• vmlawrence

Woo Hoo! My first successful Camp NaNoWriMo!

There is just something about the phrase “Write a book in a month”, it has always eluded and excited me. I am talking about the nation-wide phenomenon sweeping every November, known lovingly as Nano. That is National Novel Writing Month to the laymen. It has been my writing obsession for years. I have been a proud member since, 2005. I can’t remember how long ago I discovered it, or even how I learned about what it was, all I knew was I wanted in!

Every year since then I have attempted to accomplish the beast that is writing 60, 000 words in 30 days. I have tried it with “friends”; groups of like-minded folks on the forums gunning for the same aim, and I have tried it alone. I have tracked my word-count for years; sometimes I go free-range-chicken on words too. I have "pantsed” and planned, I have run the race like all the others. But I have only ever finished the elusive 60’000 word count once in November.

A few years ago I learned that Nano hosted more times than just in November, there is also Camp Nano! And this challenge happens during less busy, non-holiday months. It can also have a more flexible word count goal! Well, sign me up. Camp Nano happens twice through the year; April and July. And when you sign up for Nano, the goal you set can be more than to 60,000 words, or your aim can be much lower, or the goal can be for editing work or page numbers or hours; your goal can be anything you feel is accomplishable. And that was just the right flavour.

This Camp Nano, I chose April. The kids were still in school, which means more hours of alone time for writing. And I chose half my word count goal; 30,000 of 60,000 for my Romance Chick-Lit Witches of Walnut Creek. This way if I finished the first 30, I could finish the rest of the 30 in July. This was a great plan!

Not only did I use the whole month of April to write 1/2 my manuscript but then I used June to take a break from writing and prep the rest of the story plan for July! This plan was a great success. I am usually half a planner and half a “pantser.” But this way of planning out my book vs. the months worked the best for my writing style.

I was so excited to verify my work on the Camp Nano Website that I even treated myself to a little merch to celebrate the occasion! Check out my super cute camp shirt! I now have my first ever Winners Certificate (the one time I won Nano in Nov I honestly couldn’t figure out the verify feature.)

So, I really enjoyed the full National Novel Writing Month features for the first time this year and I feel like I achieved my first real success with Camp. I think everyone who is a writer or creative at heart should try NaNoWriMo, and if you just feel like 60,00 words in a month is too overwhelming, give Camp NaNoWriMo a try instead. You won’t regret it!



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