Writing Wednesday: Camp NaNoWriMo

Most of you have probably heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). But how many of you have heard of Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNo is a pared-down version of NaNoWriMo, for those who just can't get enough of the craziness that is 1,667 words every day of November. It takes place during the summer (this year, June and August), and the main difference between Camp NaNo and Original NaNo is that Camp NaNo doesn't have the bells and whistles (huge forums, crazy write-ins, CD swaps, etc.) that Original NaNo thrives on. It's a little less about the camaraderie and community, a little more about JUST WRITE. And right now, that's exactly what I love about it.

I've participated in both Camp NaNo (once) and Original NaNo (five times), and what I've realized after my vast years of experience is that 1,667 words a day is not that much. It's in the ballpark of what actual writers write every day. And if you just sit your butt in a chair every day and spend one hour writing, guess what? You'll actually have a complete draft after not too much slaving. Who knew? (Of course you all know this. But sometimes the gargantuan task of WRITING A NOVEL blinds me to this elementary fact, and it's good to remind myself once in a while.)

Confession time: I've been writing the same novel for two years, and it's killing me. I've been lazy. I've made excuses. I've spent lots of time watching TV, and lots of time complaining about how I can't write. But that is changing this month. Because the fact is that I'm done with this book. I've held on to it for far too long, frightened to let it out into the world, but it's time to let it go.

So that's what I'm doing in Camp NaNo this month. I'm powering through one last polish-up, and when June is over, I'm going to set it free. The prospect is scary, but it's past time.