Trying Out a New Challenge

It looks like writing around life is winning the nonfiction topic poll, so if you want one of the other ones more, now’s the time to vote! I’ll probably start that up next week.

So, it’s April! Yay, April!

April is one of the Camp Nanowrimo months, so like most camp months I have signed up with a random goal (in this case, 15,000 words). I appreciate that Camp lets you pick whatever word count you want, but unlike Nano itself, it doesn’t have a lot of momentum behind it so success is random. Looking back at my camp history, I’ve “won” 3 out of 9 attempts. (I also reached my word count goal an additional time but apparently didn’t verify for a win, and didn’t write anything another.)

For a random statistic, 10,000 words seems to be my most common goal, and also the one I hit the most. One year I picked 50K and only wrote 2K, and another I wrote 18K but had a goal of 30K.

There’s really no excuse. Unlike some challenges, Camp lets you update/change your goal up until the last five days or something.

This April, aside from Camp (the 15,000 word count goal is for working on the sequel to City of Hope and Ruin, finishing up the rewrite of Book One, and writing a short story), I also signed up for a challenge called 30 Days of Writing run by Shut Up & Write.

Thus far, I’m not terribly impressed by the challenge. I get daily emails with writing prompts, but if you guys have been around for a while, you know I hate random writing prompts. I believe writing prompts have a place and a purpose, but if I’m trying to work on my fantasy novel, giving me a prompt to write a journal entry from an animal’s point of view is next to worthless.

I’ve got to wonder if they’re useful to anybody? I suppose, if you’re starting out, that any writing might be good practice. But it does seem like a pretty small percentage of people who could be participating in the challenge.

(There’s also the argument that forcing yourself to write every day may not be the best thing for everybody.)

Doing anything new and fun this April, squiders? Participating in Camp or this 30 Days of Writing thing? Thoughts on either?

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