Do not let the exclamation point in the title of this blog post fool you. I am shaking-in-my-jeans terrified of joining Camp NaNoWriMo.
I’ve known about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for a while now, and when I say a while, I mean several years. In fact, so long, Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t even a thing yet when I came across it!
Though I’ve known about it for a long while, and I’ve had an account set up with the organization’s website for a fairly long time, I’ve never actually participated. It’s not that I didn’t want to.
The truth is November happens to be the month when big exams and final projects clutter your calendar, especially in college. It seemed unrealistic to try and write 50,000 words while working on a mountain of work for school.
Now, it’s entirely possible to do. I’m sure if you were dedicated enough and really pushed yourself to the farthest limit, you could write those 50,000 words while keeping on top of assignments and exams.
However, I had a lot more than just exams and projects on my plate. I was a very involved student outside of the classroom, often with a leadership position in the organization I was a part of. If I took on writing 50,000 words in one month, I would probably suffer the absolute worst burn-out, which would not be good for final exams.
So, I’ve never participated… until now. It is the summer after graduation, and I have a lot of flexible time while I’m figuring out elements of my personal life. That means I really have no excuse at this point to not participate.
Though Camp NaNoWriMo has the flexibility of changing your word count goal, I’ve decided to treat it like it’s November. I’m going to try and hit that 50k.
I’ve been brainstorming non-stop for my trilogy WIP. I really want a completed outline for all three books before I even start writing, so I know exactly where it is the story is going. I’ve written the outlines in a way that allows me some freedom while I write, so I can still have that “pantser” feel despite using plotter methods.
These outlines will be a massive help when I’ve hit a block while I’m writing in July, and that makes me feel very enthusiastic about the whole project.
With that said, I’m going in almost expecting failure. I truly don’t think I’ll be able to hit that word count, because I’ve never pushed myself to write so intensely like that before.
Thankfully, the writing I had to do weekly for my radio show has helped me develop the skills I need to push myself with writing, but it is nothing like what NaNoWriMo will be.
I think the expectation I have is a good thing, though. If I do hit the word count goal, it’ll be a lovely surprise.
I’m not quite finished with the outlines. I’ve still got the third book to outline and one character arc to figure out, but I’m confident I can get them done and still have time to mentally prepare myself for the challenge.
If you’re particpating in Camp NaNoWriMo, let me know! What project are you working on? Even if it’s not Camp NaNoWriMo-related, I’d love to hear about it.