Camp NaNoWriMo and Beyond

Summer is around the corner! In a couple of weeks the classroom will be a distant memory…until August, but that’s not important at the moment. I’m excited for internships, contests, and camp. No, I don’t mean real camp, I mean Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and will participate again in July. Since today is the last day of the April camp I wanted to go through my 30 day journey.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month is actually in November, but the organization decided to host camp in April and July. It’s an online camp that writers from all over the world can participate in. During camp, I was put into a virtual cabin with people who wrote in the same genre as me so it gave me a chance to interact with other writers. With school entering the home stretch, it was difficult, but I ended up reaching my word count goal of 15,000 words.You can set your own word goal and you have the entire month of April (or July) to meet it. Most writers use it as practice for the actual NaNoWriMo event in November. The writing spree in November is the main event where you have one month to write 50,000 words. This past April has been filled with frustration and homework out the wazoo. I chose my busiest month to write 15,000 words, but I learned a lot by continuously writing.  I learned that your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

I spent the first few days trying to choose the right words, but after doing some thinking (and researching), I realized that I didn’t need my first draft to be perfect. So after that I just wrote. If I had an idea, I went along with it and just wrote what came to mind. My writing sessions flourished from around 500 words to 1800 words.

It took a lot of perseverance to keep going. I think every writer goes through that stage where they don’t like their story anymore; it happens to me a lot. This experience taught me to push through that feeling and keep going. I thought my idea was stupid, but after a few conversations with my support group (you’ll need one of those too) I was rarin’ to go. If you don’t have a support group, I’ll happily give you encouragement.

So if you do participate in camp, remember these three things:

1. Just write. You’re first draft doesn’t need to be perfect.

2. Keep at it. Unless you think that your story is a super bad idea, then keep writing it.

3. Love what you do. Camp is a bit difficult, but if you like what you’re doing, then it will become easier for you. 

So if you want to participate in Camp NaNo in July go to campnanowrimo.org  and if you want to participate in the NaNoWriMo event in November then go to nanowrimo.org

Keep on writing!

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