NaNoWriMo vs. Camp NaNoWriMo

April, July, and November are some of the most writing intensive months for some people, especially myself.

From steep word goals to even steeper personal goals, these are months where everyone seems to be writing like they’re running out of time. But hidden underneath is the subtle undertone that makes Camp NaNoWriMo (April & July) significantly different from NaNoWriMo (December).

It may not seem like it because most people in Camp NaNo set word goals, but really you can set things like hours, pages, and of course the traditional word count.

If you check out the Camp NaNo about page, it describes the Camp mission statement:

“A virtual writer’s retreat, smack dab in the middle of your crazy life…designed for maximum flexibility and creativity.”

And if you visit the NaNoWriMo about page, it describes the NaNoWriMo mission statement:

“An annual (November) fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world where the challenge is to draft an entire novel in just 30 days.”

These statements give of different vibes, which are key to seeing whether or not NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo works for you.

NaNo is dedicated to everyone starting a novel and hopefully finishing it. Unless you participate in the Young Writers Program, everyone works towards 50,000 words on one novel.

In Camp, it’s a little chaotic. Some people have goals of pages or hours or words, but it could also be for editing instead of writing. And others work on multiple projects at once, so we lose this standard “Let’s all reach this goal together!” feeling.

It’s all about doing what’s best for you. Sometimes a self imposed goal isn’t the best way to go. With self-imposed goals, it changes the dynamic for people. It’s more about making your book better or finishing than it is about writing as much as you can as fast as you can.

Pantsing (writing with little or no preparation) has its own vibe compared to planning, and it’s important to do what works, whether it’s pantsing, planning, or a mix of both.

I like to think I have a decent amount of self control that allows me to effectively participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. If I didn’t, Camp would be infinitely harder because I’d be stressing about making all my chapters perfect.

For some people, Camp can just become a chore for them because of the way it’s configured.

Cabins in Camp NaNoWriMo also help distinguish it from NaNoWriMo. In a cabin, you work together with up to 20 people to reach your goal. Cabins are great for me because I can be super competitive at times, and this helps me push myself.

For other people, seeing how far their cabinmates are can be a stressful event and pressure them more, which might not be the best course of action.

So most of all, do what helps you be a better writer. Whether it’s the timing that’s off or a lack of inspiration, pick which event works best and give it your all.

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Have you participated in NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo before? Which do you prefer? If you have any questions about these events, I’d be more than happy to answer them 😊

5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo vs. Camp NaNoWriMo

  1. I’ve done both! I have to say I prefer NaNoWriMo because there’s a definite target of 50,000 words and I’m a bit rubbish at making my own goals and sticking to them!
    Good luck if you’re participating this November 🙂 I’m going to try again myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nope! camp takes place in april and july while nano’s in November, but they’re all really fun and helpful to get motivated!


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