Writing

5 Ways Camp NaNoWriMo Can Improve Your Writing Habits

The second annual edition of Camp NaNoWriMo, or Camp NaNo for short, will begin July 1st. (The first edition was back in April in case you missed it). Much like its bigger brother, NaNoWriMo in November, Camp NaNo aims to help writers write.

Choosing to participate in Camp NaNo will make you a better writer by helping you:

1. Set your own goals.

To win NaNoWriMo, you must write 50,000 words. To win Camp NaNo, you must reach whatever goal you commit to.

A big part of writing is our own self-motivation. We must all find time to set aside and write or we can’t call ourselves writers. Instead, we’re just thinkers. By encouraging us to set our own goals, Camp NaNo shows us what it is like to set goals and try to achieve them. Hopefully it’ll become the first step in creating a habit of writing.

Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2. Value deadlines

Whether you’re writing the next New York Times Best Seller or a post for a blog, deadlines are key to making progress. Without them, you may fall into the trap of saving your writing for “someday.” If it never gets here, your writing will never progress either.

3. Understand that the first step is to get the ideas out – not to create something perfect

Sometimes our own inner editors can get the best of us and make it impossible to write anything. That voice in our head tells us that it’s complete trash and not worth the light of day. That constant nagging can wear even the best of the best down. Camp NaNo gives you the chance to lock up the inner editor in a closet and write without worry.

Image by jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image by jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. Try something new

Sometimes we need to try something new. Maybe you love writing mystery and have never written a fantasy story before. Or perhaps you always write in third person, but you think second person could help create an interesting story involving someone being interrogated. Camp NaNo could be the perfect opportunity to try it. The sky is the limit. Whatever you’ve been afraid to try is possible because that editor from step 3 is still locked up in a closet.

5. Connect with a community of writers

Writing is a lonely experience by nature; however, it doesn’t have to be. Both NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo offer opportunities to network and talk with other writers. It gives you the chance to meet other people who share your passion. Why would you want to let that opportunity pass you by?

At the end of the day, every writer has a different personality. NaNoWrimo might not work for you because November is so busy and 50,000 words in a month is like buying a rocket to the moon: a cool idea but very few have the ability to do that. Camp NaNo lowers the stakes by letting you decide how much is enough. It offers a more personal experience and still gives you a chance to connect with others. So why not give it a try? What have you got to lose? The words you write will thank you.

Are you participating in Camp NaNo? If so, what are you going to write about it? I’d love to hear!

If you aren’t participating, why not?

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