If you’re a creative writer like me, you probably go through plenty of phases where you find it impossible to get any words on the page. I tend to make excuses for myself: “I had a stressful day, I’ll write tomorrow,” or “I’ll get some writing done when I have more free time,” or “I guess the writing juices aren’t flowing today.” In the end, though, it basically boils down to plain old writer’s block. The funny thing is, I have no shortage of ideas. I usually just wind up staring at a blinking cursor or an empty sheet of paper, too freaked out by the vast realm of possibilities to know where I could possibly begin.
|The tools of a successful WriMo.|
The program has become so popular that in recent years, the NaNo team has offered two more opportunities to participate in the summer months, a program they’ve affectionately dubbed Camp NaNoWriMo. The challenge itself doesn’t change, but the website now sports a fun camping theme, where you can choose “cabin-mates” who share your creative interests and join the program directors for pep talks around the metaphoric campfire. The website banner perfectly sums up the spirit of Camp NaNoWriMo: “an idyllic writer’s retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life.”
What’s great about the summer program is that participants who might have found November too hectic can now take advantage of all the glorious free time that comes with summer vacation (when they’re not swimming or going to cookouts or, you know, actually camping). This year the April challenge has come and gone, but it’s not too late to prepare for July! You can head to the Camp NaNoWriMo website right now to choose a cabin, post a blurb for your novel, and chat with other campers. As soon as the clock strikes midnight on July 1st, you can start pounding out those 50,000 words.
To finish the challenge on time, you have to write an average of 1,667 words a day. It’s important to remember that this is an exercise in quality, not quantity – the goal is just to churn out as many words as you possibly can. After all, sloppy writing can always be revised, and it’s much easier to work on a second draft than to fill up that first blank page (at least in my opinion). So have fun with it! Find a comfortable spot to write in. Stock up on snacks you can munch on while you’re working. And encourage your friends to participate too. In my experience, there’s nothing more productive than writing dangerously with a group of fellow WriMos.
|A NaNo success story.|
Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo for yourself? If so, did you meet your goals? And what kind of projects are you hoping to tackle this year? If you have any great NaNo stories, share them in the comments section, or join us @GodinePub on Twitter!