Camp NaNoWriMo: Yay or Nay?

Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up again!

For those of you who don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat where writers pledge to write anything between 30 and 1,000,000 words in the span of a single month (April or July). It’s like NaNoWriMo but you can set your own word goal instead of the standard 50K which makes it a little more flexible.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo several times before and won twice so I know I can do it, but I’m not feeling too confident this time around. The idea of participating has been floating around my head for several weeks now but it took me until TODAY, some 14 odd hours before the official start, to make a decision. And it was by no means an easy decision.

Here are some of the pros and cons I came up with:

Pros:

  • Writing every day: no matter how unprepared I (think I) am, (Camp) NaNoWriMo always pushes me to write more. And we all know that the more you write, the better you’ll get.
  • Sharing the experience: it’s a hard but equally fun experience you get to share with thousands and thousands of other people who’re suffering just as much as you are. They get what you’re going through and support you no matter what, which makes it just a little easier.
  • New project: I haven’t written anything new in a long, long time.

Cons:

  • No time: it doesn’t matter what your word goal is, writing takes time and time is hard to come by. I want to participate, but I also want to keep up blogging and with other important aspects of my life such as, you know, sleeping. Sleeping is important. So is eating by the way. I’ve already said goodbye to my social life but I’m not going to sacrifice those two. Na-ah.
  • I’m unprepared: I wouldn’t say I’m a planner but I’m not a complete pantser either. I want to have some kind of idea of what I’m writing or I’m just going to be staring at a blank page for hours. Alright, maybe that won’t happen, but I’ll definitely be procrastinating (hello, cute cat videos!) and that’s just as bad. So far, I have written my one sentence summary and I also have a very rough idea of the general plot, but I would’ve liked to have a lot more details at this point.
  • I just finished a novel: I haven’t shared this yet, but I finished the 10th and final (!) draft of my YA novel two days ago. I first started writing it during NaNoWriMo and have been working on it on and off for almost three years now. To be honest, I was ready to take a break from writing but then a few plot bunnies hopped into my head and I got really excited about (finally!) starting a new project. .

The verdict

For me, the last pro outweighs all the cons. After working on my last novel for such a long time, I’m excited to create new characters and to follow them on their journey. I’ll be querying my finished novel very soon, a process that’s equally exciting and terrifying, but I believe it’s important to keep writing new stuff in the meantime. If that first novel never gets picked up by an agent, which is very likely, I want to have something even better lined up.

So, yes, I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo BUT… I’m not going for 50K. I’m thinking of setting my goal at 15K, which isn’t very ambitious, but it’s a goal that should be manageable.

I’ll keep updating you on my progress if you want me to. I’m thinking of posting on update at the end of each week to share that week’s struggles and victories. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see on this blog and if you want to see more writing related posts (e.g. a post on my creative process, plotting, managing time, etc.).

And please let me know if you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, too so we can be buddies.

Thank you for reading!

See you soon,
Lauren

12 thoughts on “Camp NaNoWriMo: Yay or Nay?

  1. This s a really good post! I’ve been thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo for years but always came up with an excuse not to and this is a really helpful look at the pros and cons of it all 🙂

    Like

  2. Glad to hear your going to do it! I only see good things coming out of NaNoWriMo, no matter the goal. But setting it much lower than 50k is definitely a great thing. The more reasonable your goals seem to you, the better the experience! 😀 Time is definitely a big issue for this kind of thing, I do hope it won’t hinder with anything you have planned during the month! Best of luck on your new story! 😀

    – Lashaan

    Like

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