Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 1
Today was the first day of the @NaNoWriMo’s April Camp. In a blitz of positivity over the weekend, mostly inspired by the thought that Monday would be my last day of teaching, I signed up.
National November Writing Month is an internet based creative writing project. It’s free to take part and your nationality doesn’t matter. It challenges you to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month; you create a user profile, post your word count at the end of the day, and watch as the numbers tick on up towards your target.
If you hit the goal by the end of the month you get a certificate and some sort of badge you can wear on your profile. More importantly, you have 50,000 words of a novel! The idea is that by focussing on a word target, rather than worrying about quality, you can escape the paralysis of endless rewrites and actually finish a draft. Since it started off in 1999 almost half a million people have written with NaNoWriMo, and a significant number of people have gone on to have their novels published.
Camp NaNoWriMo is basically the same thing with a little more flexibility. You choose your project; novel, thesis, research project, graphic novel, whatever. You also choose your own target between 1000 and 100,000 words. Once you have registered you can volunteer to be assigned to a “cabin” alongside a small group of other writers, with whom you exchange supportive comments via a message board and share your word count progress.
My first day has been a little overshadowed by the deadlines I hit last night (ie. I’m knackered), so it is too soon to say if it is making much difference for me. The message board is friendly (it has mostly been about what internet shopping we have been doing in the guise of research). I don’t seem to have written any more (or less) than I normally would. But the organisation’s success rather speaks for itself, it’s a lovely fun project, and, well, I like the stats. And the graphs. I’m just that sort of guy.
You can check it out at http://campnanowrimo.org/, with camps in April and July, or visit http://nanowrimo.org/ for the annual November event. I’ll post more about the Camp and the other functions they offer as I make my way through the month.
Finally, a shoutout to Fay Roberts and the guys involved in the Cambridgeshire NaPoWriteMo http://camsnapowrimo.blogspot.fr/ , who all be posting a poem a day for the National Poetry Writing Month challenge. There’s some great work up there already (I particularly enjoyed “Charlotte and the Black”), and if poetry is your thing it is definitely worth a look.