(Image credit to wintersmagicstock on DeviantArt.)
Summer is here, and with the freedom it brings sometimes comes boredom or a feeling of being lost, because you have no idea what to do. School isn’t in session and maybe you have a job or maybe you don’t, but there’s not a daily commitment for a lot of teenagers in the summer.
If this is you, I have a suggestion. Camp NaNoWriMo is a website based writing challenge. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the usual challenge runs in November. The basic challenge there is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. That’s right, you can’t write any of it in October, and you have to try to finish by 11:59 pm November 30th. The prize is just a certificate saying that you won, and some discounts on related software, but it’s an incredibly difficult challenge, so many people are happy with the feeling of accomplishment that winning NaNoWriMo brings.
Camp NaNoWriMo is similar to the November challenge, but not the same. It runs in April and July every year. For Camp, you get to pick your own word count goal. You also can do any genre, including nonfiction or scripts. Technically, that’s out of bounds for NaNoWriMo territory, though they let people do it anyway as “NaNo rebels.”
In addition to those things, you can be in a “cabin.” These cabins are also based online. You can choose people to be put into a cabin with, or you can pick requirements for your desired cabin mates, like wanting them to be people who are writing a similar genre to you or close to you in age. You can also choose to have random cabin mates picked for you, or opt out of the cabin entirely. Cabins are there so you can make friends, and so that you and your buddies can encourage each other when the going gets tough, because it does during these challenges.
Writing a novel in a month might sound easy to those who have not attempted it, but rest assured, it is difficult. Sometimes writers don’t feel like writing, or they don’t have inspiration at the moment. That’s usually fine, but taking a day or two off during a monthly challenge can put you behind. That’s what’s great about Camp, though. For a while, you can adjust your word count goal. Also, if you set your goal to be less than 50,000 words, it’s almost like a trial run of the full-fledged NaNoWriMo challenge.
I encourage everyone to try out Camp, because it truly is fun. They welcome everyone over at Camp NaNoWriMo. Give it a shot and see what you can come up with in July. Shoot for the moon or maybe a more modest goal, but whatever you come up with, be proud of it. After all, it is your own creation, and that should be treasured.
What are you waiting for? Head over to campnanowrimo.org/ and sign up now. Happy writing!
Written by Megan Flint.