Camp NaNoWriMo: What it is and why you should participate this July

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You may have heard of National Novel Writing Month (lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo), a competition each November where participants try to write 50,000 in one month. Past participants include bestselling novelists such as Erin Morgenstern, Marissa Meyer, and many more that you can find here on the official NaNoWriMo website if you’d like an entire list.

But are you familiar with the lesser known Camp NaNoWriMo every April and July?

I’ve never participated in November because for six of my eight years as a writer I’ve been a full-time student, and the other two years my schedule remained crammed for other reasons. I wanted to find a way to still write a book in a month, but it needed to be in the summer or December to accommodate my schedule.

So, I did some research, and back in 2015 stumbled on the “smaller” version of NaNoWriMo: Camp NaNoWriMo.

It works like the November version, except you pick your word count and it’s in April and July. Want to try 50,000 words? Go ahead. Only have time to write 10,000? That’s okay too!

You can join a “cabin,” a virtual group of writers (usually fewer than twenty) that are randomly assigned, or if you have a bunch of writing buddies you can make your own private cabin. If you prefer to write alone, you can opt out of cabins as well.

Camp NaNoWriMo gives you the freedom to choose what you can handle and yet push you to stick to a deadline (and if you’ve been around this blog long, you know I’m not very good with deadlines). Since 2015, I’ve participated four times and hit my goal twice. One of the novels I wrote in July 2015 is now in the editing phase, and if all goes well, will either be self-published or I’ll query agents and publishers. We’ll see what happens, but it all started with Camp NaNoWriMo!

So, if you’re looking for writing motivation or a change of pace, I highly suggest you sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I can’t say enough good things about it and wanted to share it with you before any more of July goes by. We’re only five days in, so you’ve still got time to sign up and participate in July 2018. Just click to go to the official website, sign up, and get writing.

As always, hope this helps.

Alexa M.

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