NaNoWriMo gets all the press and Twitter love. But what about Camp NaNoWriMo?
You don’t have to be an accomplished writer to join Camp NaNoWriMo. You don’t even have to like camping to participate. If you want to write and reach a goal by the end of the month, then this writing challenge could be right for you.
If April or July is quickly approaching on the calendar, you have to make a decision on whether or not you should participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. If you answer yes to all (or most) of the following, then it’s time for you to sign up:
You Don’t Have Time to Write 50K Words
Perfect! You don’t have to write even close to that amount of words to succeed at Camp NaNoWriMo.
The goal during November’s National Novel Writing Month is reaching at least 50,000 words for a first draft of a novel. Doing this multiple times a year—unless writing novels on the regular is your full-time gig—would be taxing and probably unrealistic.
That’s why Camp NaNoWriMo works differently. You are in control of your wordcount goal. 25,000 words? Go for it! 10,000 words? That works! 1,000 words? Sure, why not!
Camp NaNoWriMo is about making the act of writing fit within your life—well, at least for 30ish days.
You Have a Writing Project Idea Simmering on the Back Burner
Writers are creative explorers. Sure, we enjoy writing a novel from time to time. But we also enjoy testing our imagination through other writing forms, genres and styles.
NaNoWriMo’s focus is writing the first draft of a novel. But Camp NaNoWriMo lets you wander off the trails within the woods of your mind to discover a new story that may not fit the restrictions of a novel.
Couldn’t resist using a metaphor here. Thanks for indulging me.
So, if you want to write several short stories, a one-act play, a novella, a screenplay, a rock opera, a collection of poems—now’s the time to make it happen. Still want to write a novel? You can do that too! What matters is that you’re writing something that you want to write.
You Want to Get Back into the Routine of Writing (Again)
It’s easy to let life get in the way of your writing. It starts by skipping one day, then missing a week, until writing was something that you used to do.
The only way to win at Camp NaNoWriMo is by reaching your set writing goal by the end of the month. That means you have to write, and most likely every day.
Camp NaNoWriMo lets you practice the habit of writing daily in the spring and summer so when November rolls around, you already know that you can write every day for National Novel Writing Month.
Can you wake up an hour earlier? Can you skip TV time at night to write? Can you block off your lunch hour to write? How you make time to write during Camp NaNoWriMo is up to you.
You Miss Having Writers as Friends
For those not in the know, a cabin is a virtual community of 20 writers participating in Camp NaNoWriMo that provide support and encouragement for each other throughout the month of writing. Every participating writer gets to join a cabin, be it by random selection based on your cabin preferences or by joining a private cabin.
What’s great about Camp NaNoWriMo cabins is that you have a writing safe space. It’s easier to groan about your writing problems or celebrate your mini-successes with other writers who understand your experience because they too are going through out.
As a Camp NaNoWriMo participant, you don’t have to burden your non-writing friends with your writing problems. In truth, they probably aren’t listening as you drone on and on about your villain is making the wrong decisions in your story.
You can share your experience with writers that genuinely care. And, in turn, you’ll find yourself invested in your cabinmates’ journeys and helping them on their own path.
Most importantly, everyone can succeed together by completing an individual writing project. No first place or manipulative competition tactics. Everyone has the chance to win.
Doesn’t that alone make you want to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo?