Why You Should Still Join Camp NaNoWriMo (Even Though You’ve Procrastinated)


Well, darn it. It looks like you’ve succumbed to your pesky procrastination habit again. It’s April 1, the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo, and you haven’t signed up yet. Sigh. There’s always July. Or April 2016. Right?

First rule of Camp NaNo: there are no excuses in Camp NaNo. So you waited until the first day of the month to decide to sign up. So? You don’t have to wait until summer, or next year, to join in the festivities.

There are two kinds of Campers in this virtual world: those who don’t have time to participate, but do it anyway, and those who don’t even try. Don’t settle for the latter. Here are three reasons why signing up TODAY is 100 percent worth your time.

You Don’t Have to Write 50,000 Words 

Writing 50,000 words—sometimes over half of a full-length novel depending on the genre—is a huge commitment. That’s coming from someone who has kicked NaNoWriMo butt … once or twice. Whether you’re in school, working, or both, it’s hard to find time to write even 1,000 words per day.

Camp NaNoWriMo lets you set your own word count, anywhere “from 10,000 to 1,000,000”—if you can write a million words in a month, I don’t care whether your book is any good or not, you deserve an award. You have the freedom to choose how much you want to write. So if April is exceptionally busy for you, you might actually prefer Camp NaNo over November’s renowned event.

You Don’t Even Have to Write a Novel

All novelists are writers, but not all writers are novelists. Some people just don’t like writing longer pieces; and if that’s you, I promise, you’re not defective. There are plenty of successful, well-known writers out there who have never finished or even started writing novels. It doesn’t make you any less of an author.

After setting up a Camp NaNo profile, you’re given the option to write a novel, a work of nonfiction, poetry, engage in a revision or toy with a script or short story. If I’ve made enough progress on Elite by July, I think I’ll try a short story. I’ll need something to do without JulNoWriMo to keep me occupied. (Insert sad face emoji here).

You Really Don’t Have Any Excuse Not To 

Any excuse you have for skipping out on this opportunity, I can probably come up with three reasons your logic is flawed. The only reward for reaching your goal is the satisfaction of engaging in a successful Camp session; you have nothing to lose. You can set your own schedule. You can literally write as much or as little as you want, whatever you want, whenever you want.

There are tricks to getting around “inconveniences” like school; work; chores; Netflix. Busses and trains make great sprint-writing ops. Sometimes I sneak in bits and pieces of what I’m studying into my dialogue or prose. I’m an introvert, so lunch breaks naturally lend plenty of extra writing time at work. 

No excuses. This is your chance to have a little fun.

I’ll be working (slowly) on my young adult novel, as I always seem to be, but here’s to hoping this will help get me back into a better rhythm, which I need to do if I want to reach my goal of finishing the first draft before the end of the year.

For some extra online support this month, check out my Camp NaNoWriMo profile (and don’t yell at me if I don’t make much progress—I mainly signed up for research purposes … for research purposes … air quotes). Leave a comment with your Camp NaNo username and I’ll make sure we connect.

Good luck, fellow Campers!

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image text courtesy of Camp NaNoWriMo.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.


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