It’s just turned April – why are we already talking about NaNoWriMo?
Last November, DWL and I, the Pakistan Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo, teamed up to provide support and writing space for local writers who wished to tackle the National Novel Writing Month challenge – produce 50,000 words of an original manuscript in 30 days. We had tremendous success with our NaNo events. Last year boasted the highest number of Pakistani participants, and the most winners (those who made the word count) than any previous year. We were incredibly proud of our efforts and the writers who came together to participate. We had a lot of energy to move forward with our novels. The future seemed bright.
So be honest – how much writing have you done since November ended?
It’s ok. You’re not the only person to power through NaNo only to find themselves burned out on the other side. Either you feel a little creatively empty, or real life starts creeping back in, or you think, ‘I’ll take a couple of days off and pick up again in a little while.” Suddenly, that little while turns into months and it’s November again, your draft from last year gathering virtual dust in your harddrive. Life happens to you and writing gets shoved aside. Again.
As part of their effort to encourage authors to make writing part of their daily lives, The Office of Letters and Light, the non-profit behind NaNoWriMo, started sponsoring other events throughout the year. January and February are ‘Now What’ months, where the program offers support for editing and rewriting of NaNo projects. In April and July, they run ‘Camp NaNo’, a NaNoWriMo-lite program where the participants set their own word count goals and divided into ‘cabins’ instead of regions to find support from other writers. Camps are looser, faster, and less rigid than the main fall event, allowing campers to fit their writing goals to their regular lives. 50,000 words too much to tackle right now? Aim for 25,000 or 10,000 or commit to a month of editing your neglected first draft. Write 5 pieces of short fiction or 10 poems or 30 blog posts – set the goals that you want, or more importantly, that you need.
This April, DWL and I will once again be offering write in sessions, as well as online support and advice through Camp NaNo. If you haven’t yet signed up on our forums, please do so here: http://www.desiwriterslounge.net/forums/index.php. We also have a cabin on the Camp NaNo site, http://campnanowrimo.org – feel free to contact me, Slay Belle, to get added.
So the question is —what are you doing in April?