November is National Novel Writing Month. Writers are urged to come up with 50,000 words in just 30 days. However, just some of those days include Thanksgiving, Election Day, Veteran’s Day, Black Friday and – of course – National Indian Pudding Day. It’s easy to see how potential novelists can be sidetracked from their goal.
However, writers have a second chance in April. Camp NaNoWriMo is described as “an idyllic retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life”. Like its November counterpart, Camp NaNoWriMo is free. Writers sign up at the website and pledge to write for thirty days. Unlike November, the goal is personalized. The site is set up to manage anywhere from 10,000 – 100,000 word goals.
NaNoWriMo offers writers a sense of community. Municipal Liaisons across the country and around the world gather writers together at local events like write-ins at local libraries. At Camp NaNoWriMo, writers are organized into “cabins”, up to a dozen writers who pledge to work and support one another. The tools work in a similar fashion; there is a word counter that helps you keep on track of your goals. And starting April 25th, writers can validate their novel and win fabulous prizes, such as a video “attaboy” from the creators of Camp NaNoWriMo and a certificate suitable for printing out.
Of course, April is also a busy time. Easter and Passover, Earth Day and Arbor Day; in the Midwest, the snow may have finally stopped coming down and the only other guarantee in a writer’s life besides distraction is taxes (due right in the middle of the month). If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the idea of celebrating National Tartan Day and will be busy looking for a card to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, don’t worry. Camp NaNoWriMo will also run in July.