Maybe you’ve heard of Camp NaNoWriMo (the smaller, spunky sister event to the big November writing extravaganza) and were underwhelmed by the idea. Or maybe you’ve been meaning to try it out for years but something always seems to come up. Either way, with a host of really cool new features letting you customize your Camp NaNoWriMo experience like never before, now is absolutely the time to give the challenge a second (or first) try!
What is Camp NaNoWriMo? A sister event to the big National Novel Writing Month held every November, Camp NaNoWriMo is a more informal writing month long writing challenge where you can set your own goals and work on whatever kind of writing project you want held every April and July.
While NaNoWriMo proper is only focused on the somewhat limiting goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, Camp NaNoWriMo lets you set any goal for the month you wish (anywhere from 30 to 999,999 words, hours, lines, or pages!) and includes the wide writing world beyond novels including memoirs, scripts, non-fiction, comics, and whatever else you can dream of. All that flexibility also makes it ideal for finishing a half completed project or working on a revision. (Like maybe that novel you were working on last NaNoWriMo?) You’ll still get the same kind of pep talks, progress graphs, badges, winner goodies and other incentives as you’d get in the main event to keep you inspired and on track but in a more informal, self guided setting.
What’s new with Camp NaNoWriMo? If it’s been awhile since you used the site, there’s a couple of great new features I’ve got to draw your attention to.
- Set your goal for the month in words, hours, lines, or pages. While you’ve always been able to set your own word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo, in 2017 they added the option to set a goal based on other parameters. This makes it easy to use Camp NaNo for artistic projects like comics, revisions (writers often track editing progress hourly or by page), to write by hand (it’s a heck of a lot easier to track pen and paper writing by line or page instead of having to count words), write a script (which are almost always written in terms of page count rather than word count for timing) or whatever else you can dream of. Add to this that your goal for any of these options can be anywhere from 30 to 999,999 and this one change makes Camp NaNoWriMo the most flexible writing challenge ever.
- Greater flexibility for cabins. While Camp NaNoWriMo doesn’t have the MLs or large regional communities of the main event, it has smaller private chat rooms for up to 20 people (new limit for 2017!) called cabins. The cabin system has been greatly improved over the last few years. You can opt to be sorted into a cabin by similar interests, create your own private cabin and invite only the people you choose, be randomly assigned cabin mates or opt out of cabins entirely. No matter which you choose, it gives you plenty of options to cultivate your own little community of cheerleaders and other writers to support you on your writing journey.
- Goal Trackers that span a period of a few days up to three months. If you’re looking for even more flexibility over a month long challenge, log into NaNoWriMo.org and visit My NaNoWriMo > Goal Trackers. That’s a new tool that lets you set a word count or hourly goal outside of the one month limit.
- Word Sprint Tool for individuals or groups. Another cool new feature is the Word Sprint tool that let you quickly and easily set up and time a word sprint either for just yourself or for a group as a whole. Word Sprints are the secret weapon of writers everywhere, a tiny timed burst of productive writing where you write as much as you can until the timer goes off. Then you take a break. It may not seem like you can get much done in something as small as a 15 minute burst but you’ll be amazed at how fast those words will add up!
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up is free and it just may prove the kick in the pants you need to finally get the project done!
How will you be using the new options to customize your writing goals next month?