Camp nanowrimo is coming up soon, for those of you who don’t know camp nanowrimo is a month long writing event similar to nanowrimo (an event where participants try to write 50 000 words in a month) however in camp nanowrimo you can choose your own word count goal and you get a cabin of writers to help encourage you throughout the month.
For those of you already interested you can sign up to camp nanowrimo for a fun month of writing but don’t leave just yet – I’m going to make this list helpful for you too by including tips for reaching your full nanowrimo potential for each of these motivators. (there’s even a printable in there for you – that’s right a free printable to track your writing during camp nanowrimo) For those of you still not sure here’s my handy dandy list of reasons why camp nanowrimo is great.
Also just a note that camp nanowrimo is also referred to by me as nano, camp or camp nano…just to clear up any confusion.
You Get to Make Friends
One of the best things I’ve gotten out of nanowrimo is a group of really supportive writing buddies, and in camp nanowrimo you are put into a cabin (or can join one yourself) with a bunch of other people. You can choose to opt out of cabins but why would you want to, the opportunity to meet people that you can continue to write with outside of this one month is awesome. And if you make some good friends during camp then maybe you can make every month like nano! (ok maybe not… that would take a lot of effort).
And who doesn’t want more writing friends??
The tip: if making friends is why you’re participating in camp nanowrimo then the forums are a great place to find people writing similar genres or at a similar age so you can have something in common with your cabin mates.
If you’re like me then you can’t stand to lose. And the people in your cabin at camp nanowrimo are great motivators to keep writing if you’re starting to fall behind or loose motivation because seeing so many people still writing makes it feel like you have to push through. Honestly sometimes that’s been the only thing to keep me going when I’ve been ready to give up.
This is only a problem when everyone else in your cabin starts to fall behind… and you’re still ahead… winning…
A little tip: try keeping track of your wordcount and what times you’ve been writing. I find this keeps me accountable and also helps me to see what my good days were and what my bad days were.
Camp nanowrimo won’t give you more time in your day, but it does give you an excuse to put off other things in order to write. It’s just one month, you say fully intending to participate in nanowrimo in november and camp nanowrimo in july…
I find that deciding to participate in an organised event does wonders to my sense of responsibility towards writing because it means I have a reason to not do a bunch of other things. It’s like finally giving up on eating/living healthily because you don’t have to pay attention to anything else in your life and can just write (or eat what you want and sit around all day). It’s really freeing. Unfortunately that can leave you with a bunch of missed deadlines and unhappy friends in the month after… so maybe don’t drop absolutely everything to write.
Tip: spend the month before camp (aka march… this month) prepping for camp not only in terms of getting your story ready but also in terms of getting your homework done and your blog posts drafted so that you can focus most of you energy on writing once camp starts. Anything that can be done before camp should be done before camp.
Virtual Write Ins and Word Sprints
Nanowrimo provides many an opportunity for you to do some competitive writing which is awesome for getting that draft onto the page. They host virtual write ins on youtube every week (I think) with optional prompts to give you some ideas if you’re stuck. Writing with everyone else is hugely motivating and I’ve even found myself using the videos inbetween nano months when I need some extra motivation to write.
Word sprints are also a great option. Having a specific amount of time, say ten minutes, to write then comparing your results with others makes me want to write write write. This also fuels those of you who are super competitive. Nano does these on twitter, but if you’ve got some writing friends in your cabin (or just in general) then you can do word sprints with those people too.
Since I’ve discovered writing sprints and gotten a few writing buddies I’ve done most of my writing this way. It just really suits my competitive nature and my need to get those words out quickly during nanowrimo (because I get too busy the rest of the year and push writing to the side).
Tip: If you don’t have any writing buddies but twitter isn’t working for you or they aren’t doing sprints at the time or whatever then check the nanowrimo forums. They have a topic called “word wars, prompts and sprints” which has some threads where people do writing sprints. I don’t know how active it is during camps, but you can always give it a try. There are also sites like My Write Club that have writing sprint programs in them that you can use.
by now I should have convinced you to participate in camp nanowrimo, so how about you let me know what your goals are in the comments