Camp NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. For those of you who have never heard of Camp Nano, it is essentially a virtual writer’s retreat that happens over the course of the month. Writer’s from all over the world set word count goals and spend the month trying to reach them. This will be my first time participating in Camp NaNo, and I am so excited to see how it goes. Today, I want to talk about why I decided to try out Camp NaNoWriMo as well as what I’ve done to prepare. If you, like me, have never participated before, I hope that you consider giving it a try. I mean really, what do you have to lose?
Why Try Camp NaNo?
Camp NaNo allows you to set your own word count.
I think that this amendment to the traditional NaNoWriMo is particularly useful in that it lets you set a goal that is achievable for you. All of us have different responsibilities and can devote different amounts of time to writing. Setting attainable goals results in an increased level of effort, and that will give you confidence as a writer. Furthermore, if you find that you’ve made your goal too ambitious or not ambitious enough, you can change it up until the last week of camp! Reaching goals will motivate further progress toward finishing your project.
The cabin feature of Camp NaNo allows you to build a network of writers.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is so important to have a group of writing friends to help you through the ups and downs of being a writer. Camp NaNo does a great job of facilitating these interactions. They offer groups called cabins that consist of up to 12 writers. You can either be assigned to a random cabin, or you can join a cabin with your friends! You can also be sorted into cabins with people who have similar word count goals, or who are writing in the same genre. Having these cabin buddies will help hold you accountable, give you ideas when you’re in a slump and give you relationships that you can maintain after Camp ends. If you’re still looking for a cabin to join, let me know! We’ve got some room in ours and we’d love to have you involved!
You can use Camp NaNo to start a habit of daily writing.
They say it only takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Camp NaNo is the perfect opportunity to get into the habit of writing every day. Before you know it, writing will become a part of your day without even thinking about it.
What Did I Do To Prepare For Camp Nano?
I completed the planning phase of my project.
I wanted to hit the ground running during Camp, so I made sure my outline was finished beforehand. So much time can be sucked up during the planning phase, and I find myself most distracted when I’m generating ideas. All the research that goes into planning a story requires a lot of time on the internet. Before I know it, I’ve spent an hour perusing the web for dark magical spells and medieval weaponry. Avoiding that during Camp is how I felt I could be most productive. Time to start getting words on the page!
I took care of chores and homework.
It was important for me to get as much of my April homework done as I could before the month started so that I freed up some time for writing. Likewise, I cleaned my room, did some laundry, and organized my finances so that none of this would cut into my writing time.
I stocked up on food and coffee.
If I get caught without food or coffee during this crazy month, I don’t know that I will be able to move forward. My whole life pretty much screeches to a halt if either of these things are absent, and that is on a normal day. During this time, when my writing schedule is at an all-time high, I will need these comforts then more than ever in order to maximize focus and productivity! Can’t write on an empty stomach.
I gathered writing prompts.
I expect having writing prompts will be helpful when writers block strikes, which it inevitably will. For me, this comes in the form of a book titled 500 Writing Prompts that I got on sale at Barnes and Noble. It’s got some great prompts, and I would highly recommend it. Also, you can check out the Writing Prompts tab on this site. There aren’t a ton there yet, but I add to it every other week, so there are more to come.
I recruited and met my cabin.
I’ve been working on meeting some writing friends lately and, so far, it’s been going pretty well! One of my new found colleagues has formed a cabin with me and we are now looking for some others to join. Both of us are really excited about the month and can’t wait to get started. Like I said before, let me know if you’re interested in joining us!
If you haven’t done any preparation, do not be afraid! I still urge you to give it a try. Just sit down tomorrow and write. You never know what could come pour out. If you’re participating in Camp NaNo, comment below! I’d love to hear about your project and goals. Best of luck to all you campers, and remember we are all in it together!