Some things are easier to do when everyone knows you’ve committed to doing them. So! I have joined Camp NaNoWriMo, “an idyllic writers’ retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life,” for July.
Anyone familiar with the original NaNoWriMo — where writers around the world commit to putting down 50,000 words in the month of November, fueled by the international community of others doing the same — will find lots of similarities here. The only real difference, for me, is that Camp’s novel-writing month is July (they have one in April, too, but I missed that), and you are allowed to choose your own “winning” word count.
I did the original NaNoWriMo once, to churn out a short novel for an editor seeking same. It was difficult — not just because of the breakneck pace of about 1,700 words per day, but also because November is a tough month for me to squeeze things into for several reasons. I don’t think I would do the original NaNoWriMo without a big juicy carrot like an editor pal asking for work at the end of it, honestly.
Camp, though, is a different matter. For one, July has one more day in it (hey, these things matter when you’re pounding keys!). For another, July’s typically just not as insane a month for me overall. It’s hot, and I don’t respond to heat well, so I’m mostly indoors and on my computer anyway. But, of course, the big draw for me right now is the ability to scale down the “winning” word count. I know I can’t do ~1,700 a day (and at that rate, it would absolutely have to be daily writing). But an average of 1,000 a day…yeah, I’m hoping for that. I’m hoping that Camp is the kick in the pants that will get me back into reasonably regular writing.
I had an entire novel idea throw itself at me a few days before I learned about Camp, and I’ve been studying up hard on story structure and effective outlining in order to make drafting faster and more efficient. This seems like the perfect way to focus what energy I have into finding out how all those moving pieces fit together to make a story.
If you want to take a peek at what I’m up to, my Camp profile and novel info are up (although the website is understandably hammered right now). Camp also accepts donations to keep the great nonprofit organization behind it doing good works.
I hope to find a few spare words here and there to keep this blog updated, but if not…see you in August!