It’s that time of year again. Camp NaNoWriMo! And Write with Harte is here to help you meet your writing goals in July with tips on preparing for camp, a free downloadable Camp Nano planner, accountability group, and more!
What is Camp NaNoWriMo?
Camp NaNoWriMo differs from traditional NaNoWriMo (50,000 in 30 days) in that you can set your own writing goal. Want to revise the book you wrote for NaNoWriMo in November? You can do that at Camp NaNoWriMo. Want to write a play or a short story? You can do that too. Here are other ideas for Camp NaNoWriMo:
- A novella
- Or, my favorite use of Camp Nanowrimo, finish something already started
If you haven’t been making progress on your writing goals, Camp NaNoWriMo is just the thing to jumpstart your writing habit and make progress. You can set goals that fit with your time and project, but remember that whole point is to challenge yourself to achieve something in your writing, whether that’s finishing a project, plotting a novel, or whatever you have that needs attention.
Camp NaNoWriMo Prep
- Decide your writing goals. What do you hope to achieve during Camp NaNoWriMo. Consider the following questions:
- What is the primary goal for your writing project? Is it completing a first draft, revising a manuscript, or starting a new project?
- How many words or pages to you need to write to meet that goal during the month?
- What specific milestones or targets would you like to reach by the end of Camp NaNoWriMo?
- Determine what you need to meet your goal. Consider your available time, energy levels, and other commitments in July as you plot out what you can realistically achieve. You want to challenge yourself, but don’t set a goal that is unachievable. If you can only commit to one hour a day, setting a goal to write 60,ooo words might be too much (unless you dictate).
- Plot your path. Based on your time, energy, and size of project, divide your writing goal into smaller, manageable chunks. Determine how many words or pages you need to write per day or week to stay on track. This will provide a clear roadmap for your writing journey.
- Create time and space to work on your project. Writing goals are difficult to achieve in haphazard snippets of time. Instead, be intentional with your writing, setting up times and a place to work on your project. Ideally, schedule your writing project to-dos at your peak mental energy hours. If that’s not possible, do your best to find blocks of time that will allow you to meet your daily or weekly goals. Your workspace should be light, comfortable, inviting and inspiring.
- Plan your writing. Even if you’re a pantster, you’ll find it easier if you know what you plan to say when you sit down to write. If you’re revising, decide what chapters you’re going to edit each day and what you’re focused on, whether it’s story, grammar, or tightening your prose. The goal is to know exactly what you’re tackling so you can get right to it at your scheduled time. To help you, download the Camp Nanowrimo Planner Here.
- Research and gather resources. If your project requires research, gather relevant materials and resources in advance. For example, if you’re revising, make sure your ProWritingAid or other editor is up-to-date and working. Or check that your phrase books are nearby when you find words and phrases you want to improve. If you need to research for the story, have that done in advance so you can access it and keep writing without interruption.
- Have a plan for problems. Anticipate issues that could make it difficult to work on your project and find solutions. Do you suffer from writer’s procrastination? How can you motivate yourself to get BIC (butt in chair)? Are you stuck on what to write next? How can you get unstuck? Is family dropping by or the dishwasher broke? How can you re-organize your time to make up what you lost? Make a list of potential hinderances to working on your project and ways to address them so they don’t slow you down.
- Seek support and accountability. You don’t have to go far for that! Join the Write with Harte accountability group, or join in on NaNoWriMo at the WWH Facebook group. Not a member of Write with Harte? Join here free! If you’ve officially joined Camp NaNoWriMo, connect with fellow writers, share your progress, and find support and motivation through its forums. Consider finding a writing buddy or accountability partner to help you stay on track and celebrate milestones together.