If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo.org it refers to National Novel Writing Month which is November. Chris Baty and his team started NaNo in 1999 as a fluke. They all had talked about “someday” writing a novel. In July of 1999 they committed to it; 50,000 words in 31 days. Check out NaNo’s History when you have a little time.
Several years later they came out with ScriptFrenzy, a wild attempt at a 100 page script in thirty days. That was interesting, learning how to format scripts was a great exercise but it seems many people didn’t have the patience, time or interest and it never quite took off.
Now the powers that be at NaNo decided to turn ScriptFrenzy into a more flexible NaNo and called it CampNaNoWriMo. Then they added a second Camp month. Then they rearranged. Now CampNaNo is held every April and July.
The goal for each November is participant is 50,000 words of a brand new work of fiction, preferably reaching The End, all in thirty days (rebels are welcome though). But CampNaNo is much more flexible. Camp allows us to pick whatever we want to write and create our own goal.
NaNo has two very passionate camps. There are those who hate it and think it’s a waste of time and there are those who love it and would never get anywhere writing without it. I like it because it gives me something official that allows me to look at my family and say, “I have writing to do.” And they respect it. It was a great way for me to move a writing lifestyle into my household without a huge war. Now, nobody even blinks when I say I have writing to do. It’s also helped me establish a little self-discipline.
Do you NaNo? Why or why not and has it helped you?