It’s my first time at Camp Nanowrimo


Nanowrimo probably isn’t something that’s really on your radar right now. I felt like I was still recovering from November in January myself. Of course, that could just be the blend of Nanowrimo and Holiday hangover. Anyway, the point is that Nanowrimo isn’t until November and that’s fine. April, on the other hand, is Camp Nanowrimo. And I’m thrilled to say that I’ll be participating for the first time ever.

I wanted to take some time today to talk about Camp Nanowrimo, for those of you who haven’t heard as much about it. While it’s similar to November Nano, it’s not quite the same thing.

How it’s different

It’s not just 50,000 words. I mean, it can be, if you want it to be. Camp Nanowrimo allows you to make your own writing goal, whatever it might be. Maybe you know for sure you’re not making 50,000 words in April. Maybe you’ve been doing that easy and want to up your game. (That’s not me, by the way. It was a challenge to get 50,000 words in, let alone surpassing that.) At any rate, you can set your goal for what you need it to be.

It’s not just rough drafting. For instance, my goal for April is to work on the second draft of my fantasy novel for 36 hours. So if you already knocked yourself out on a rough draft and now you’re trying to make it better, this can help you get it done.

It’s got more of a writing retreat feel, which is a lot of fun. The subtitle for Camp Nanowrimo is ‘An Idyllic writers retreat, smack dab in the middle of your crazy life.’ As someone who would dearly love to attend a writers retreat, I love this. I honestly cannot wait.

How it’s the same

The biggest reason why Nanowrimo works for me is the writing fellowship that abounds during that time. Camp Nanowrimo is shaping up to be no different. Writers are separated into cabins, so you’ve got a team cheering on your progress as you cheer on theirs. (You can get assigned a cabin, set up one yourself for you and your friends. That’s what I’ve done. Anyone who wants to be part of my cabin feel free to email me at I’ll send you an invite.) Of course, if you don’t want to be in a cabin, you don’t have to be. But that’s a big part of the experience for me.

Reaching together for a writing goal. This is important because writing is such a solitary profession. And that works for me, most of the time. It’s kind of a selling point for this job, actually. But sometimes it’s nice to work together. Even when we’re all working on our own thing, we’re all working together towards the same basic end goal. We’re all making books. We’re all telling stories.

Inspiration is a big part of both Nanowrimo and Camp Nanowrimo. The emails and videos encouraging you to take the next step towards your writing goal is something I look forward to. Sometimes we all need a pep talk.

So, how about you? Have you ever done Camp Nanowrimo before? Are you planning to do it this year? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you’d like to participate in Camp Nanowrimo, here’s a link.

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