Have you ever thought about writing a book? Have you ever come up with every excuse, and even more unique ones no one else could think of? According to iamselfpublishing.com 90% of Americans want to write a book. (This article also, kind of obviously, talks about self publishing- which we’ll discuss in another blog post) If that statistic is true, why hasn’t every story been written yet? Because we don’t have yours.
I don’t even remember when I started writing. My mom says I have been writing stories since I picked up a pencil. Which is totally cool, but I honestly can only remember one story I wrote before I reached middle school. So we’re going to focus on middle school and on. Because that’s what’s relevant. That’s why you’re here.
In 7th grade I joined a writing club called Writer’s Ink. In this club we met every Wednesday, just as a space to write our stories. Sometimes we had visitors, but for the most part we were writing our books. Then a few months later November came around. November is US’s National Novel Writing Month. Which is every writer’s holiday, right? My writing teacher introduced us to NaNoWriMo. This is a free platform where several thousands of writers get together and write at least 50,000 word novels (each) in a month. There’s forums to go for questions and to share excitements or frustrations. It’s expanded to Twitter and Facebook too, and a long time ago it left the US and is now famous all over the globe. It’s the month most writers look forward to.
When November isn’t here, we all have lives and stuff. But that’s super boring and writers get bored and stuff. So the creators of Nanowrimo created Camp Nanowrimo. This is two months of the year (April and June) in which the stress isn’t as high, you’re “sorted” into “cabins”, (where you can either choose to have it randomized or pick specific similarities between you and your cabin mates) and the variety of projects is higher. For example, instead of starting a whole new project for April 2019 Camp Nanowrimo, I’m choosing to do a revision (on my November 2018 Nanowrimo project) and measure it by hours worked on rather than words. Both programs give you ways to track your projects and so many fun options to personalize your “camping” experience.
I mentioned that this year I’m doing a revision for my project for Camp. The other options to choose from are novel, nonfiction, poetry, script, short stories, or even other. That’s a HUGE variety of options! And then, beyond that, you can choose to measure your progress by hours, words, minutes, lines, or pages. So you can fit this challenge to YOUR individual life experience. It’s really a pretty fantastic way to prepare for Nanowrimo, or really just to get yourself motivated to write.
I honestly think Camp Nanowrimo is a challenge every person should attempt at least once in their life. If April doesn’t work for you because you’re in school, choose the June session. (But you should definitely do April as well to see what you need to do to make June work.) If a random website isn’t enough of a challenge, I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to put pen to paper (or to put your fingers to the keyboard) and write that story you’ve always wanted to write. Write that fan-fiction, write that collection of scary stories, write the most beautiful poetry that proclaims all of your deepest pains, write the satire Shakespeare would be proud of. Just write. Only you can write the story in your heart. Write it. You don’t even have to share it with anyone. Just prove to yourself you can do anything you put your mind to.
Join me, (and you can find me under the username I created in middle school: Mandy_Rose ) as I write my revision for 100 hours in April. Join me and show me what wonderful worlds you can create. Join me, and show yourself that you are capable and brilliant. Join me, and just write.