(Full disclosure: I wrote this post before July even began because I knew things were going to get dicey once I started work on my novel. Since I wrote it while I had NaNo on the brain and was still feeling relatively positive about the process, it seemed like a good theme. Since this is Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ll be focusing on that.)
The basic idea behind NaNoWriMo is to provide a deadline for people, to build a community to support them as they work toward that deadline, and even provide a few incentives to reach that goal. In general, that means writing 50,000 words in a month. During Camp NaNoWriMo, it’s a little more flexible in terms of what’s being written and how much, but the idea is still to offer a goal for people who might otherwise have a hard time finishing their novels (or editing them, or putting together an anthology of poems, or whatever else).
Camp is perfect for use as a writing platform for that very reason. In November, everyone pretty much devotes their time to writing a full-length book. There’s lots of motivation, which gets you to create the thing you’re selling and do it a lot faster than otherwise. In April and July, there are ways to tweak the process so you can work on that big marketing push, or pound out a certain number of query letters.
Even if you’re going the traditional route and working on a novel, you can still write a synopsis of your novel to post it on the site, or design a cover and compare it to your cabin mates. And remember, the writing itself is the base of every writing platform. Being able to tell editors you can knock out 50,000 words in a month and you have proof, that’s a pretty big achievement.
I’m of the opinion that everyone should try NaNoWriMo, and Camp is the best time to do that since you don’t have to do 50,000 words. You can do 30,000 or 5,000, and it still counts. And it’s only been a week now, so there isn’t much to catch up on.