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  • Writer's pictureElira Barnes

Camp NaNoWriMo: What It Is, Why You Should Join, And How To Get Started


In November each year, hundreds of thousands of writers and aspiring writers across the globe make it their goal to win what is called NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - by writing 50,000 words in 30 days, that is, writing 1,667 words each day.


This is a great way to complete the first draft of a novel in a month.


I attempted NaNoWriMo in 2018, but failed miserably! I believe that one of the reasons why I did not win is that I did not have anyone to hold me accountable and I did not have the right mindset to complete the project.


So this year I am attempting Camp NaNoWriMo.



Camp NaNoWriMo is different from NaNoWriMo. Here's how.


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What is Camp NaNoWriMo?


Camp NaNoWriMo (usually referred to as Camp NaNo) is a virtual writers' retreat that takes place in April and July each year.


Participants join a virtual cabin of up to 20 writers, to create a small, and thus supportive, writing community where authors can encourage and hold each other accountable to meet their writing goals for the month.


You can choose to be placed in a random public cabin, start your own cabin and invite others to join, or accept an invite to join a cabin.


Visit campnanowrimo.org for more information.



5 Reasons Why You Should Participate


1. You love writing


If you love writing, Camp NaNo is for you. You can write a novel, a poetry collection, a short story collection, a memoir, whatever you want to write about and keep track of your achievements.



2. Set your own goals


This is mainly what differentiates Camp NaNo from NaNoWriMo. There is no requirement to write 50,000 words. Instead, campers can set their own realistic goals: you can set the number of words you want to have written by the end of the month, or the number of hours or minutes you want to have spent writing, or the number of lines or pages you want to have written.



3. Develop a daily writing habit


I used to have a very poor writing habit, but this has majorly improved ever since I started doing writing sprints with other writers I met on social media.

A writing sprint is a period of time, usually 20 or 25 minutes, in which you try to write down as many words as possible. This has helped me get rid of my inner editor!


If you have been struggling to complete a project due to fear, procrastination or simply because you have other commitments, Camp NaNo will definitely force you to create a writing schedule and develop a daily writing routine that suits and favours you.



4. Meet fellow writers


As I said before, one of the reasons why I failed the November NaNoWriMo is because I was doing it all alone, with no one who shared my same writerly interests to guide me or encourage me to keep going.

I know this won't happen during Camp NaNo because I have already met my cabin members and we will all be holding each other accountable for our goals (and we have also scheduled some writing sprints!)


If you don't have any family or friends who share your writing interests, camp NaNo is a great way to make new friends who understand what you are going through and will share the joy of meeting your writing targets.



5. You can say "I did it!"


At the end of the month, you can will proudly say "I wrote _______ in a month!"

Plus, there is always a prize for winners, usually a 50% discount on writing apps like Scrivener and Dabble.

This year (2019) Scrivener is offering a 20% discount to ALL participants! So even if you don't win, you still get a discount on every writer's favourite app!



How to get started


First of all, head to campnanowrimo.org and register for an account.


You will then have to create your writing project by adding a title, the genre, a synopsis, and you can even upload a cover image.


Once you have a project you can either create or join a private cabin, or you can be randomly sorted into a public cabin.



Let me know in the comments section if you'll be participating in Camp NaNo and I hope you enjoy it ... I know I will!



Happy writing!



 

Join The Write Space Forum to start your own conversation if you need any sort of advice or have your own suggestions.

You can also join my Facebook group, The Write Community, and ask over there.


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