Camping for Writers!

I’ve been away from this blog for a bit, and not because I don’t love my Hive! March was crazy because I had an unfortunate falling out with my gallbladder, who I’ve decided to call Oliver. After 2 trips to the ER, a stopover at urgent care, office visits with 3 doctors, and weeks of nonstop pain spent eating steamed vegetables and not much else, Oliver and I finally went our separate ways. Thankfully, the recovery from a laparoscopic gallbladder removal isn’t terrible: it’s about a week after surgery and I’m starting to get my life back together.

Part of coming back to life (and by life I of course mean writing!) is celebrating April, which is a great month for writers. Not only is it National Poetry Month, but Camp NaNoWriMo also arrives in April, and that’s really exciting! If you’re not familiar with National Novel Writing Month in November, have a look at the website (I’ll also be adding a blog post about it later in the year as we get closer to the event itself).

Camp NaNoWriMo happens twice a year in the months of April and July, and it’s a writing event that allows writers to set their own project goals to achieve by the end of the month. Writers are encouraged (but not required) to join cabins, where they can engage with other writers, generate and track group progress, and keep the positive energy flowing.

NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo are writing events that are near and dear to my heart. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I met my writing group through NaNo, and that was obviously a really meaningful step in my writing career. Camp is a little different because in most regions, there are fewer in-person events and most of the interaction happens online, but the NYC municipal liaisons are super-dedicated and make sure that there are always write-ins to attend.

The reason I love Camp so much is that the project goals are tailored to whatever you as a writer need them to be. The challenge of writing 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo is awesome, especially since everyone undertakes it together. But it can be very useful to set a more personal goal, because you don’t always want to write 50,000 words, even if you have enough time to do so. Camp feels a bit more forgiving than NaNo proper, and while I love the kick in the pants the November event provides, I also appreciate the option of setting a less rigorous goal.

For this month, I’ve settled on 30,000 as my personal word count goal. A thousand words per day feels manageable, enough that I can use it to form a great daily habit that will extend beyond the month. I’m in the process of wrapping up my doctoral dissertation, so that’s where the words for this first week of the month have been going. But I’m also enthusiastic about what words will follow once that project is completed (ideally by the middle of the month).

It’s never too late to join Camp, so if you haven’t signed up and are intrigued, head over to their website and have a look around! And if you feel underprepared, remember that the next NaNo camping trip happens in July, just a few months away.

Until next time, wishing you a Happy Poetry Month and word-filled camping,
Melissa

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