Summer Camp 2021 Pledge in Melior | World Anvil

Summer Camp 2021 Pledge

WorldEmber Warmup Plans

In order to prepare for summer camp my WorldEmber Warmup I wanted to take a moment and learn from my past mistakes before rushing head first into burnout town. Again.   WorldEmber 2020 was a success and I managed to achieve my goal of writing over 25,000 words of new content in Melior! I’ve learnt some valuable lessons during my worldbuilding adventures that I want to share with you today, because oh boy it was a very bumpy path to get here.   This article is a reflection, preparation, and finally my pledge. (Is this a cult thing?)  

Reflecting On Previous Events

In order to grow, I find it good to reflect on past events to have a quick look at what went well and what could have gone better. Here are 4 of each from my experience of Summer Camp in 2020.  

Things that went really well for me:

  • Having a focus area
    This gave me a goal to work towards and enabled me to connect all of my prompts together and build up off of each other. It kept things concise and gave depth to a specific area of my world.
  • Completing all of the prompts
    This encouraged my creative problem solving to interpret and bend the prompts to suit my focus area. Completing them all gave me a great sense of achievement and helped me to create a broader wealth of ideas.
  • Ignoring the competition
    I stopped comparing myself to others. My world is not your world. Your world is not my world. Engagement statistics are not a measure of quality. Ditching the FOMO let me engage in carefree worldbuilding.
  • Not using a tracker
    I really really love spreadsheets, but last year I went without a fancy wordcount-tracking-days-remaining-stats-logging all encompassing super-sheet. Not having one let me focus in on what mattered: worldbuilding.

Things that went horribly, horribly wrong:

  • Poor motivation
    I didn’t really want to do it and only took part because I felt like I should to not disappoint anybody, and felt that “I may as well do it and at least get the badge”. I think you can guess what happened next:
  • Over and done with
    I sprinted to the finish line for my participation medal and told myself that “there’s time for polishing later”. What happened was that I fast-tracked my way to burnout-town and had no motivation to go back to them.
  • Turds
    I pooped out the bare-minimum-300-words shitty articles with the first ideas that sprang to mind. They had no formatting. No links. No pictures. Just braindump. I didn’t push notifications and was not proud of my work.
  • What did I even write?
    Due to all of the previous factors, I couldn’t even remember what I did after I had finished and got my badge. I did the thing. The lore was there. Time to move on. Does that sound healthy to you?
  Learning from these experiences, here are the plans I’ve laid out for 2021 so that I can avoid the same mistakes and enjoy my passion project to its fullest.  

Preparation Plans

You’re only reading about this now because of the fantastic tradition of announcing our Summer Camp and WorldEmber plans within the World Anvil community, but I realised pretty quickly that I didn’t have to wait until June to begin preparing for the challenge ahead.   Here’s what I’ve already been up to as part of my Summer Camp preparations:   Polishing the Turds
I was honestly about to delete more than half of the articles I wrote for last year’s summer camp when my partner Naelin lovingly sat me down and explained that “these articles are turds, but they have great potential - they just need a bit of polishing!”   So that is just what has been done. I’ve gone through each article and freshened it up with clearer grammar, nice formatting, easy navigation, and have connected them all to other content in my world. This time, I was proud to push notifications on each one, and it felt good.   Focus Area: Jolundria
Having a focus area always works well for me, so for this year I want to focus on expanding the continent of Jolundria. A continent is pretty damn huge though, so I will be narrowing down the focus to three coutnries within it; Garronay, The Isles of Agatal, and Karovek.   To help establish a baseline understanding of these countries, I sat down with Naelin and together we used Trent Hergenrader’s Collaborative Worldbuilding cards to talk about each major influence of each: governance, economics, social relations, and cultural influences. I now have some basic notes to get started and keep my worldbuilding nice and concise.   Artwork & Ideas
How do you plan for something that isn’t defined yet? Well, based on previous summer camp events I know the following: there will be at least 30 prompts, there are 26 unique article templates available (but not all of them are used), and prompts have previously been about places, people, or events.   If I write down 2-3, one sentence ideas for each article template - then I will be able to pick and choose from these starting points to expand upon them to suit whatever prompt comes my way - AND by writing down these smol nuggets now, my brain is already making background connections between the ideas ready to use later.   Practise Prompts
THIS ARTICLE IS SPONSORED BY #400Prompts! I’m kidding it’s not sponsored. Well kinda. Yes this absolutely is a valid plug for a really cool free thing that I lovingly spent countless hours making!   Earlier this year I wrote 400 inspiring worldbuilding prompts suitable for any world. Listed in an interactive, progress-checking spreadsheet, they’re conveniently sorted by categories inspired by the article templates on World Anvil and I’ll be looking through them for questions to inspire my ideas this year.   I plan on completing one or two of these as a “practise run” for summer camp to give me an up-to-date idea of how long it takes me to write at least 300 words for a prompt.   If you want to take a look at these prompts for inspiration yourself, they’re free or pay what you want! Grab ‘em here:      

