The National Novel Writing Month, often shortened to NaNoWriMo, is the annual novel writing challenge of writing 50k words within the month of November. Of course, for some, this can be a bit of an impossibility as they don’t have that luxury of time or they can’t reach the word count easily in a month.
If NaNoWriMo is too much of a stretch for you, then you might want to look into Camp NaNoWriMo. Unlike NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo happens twice a year, in April and July. However, like NaNoWriMo, the goal is to finish a writing project.
This time, it doesn’t have to be a novel. You can pursue poetry, scriptwriting, editing, and many other writing projects for Camp NaNoWriMo. Plus, you can decide your own word count!
For people who want to get a writing project done but without the looming pressure of a high word count, Camp NaNoWriMo is very compelling. Camp NaNoWriMo aims to be an enjoyable virtual summer camp where writers can huddle around and get some writing done together. So, how do we get started?
Signing Up for Camp NaNoWriMo
You can learn how to sign up for NaNoWriMo by going to their website and filling up the necessary information. Alternatively, you can sign up with Google or Facebook to simplify the signing up process.
If you’re a young writer below 17 years of age, then you can opt to join the Young Writers Program. You can sign up on the NaNoWriMo YWP website here.
After signing up, you will be led to your dashboard. It should be pretty empty for now, but not for long.
To get started, you can click on “Create a Camp Project.” From here, you will be asked for details about your writing project. To join Camp NaNoWriMo, make sure that you have the “Associate with a NaNoWriMo event (optional)” checkbox checked, and choose the Camp NaNoWriMo event that you wish to participate in.
After filling up the details, you’re ready to join the summer writing camp and get to working!
The Camp NaNoWriMo Experience
Your Writing Tools
Since you’re about to embark on a camp, you should be packing up everything you need for the camp. Ready your notebooks, pens, and laptop, because you’re going to be spending an entire month with them.
Prepare your music playlists that can help put you in a writing mood, or have some music ready for when you’re trying to write scenes with a specific atmosphere. Writing for a month straight can be tiring, but music can inspire you to continue writing.
LivingWriter can also prove to be an invaluable asset for your Camp NaNoWriMo experience. From the powerful outlining tools to the robust Chapter and Story Goals, LivingWriter can simplify your writing process so you can focus on hitting your goal.
Camp NaNoWriMo wouldn’t be a true camp if you can’t interact with fellow campers. That’s why NaNoWriMo has implemented Writing Groups, which is composed of 3-20 writers who can keep each other motivated, give feedback, and get or develop new ideas from each other.
You can create your own Writing Group, or you can join a public Writing Group in the forums. You can also let the Camp decide which writing group is best for you by answering a form. However, as of the time of writing, the form is now closed.
A good thing with Writing Groups is that they stay all year long, so you don’t have to be sad when parting with your fellow campers after the summer camp.
Camp NaNoWriMo Forums and Resources
If you’re interested in joining a bigger conversation, the campfire circle is a good place to hang out. The Camp NaNoWriMo forums are raring with people who would like to sit down and have a chat, so feel free to join in.
As with NaNoWriMo, there are also resources provided for participants, presented by camp counselors. You can check out the NaNoWriMo blogs to check these resources out. You can also have access to archived resources that deal with various aspects of writing, so that if you’re stuck on something, you can read up on those resources.
2021 Camp NaNoWrimo Tracks
Camp NaNoWriMo 2021 has special tracks dedicated to specific types of writing. Camp Memoir provides resources that help writers write memoirs. You gain access to pep talks, podcasts, and even Ted Talks from renowned memoir-writers.
NaNoFinMo (National Novel Finishing Month) is a special track for people who still need to finish their November NaNoWriMo piece. This track offers advice and encouragement for writers who need to get that novel done within the month.
For the musically inclined writers, Camp NaNoWriMo: the Musical is a track that helps participants write a musical within a month. Of course, like the other tracks, camp counselors will be there to provide guidance and encouragement to help you get that musical done.
A Perfect Summer Camp for Writers
If you’ve always had the fantasy of leisurely spending time writing during the summertime, then Camp NaNoWriMo would be that fantasy come true. If you truly want the camp experience, then you can participate in regional events that may be organized near you.
But even without those events, having a writing group to motivate and inspire you as all of you attempt to reach your individual goals is already a writer’s camp experience. Plus, it’s a breath of fresh air to get to write on your terms while being motivated to finish your writing project in a month. And of course, LivingWriter and its robust features are more than enough to help you get that project done.