Letters from Camp NaNoWriMo, Day 4 — Accountability Helps

Caro Kinkead
3 min readApr 4, 2022

Goal: 6666 words
Actual: 9101 words

Photo by everett mcintire on Unsplash

Dear Dad,

I almost slept in this morning. One of advantage of being a full-time writer (aside from a commute measured in yards) is the ability to make one’s own schedule. I can’t fully because I don’t live alone. Only certain hours of the day available to me for writing or publishing-related tasks, so sleeping in isn’t something I often do.

On Monday and Thursdays, the alarm goes off at 5:30 AM same as when I worked in the corporate world to I can meet a fellow writer at my local Starbucks. We work from 7 until around 11 in the morning. Why those days and hours? Because of a twice-weekly year-round write-in with the NaNoLA group, which is a kick in the pants to keep going. Sometimes I do this from home, rolling out of bed at a more reasonable hour. That means I don’t leave my house for days on end, and I begin to go a little stir crazy. Rising early is worth the change of scene.

My writing buddy is out of town for the next couple of weeks, though. The alarm went off and I didn’t want to move. Even when I did, I was sluggish. Until I got a text from my friend wishing me good writing, along with a picture of her morning view. We often paint writing as a solitary profession, but other people — other writers — knowing you’re supposed to be producing is an excellent motivator. I got myself moving, got to Starbucks only a half hour later than normal, writing 2,625 words this morning.

When I started this diary, I said remember a time when a thousand words was a fantastic day. Now I have more two thousand plus days than not. Part of it is practice, because if you write regularly, your speed will go up. Another part is having folks to whom I can say, “This is my goal for today.” I then report back whether I achieved the goal. The accountability which provides the spur. Doesn’t mean I don’t have days when I want to pack it all in because the words don’t come or I feel as if everything I write is crap. Those same folk have been there themselves. They’ll offer support, as I will do for any of them when needed.

Writing the words are still between myself and my keyboard. Parts of this profession must be done alone. But I don’t need to write in isolation, something I have done far too often. Being a part of the larger community and using that interaction to help my productivity is a lesson which has become more important in time.

My writing is done for today, household tasks beckon. Until tomorrow,




Caro Kinkead

Writer of words, knitter of yarn. Owned by two adorable cats. writes slightly steamy, slightly sweet historical romance.