TJ’s Worldbuilding Summer Camp 2021 Pledge:

I, TJ, pledge to take part in worldbuilding summer camp 2021 (as part of my warm up for the mighty WorldEmber) and will complete (to the best of my ability, and without burnout) as many prompts as I feel compelled to write for.   Folks who hold me accountable for this are: my partner Naelin, our wholesome family in The Lodge, my friends in Team Ethnis, and of course, the lovely World Anvil community.

Self Care Sidebar!

Only compete with your past self!
Write what you want to write!
Prompts are bendy!
Be kind to yourself!
The shiniest prize is your worldbuilding itself!
Pick and choose as you wish!
Find accountability friends on Discord!
Stay hydrated!
Get good quality sleep!
It’s okay not to do them all!
Be proud of your worldbuilding!
This is annual! There’s always next time!
You are more than your likes, comments, and follows!
Pace yourself!
Make your own rewards!
Do it your way - that’s the best!
Copy this article layout!

Click to view BBCode
introduction text
[h1]Reflecting On Previous Events[/h1]
summary of reflection
[h3]Things that went well:[/h3]
[li][b]Good thing one[/b][br]
[li][b]Good thing two[/b][br]
[li][b]Good thing three[/b][br]
[li][b]Good thing four[/b][br]
[h3]Things that didn't go so well:[/h3]
[li][b]Learned from one[/b][br]
[li][b]Learned from two[/b][br]
[li][b]Learned from three[/b][br]
[li][b]Learned from four[/b][br]
Reflection summary
[h2]Preparation Plans[/h2]
Summary of plans:
[b]Preparing my world[/b][br]
[b]Focus Area[/b][br]
[b]Artwork & Ideas[/b][br]
[b]Extra Section[/b][br]
[h3]My Worldbuilding Summer Camp 2021 Pledge:[/h3]
I, NAMEGOESHERE, pledge to take part in worldbuilding summer camp 2021 and will complete [i](to the best of my ability, and without burnout)[/i] as many prompts as I feel compelled to write for.
Folks who hold me accountable for this are: 


Cover image: by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash


Author's Notes

What are your plans for summer camp? Let me know if any of my tips helped!

Please Login in order to comment!
9 Jun, 2021 21:54

Such a good pledge article! I might have to steal (some of) your bb code for my own pledge. :D I really like how you reflected on the previous year and found some good ways to chenge it for this year.   And I've loved reading your polished turds! :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
9 Jun, 2021 22:21

Lovely article! As Serukis said, I like how you summarized your experience last year. Moreover, the self-care sidebar is wonderful!

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
9 Jun, 2021 23:35

I loved reading both the successes and failures of last year, especially side-by-side. I ended up reading them in rows: one good thing, then one bad. And that really helped reset my own perspective on what a "successful" Summer Camp might look like.   I'm also just a real nerd for reading about people's process, so thanks for sharing!

Sage PanAndPaper
AS Lindsey (Pan)
10 Jun, 2021 08:17

Self care is important! Writing a few notes per article template in advance is also a fantastic idea, I might steal that one...   Here's to a happy Summer Camp <3

Drake's Dozen | Magic and Tech and Identity, oh my.

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Sage HunterChristmas1247
Benard Calvin "Hunter" Hendrick VIII
10 Jun, 2021 23:21

I really wanna steal it too!! TJ, any way you can share what you did and where it is?

11 Jun, 2021 08:58

It's in the sidebar! Click the button to view the BBCode and copy paste it into your article :D

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Time Bender
10 Jun, 2021 18:37

Wow, this is really inspiring! I've been torn between creating a new world for summer camp or using one I already have created. I still don't know what I'm going to do, but I know I'll try to apply the lessons you learned from last year's world ember! And the self-care tips are wonderful. I know all of us writers forget those basic principles every once in awhile! Thank you for making this public so we all can see this wonderful document. :)

16 Jun, 2021 18:23

HAHAHAHAHA!!   "Warmup Plans" it TJ.

Storyteller, Cartoonist,..pretty awesome friend =)
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