April is right around the corner and you know what that means: it’s Camp NaNoWriMo time!
What is Camp NaNoWriMo?
Well if you’re familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where you commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of November, you’ll find that Camp NaNoWriMo is somewhat similar, only a little more laid back. At camp, YOU get to set your own writing goal! Whether you want to write a novel, edit a first draft, tackle a script or maybe some short stories, Camp NaNoWriMo will be there to encourage and support you along the way.
How does it work?
During the month of April (and then again in July), you will challenge yourself to write every single day. That’s the first step to establishing a habit that will last throughout the entire year (and with any luck result in a completed manuscript).
Camp NaNoWriMo offers several online writing groups, which they cleverly call cabins (to give you that whole camping vibe). You’ll meet other “campers” by being sorted into a cabin based on your age, genre, or writing goals.
Already have a group of writers you’d like to bunk with? You can create a private cabin for you and your friends to share! How cool is that?
According to the Camp NaNoWriMo website:
To join a public cabin, you must first make sure you’ve:
- Created a writing project for the current session of Camp
- Filled out your profile.
- Set your preferences on the Cabin Settings page:
If you want to be sorted into a cabin randomly, select the “Surprise me with random cabin mates!” option and click “Submit.”
If you’d prefer being in a cabin with writers that share similar interests, select “I’m looking for campers that match specific criteria.” Then, you’ll be able request cabin mates within your age group, writing in your genre, and/or with similar word-count goals in mind. Once you’ve selected all the preferences you’d like, click “Submit.”
Cabin assignments will begin shortly before the start of the event and will continue throughout the month on a rolling basis.
Joining a private cabin is a little different:
- If you’re acting as the cabin administrator, go to the Cabin Settings page and select “I want to create a private cabin.”
- Once in your cabin, you can invite your friends by typing their usernames into the invitation field. You can invite up to 11 Campers. A Camper must have created a profile, a novel, and deselected “I don’t want cabin invitations this session” to be eligible.
- First, make sure you have defined a project for the upcoming event.
- On your Cabin Settings page, make sure you have:
- Selected “I don’t want to be included in a cabin” so you are not sorted into a random cabin.
- Deselected the “I don’t want cabin invitations this session” option.
- When you’re invited to a private cabin, the invitation will pop up the next time you log in to the website or refresh the Camp NaNoWriMo page. “Join Now” will take you to your new cabin home and “No Thanks” will delete the invitation.
You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and conversation on the Camp NaNoWriMo website and there’s even a camp store where they sell a variety of merchandise, from t-shirts and hoodies to pencils and books.
Not enough? Visit Camp NaNoWriMo on Facebook and Twitter and start networking!
One of the great things about the NaNoWriMo community is that you’re never alone. Whether you’ve been writing for years or just getting started, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other authors and forge friendships with people who share the same interests as you.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your bug spray and head on over to camp!