Camp NaNoWriMo is a delightful off-season (if you will) NaNo event that is held in the spring every year. Like November’s NaNo, it is a time to push yourself and connect with other writers, but being Camp, it is also much more relaxed. Your options are cracked wide open, so instead of being restricted to just a novel, you can write a screenplay, short story collection, poems, anything your heart desires. The word count can be set to whatever is most appropriate for your project (as opposed to the traditional 50K), and you can be very specific about which medium and genre you’re writing in. Another awesome element are Cabins. You can fill out a quick questionnaire and be put in a small group of 11 people who are working on like projects. You can go with a random selection or pick a group of people you already know. This is incredible for helping you meet others that enjoy writing what you write.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to participate in this year’s first Camp NaNo. Like NaNoWriMo, I have never tried it before, and it sounded amazing to me. Most especially because I COULD WRITE A SCREENPLAY!! I started planning my plot, loosely outlining, building a brainstorming board on Pinterest, putting together a playlist, and getting really excited. But then I looked at all the projects I still have on my plate.
My NaNoWriMo manuscript is still in what I call the “Garbage Draft” stage, and I’m just barely scratching the surface of revisions. I have a feature screenplay that I wrote over the holidays that I’m on draft two or so of and have line edits to type in before sending it out to my screenwriting beta readers (something I’ve been telling them I would do for weeks now). And I still have two pilot scripts for original TV shows that I’ve been working on for YEARS. One is ready for a major rewrite, and the other needs some serious rethinking. Not to mention I’ve been working on some short stories here and there and a joint writing project I’ve been working on with a friend. Do I really want to add another feature script to the pile, even if I’m incredibly enthusiastic about it?
After a long talk about writing with a good friend over coffee the other night, I decided that I really need to focus. My current manuscript needs a lot of attention and will require a lot of hard work to revise it, so it was with a heavy heart that I logged into my Camp NaNo profile, opted out of my Cabin assignment, and changed my project to my manuscript revisions. It wont be as sexy as I had first envisioned, but in the long run focusing on revision my manuscript throughout April will be much more rewarding. NaNo got me into the habit of writing every day. Hopefully Camp will help me be more focused when it comes to revision.
On the bright side, there’s another Camp NaNo during the month of July. Maybe by then I’ll be ready to work on my new feature idea, but for now I’m waving the white flag and digging in.