I Tried Camp Nano For the First Time – Here’s how it went

Back in 2021, I learned the term Nanowrimo for the first time. Everyone in November was talking about their goals and their word count progress. There would be updates daily on Nanowrimo journeys to Twitter. Once I found out that it was for a writing community event, I had to find out more.

For those that don’t know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. This event takes place every November. The goal for the month is to add 50,000 words to your novel project within the 30 days (that’s 1,667 words a day!). The first Nanowrimo took place in 1999, and it seems to have been growing in popularity ever since.

To learn more about Nanowrimo and the non-profit organization that has kept it going, you can find them at https://nanowrimo.org/

I couldn’t tell if Nanowrimo was something I wanted to attempt. The goal of 50,000 words in one month seemed intense, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit. Little did I know, they have created some other options throughout the year to help people like me who were hesitant.

Something I didn’t know – Camp Nano

I wasn’t aware of until very recently was that there is more than one Nanowrimo a year!

These other events aren’t the full November event, requiring 50,000 words in 30 days. Instead, there are two camps that are held each year – one in April and one in July. These “camps” allow you to try out Nanowrimo with your own goal – whether it’s word count, number of pages, or time spent writing.

These camps are just a taste of what the November event is about. Although there aren’t as many people involved, especially on Twitter, you can still find a small group of other writers that are working towards their own goals during these months. I was able to find a local group that was participating, and that even led to me partaking in word wars, another new concept to me. It was nice to meet another group of writers, now more local than my other writing groups, and pull together to cheer each other on to achieve our goals.

My Results from July Camp Nano

Something that I didn’t take into consideration when I set my goal at the beginning of July was the fact that I would be on holidays from my day job, with my family, for half of it. We had decided to take our three boys on their first flight during that time, so I should have suspected there would be at least a week where I wouldn’t be writing.

In the end, I was still able to add 26, 276 words to my second novel that I’m working on.

Although this wasn’t my goal of 31,000 words (1,000 words a day), I’m still very happy with the overall achievement. I was able to write most days, with the main days that I missed being the ones that I was travelling with my family. This also allowed me to make great progress on my second novel, as I continued writing after July 31st, and am now almost finished the first draft!

Will I attempt Nanowrimo in November?

I definitely plan on being involved in the upcoming Nanowrimo event. Since the goal is already decided for me – reaching 50,000 words in 30 days – now I need to just focus on determining what I want to work on. My plan is to have my current novel draft finished, as well as my editing done on my first novel. Then that will leave me free to start my third project.

The hard question will be – what should my third novel be about?

That has yet to be determined …

Some things that I’ve learned and will be applying the next round – although they offer little badges directly on the Nanowrimo website, I think I need more motivation to keep writing every day. I’ve heard some use stickers in bullet journals, others have incentives like buying a book after 7 straight days of writing … I need to think of what my weekly rewards could be.

I will do some research, of course. I’ll let you know what I find.

I don’t have any holidays planned for the month of November (although hubby and I may attempt a small weekend away for our wedding anniversary), so that shouldn’t affect my numbers too much. Here’s hoping that it will be a successful month, and I end up with over 50,000 words already added to my third book before the end of 2022!

If you’re thinking of being involved in Nanowrimo this year, make sure you follow me on Twitter (@KDKulpa)! We can cheer each other on, as I plan on checking in every day during the month of November to see how everyone is doing with their goals.

In the end, I think the primary driver to completing a goal like Nanowrimo is the community that it builds. While working towards your goal, you are among many other writers facing similar challenges to you, while all trying to reach the enormous goal of 50,000 words in 30 days.

Whether you’re working full-time during the month, a parent with childcare duties, or a full-time writer – you’ll find others like you in the trudges of the Nanowrimo daily writing word count.

If you are a writer and you are looking for a fun challenge that allows you to meet others, then go check out the Nanowrimo website and think about signing up.

I’ll see you there!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: