams so I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I had hoped. I also didn’t outline my story at all.

Basically, going into this I thought I would fully finish my book. I know that’s silly, but I thought that’s what I would happen. I would totally be able to balance all my responsibilities and writing, right? Well, it didn’t exactly go like that. I basically got 2,000 words done and restarted my entire WIP.

Now we’re coming up on another month of Camp NaNoWriMo and here’s my plan to do better:


I’m actually going to do an outline. Yay! I think that I struggle because I know some parts of my WIP, but I am not exactly sure where I am going with it. So I want to write out an actual outline that gives me a clearer picture of exactly is going to happen. I think it’ll help me connect to my WIP a lot more, too.

So, what’s my game plan for outlining? I’m sure there are people like me who want to outline their novels but aren’t exactly sure where to start.

Mind Maps

I’ve done mind maps before and I think that’s where I want to start. It’s a nice way for me to branch out random ideas I have for the book without having a full plan.

I also made one that’s blank if anyone wants to use it for themselves to plan out. I think this is truly a fun way to brainstorm. If you want to save this one, just right click and save.


The next thing that I’m going to try and do after my mind map is a synopsis. Basically, I just want to have a plan and a more detailed outline. I think that having a full story outline that I can write to will make it a lot easier to write. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to do this first because I need more of a brain dump to start.

Enforcing Daily Word Counts

I didn’t force myself to reach my daily writing counts at all. I’m going to have to force myself to actually hit my daily word count. Maybe I’ll put reminders on my phone or something? If anyone has tips, comment them below!

I am also going to be filling in my word count tracker. I’m personally going to be using the themed Camp NaNoWriMo tracker which is available here. But, if you like a standard word count tracker, I also have one of those available here.


Basically, I am going to actually make a plan instead of winging it. Growing up, when I wrote novels I always winged it and it went fine, but I never finished a story. So, I feel as though that has something to do with my lack of planning. Hopefully, I’ll get a lot more done this month and you will be able to get actual updates. Wish me luck, everybody!

By the way, if you want more writing tips check out the Writer’s Corner by clicking here. Also, if you didn’t already know, I have a secret room full of printables and writing prompts! It’s fully free and it’s always being updated. Make sure to check it out by creating an account here.

Did you know I have a fun Facebook Group where Readers and Writers get together? Join it for fun writing tips (and some great memes) by clicking here. Happy writing everyone and I hope everyone meets their word count!

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  1. I failed in April’s camp as well! I’m not doing all that well this camp either but I’m determined to keep at it this month! How are you doing – did prepping help?

    1. I’m doing a lot better this go around (probably still not as great as others, but hey, we’re getting there!). Prepping helped me so much! I feel like I have a clearer picture of where I am going whereas before every scene felt like a shot in the dark. Highly recommend mind mapping if you’re feeling a little stuck.

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