National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, is November, but it doesn’t just stop when the calendar flips over to December 1st. In fact the forums are open twelve months a year and there are several other major events including Camp NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program.
The first time I heard of NaNoWriMo was from a friend at church. She participated and thought I might find it interesting. I remember looking it up online and deciding that while it looked interesting I didn’t want to sign up for yet another site. I thought I’d try it on my own without signing up and promptly forgot by the next day.
In fact I forgot for an entire year until I read this article on the blog of a new author I had just begun to read named, Rose Gordon. I must have read it the day after it was posted, because on November 2, 2012 I went back to the NaNoWriMo site and decided I was going to try it, this time actually signing up for the site and using a book I had been plotting since April 2012. 29 days and 76,892 words later I had won my first NaNoWriMo and I was addicted. To be specific I was addicted to Write or Die.
Kidding. Well, not kidding, because that month did leave me a little addicted to Write or Die, too, but I did mean NaNoWriMo. The forums on NaNoWriMo are a treasure and I love the word counter. The community is amazing and it feels so good to talk with other writers and have people understand exactly where I’m coming from. I love writing. I love crafting a good story. If you have never felt that, you are missing out.
March 2013 came along and I discovered something. There was more than one word count challenge a year for people who participated in NaNoWriMo. There was also Camp which occurred in April. It’s a little more laid back. You can pick your own word count goal, as low as 10K if you want. I chose to stick with 50K and work on the plot bunny that had come out of my work in November.
Her name was Olivia, now normally shortened to Liv, and she ran an art gallery. She also happened to be the biggest fan of the sculptures made by the father of the previous story’s protagonist. Naturally her story didn’t go even remotely in the direction I wanted it to, but I love it.
Turns out that there are two Camp NaNoWriMos every year. In the years I have done them, they have been in April and July, but I got the idea that at some point the July one was in June. As of April 30, 2015 I have completed three NaNoWriMos and five Camp NaNoWriMos with a word count of 50K or above. I do not write a consistent 1,667 words per day. I write 500 here and 4,000 there. One day last month I was feeling so horrible that I wrote 7 words. The point was that I wrote.
Winning with NaNoWriMo
Although I have “won” every NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo that I have started since I joined the site, I do not consider it to be losing if you write fewer words than your goal. If you wrote more than you might have otherwise, I consider it a win, because the whole point it to write and if your wrote, then I say you won no matter what your word count is.
Of course there are goodies to go with winning by NaNoWriMo standards, but if you are a writer than there is nothing more satisfying than seeing those words. The goodies are just icing.
Have you ever attempted NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo and if so how did you do?