Tag Archives: july

Becoming a Vampire and Writing While the World Sleeps

Camp NaNoWriMo has turned me into a vampire.

Okay, it’s not as bad as that. I mean, hey, at least I don’t sparkle. What nano has done though is messed with my sleeping schedule so that I am now staying up all night and sleeping through the better part of the day.


It all started the first night of nano, I put my writing off until 2am and then wrote until 5am (by Hayley logic the day is not over until I’ve slept. Yes, I know. There is a fly in my logic ointment). So, then I slept in late. I won’t say how late but let’s just say I would not have been able to order from the McDonald’s breakfast menu. Then I did normal Hayley day stuff which includes cleaning, playing with the kiddo and dancing around the house singing “Rump Shaker”…forget that last part. Of course, I procrastinated again and then at 2am writing happened.

A lot of writing actually, I not only met yesterday’s goal of 1,935 words total, I almost met today’s goal as well. I ended up writing 2,782 words, putting me at 70,095 total for my manuscript.

Surprisingly, I cranked these words out within a couple hours. I think this was in part because there is a huge reveal about one of the characters in the scene I was writing, so I had a lot of exposition to cover.

Still, I was surprised. That’s much more than I usually write in a day never-the-less two hours. I sort of sat there for a moment thinking, “well, that was weird” then went to bed.

So, now I’m left with two problems. One: I need to get back onto people waking hours before someone comes to stake me or some high school kid falls in love with me. This could be difficult because I do tend to enjoy writing at night. I like the quiet but I’m also missing out on fun daytime activities. Ugh am I going to have to give myself a bedtime?

Two: I’ve written about 70,000 words and I’m only halfway through act two. I’ve been developing this book for six years now and writing it since last November. Is this book ever going to end? Am I going to be writing this book when I’m a crazy old cat lady? I am still hoping my goal of 30,000 words for the month will be enough to finally finish this novel. If not, the good news is that I’m over my word count so I guess if I finish early, I can just keep writing (and now I’m hearing Dory from “Finding Nemo” in my head. I am going crazy).

Total Words Written in July: 2,782
Goal for this point: 1,935
Manuscript total: 70,095
How I feel about writing today:

Now I want to hear from you! What time of day (or night?) do you get most of your writing done?


How I Get Ready For Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp starts tonight at midnight! I’m ready. I’ve got my bug spray, trail mix and everything I need to finish my novel in a month!


As I mentioned in my previous nano post. I won’t be starting a new novel for nano. Instead, I’m using nano to push me to finish the final act of the novel that I won November nano with.  My novel is called Pup and it is currently 67,313 words long. I figure 30,000 should be a sufficient goal to finish this first draft. It may even be more than I need but if I finish short than I will rewrite some scenes from another point-of-view or add additional scenes so that I have plenty of material to work with in revision.

Based on my experience with November nano, here are the nano essentials I can’t live without:

1. A nanowrimo calendar for my desktop wallpaper that tells me what today’s word count goal is. Since I couldn’t find one for July, I made one myself. If you like it, I’d be happy to adjust the word count to whatever your goal is and email you a copy. Just leave me a comment below and let me know.

camp nanowrimo calendar

2. Scrivener & an outline
. If you don’t have it already, download the free trial of Scrivener. It is hands down the best writing program I have ever come across and has increased my productivity exponentially. You can also get a discount on Scrivener if you win nanowrimo. In this one program you can write your manuscript, outline, format, take notes–and so much more! I made my outline a few months before November nano in Scrivener. I have a process for making my outline. If any of you are interested, I can make a tutorial on it. Here is a screenshot of my outline for act one.


3. Write or Die & Written Kitten:
I love Write or Die. It is a program that you can use free online. Simply enter your word count and your level of difficulty and start writing. If you stall too long between words, the screen will start to turn red and then a loud alarm will sound (you can choose from many horrible sounds–I use the crying babies one). WOD also has a neat feature called word wars where you can challenge a friend over the internet and compete for the highest word count. There is now Write or Die 2 as well, which I haven’t tried yet but has loads of new features. WOD is highly motivating for my word sprints, but if you’d prefer a kinder option there is Written Kitten. Same concept only for every hundred words you are rewarded with a new picture of a cute kitty.


4. Snacks:
Now in November, I was unconcerned about healthy eating. I fed the writing machine whatever it craved so long as it continued to produce the words, however, for Camp Nano I’m trying something different. My writing buddy, Adrian and I are drying fruit and making trail mix as a healthy alternative to chocolate and potato chips. There will also be coffee….lots of coffee! And some ice water. Hydration is key. Snacks are also a highly motivating reward. Last November, my writing buddy and I had Daiquiri Fridays where we would reward ourselves with a strawberry daiquiri for every 1.000 words written.


5. A Playlist:
When I’m writing at home alone, I prefer the quiet but when I’m at a coffee shop or writing with a friend, I am easily distracted by the smallest of noises. At these times, I cue up my playlist and pop my headphones in. Listening to music also helps inspire me when I’m stuck. For Pup I’ve been listening to a lot of Apocalyptica.


Now I want to hear from you! What are your Camp NaNoWriMo Essentials?