Articles

My New Favorite Camp NaNoWriMo Helper

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time again, and once more writers around the world are pushing themselves to write every day. While Camp is inherently less demanding than NaNoWriMo itself (you can choose your own goal, for one thing), it’s still a great way to encourage yourself to write more on your NaNovel, or start a new short story, or edit things that have been sitting there gathering dust (real or virtual) since November. But if you are like me, you pretty much only write your personal stuff during NaNo and Camp NaNo. So it can be a struggle to remember to get the words or editing in.

This year I have a new tool that is going to help a lot. In fact, it is the reason I am sitting here writing this article right now.

I’m talking about Habitica. Some of you may already use this. For those of you who don’t, let me explain:

Habitica (formerly HabitRPG) is a way to turn your tasks into a game. You create your lists of dailies, habits (both ones you want to form, and ones you want to get rid of) and to-do’s. You mark them off as you do them. (Bear with me here, I know it sounds like any other tasklist app or website so far.)

What makes this different is how it encourages you to actually do your tasks. As I said before, it’s a game. You earn experience and gold and/or silver for completing tasks, and lose health for not completing dailies, or for doing “bad” or negative habits. As you level up, you begin to gain pet eggs, hatching potions, and food for the pets. You can also join guilds, complete challenges, and most helpful to me, you can join a party.

If you join a party and do quests, when you miss a daily your entire party can be damaged by the boss, not just you. You could end up killing your teammates if you aren’t careful. For me, that is a huge motivator to actually do them. Completing your tasks, on the other hand, deals damage to the boss.

There is much more to say about Habitica, but this is what is important for you to really know why it is such a wonderful thing for NaNoWriMo (and Camp).

Add your goals to your dailies (if it’s a smaller weekly goal during camp, it can easily be marked as a once a week “daily” and if you do it that week, when that day comes around you mark it off). Assuming you are in a party quest, not only are you letting yourself down by not writing or editing, you are harming your team (or at least not helping them).

It’s amazing how much more you are motivated to write when other people are depending on it too!