April 1st marks the start of Camp Nanowrimo. Check out the website here
For those of you who don’t know, Nanowrimo occurs in November and is National Write a Novel Month where in 30 days you attempt to write 50,000 words of a new novel. I have participated three years and only completed the challenge once. Throughout the year however, Nanowrimo holds ‘camps’ which are less intimidating because you pick your word count goal.
This year, I will be working on a new YA fantasy novel I’ve had mulling in my mind for a few weeks and my word goal is 30,000 words which I think is do-able. I’m super pumped because one of my good friends is also participating with a goal of 30,000 words so we can be each other’s support system. I wanted to share this super fun opportunity for those who haven’t heard of it and share my tips for doing well and having fun when participating in Nanowrimo!
Talk about the process with friends
As I mentioned, one of my friends is doing this challenge. It really helps us to chat about it and keep ourselves accountable. Even if you don’t know anyone participating, tell your friends about it. Tell them what you’re working on and your story ideas. They’ll help keep you encouraged and motivate you to keep going. Plus there’s nothing like having a great sound board for ideas when you’re hit with writer’s block.
Set a realistic word count
The great thing about the camp challenge is that you set the goal. Look at your April schedule and see if you’re super busy or if you can push yourself to write more. Also, keep in mind how much you write normally. If you barely write now, asking yourself to write 2,000 words a day may be too much whereas asking yourself to write 750 words a day is more realistic.
Avoid getting behind
From past experience, every time I have quit these challenges is when I became days behind on my word count goal. It becomes an insurmountable challenge in my head and becomes more like a chore. To avoid this, make sure you write at least twenty minutes each day, even if you’re just writing character description rather than the story.
Use the Camp Nanowrimo resources
The website has tons of resources including forums and emails from authors. My first time participating, I was overwhelmed and made little use of them. But now, I love seeing what other aspiring writers are saying, working on, and struggling with. Hearing their tips and experiences helps me with my own process. So take some time to explore what the site has to offer and the community of the other ‘campers’.
Try to set up time throughout the day to commit to your writing. Also, always have a notebook on you so you can make use of your random twenty minutes between classes to write down a short scene or idea you had.
You are writing a story – that is amazing and you should know that!! Even if you don’t write a full novel in a month, even if you only write 1,000 words, that’s 1,000 words you didn’t have before you started.
Let me know about your guys’ nano experience and keep me posted throughout the month. My Nanowrimo account is jdafgek so feel free to buddy with me on the site!