Ideas for Camp NaNoWriMo

By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, May 06, 2014 At 12:30 PM

After blogging about Camp NaNoWriMo over the weekend, I found myself thinking about how the flexibility of Camp could be used to the benefit of other goals than just writing.  Traditionally, NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a goal to write an entire 50,000-word novel in one month -- and you're not supposed to work on something you've already started, either.  You can research and outline before the month starts, but you're not supposed to start writing at all until the month starts at midnight.

I have to admit, I've only done it that way a few times, even during November (when the system isn't as flexible with your options for word count goals, type of project, etc.).  In 2011, when I wrote my first Ruby Ransome novel, I was already about 25k into the novel -- I just used NaNo to get the rest out of my head and into reality.  I've also used Camp NaNo to revise, long before they offered that as an option in your project description.

I can think of several different possibilities of what I could use NaNo for this July:
  1. Blogging: Write a blog post every day.
  2. Journaling: Write a journal entry every day.
  3. Revising or rewriting: Work on a set number of pages every day, OR work on revisions for a set length of time every day, depending on how much work needs to be done to each page in general, or how much rewriting is expected.
  4. Niche ebook: Write a chapter, or a section of a chapter, every day.
  5. Write a marketing article every day: Write a short (~500 words) marketing article or press release every day.

I've tossed around all of these ideas as possibilities for July.  For instance, one of my goals for the year is to write a blog post every day.  I am mostly pretty good about it, but if I felt like I needed the extra push -- or if I didn't feel like working on a novel in July -- I could easily make use of the flexible project categories in Camp NaNo and make my goal for July to write a blog post every single day.  I've also been trying to journal regularly again, although I'm not doing that on a daily basis.

The other thing I have thought about using Camp NaNo for is writing one of several ebooks that I have had on the back burner for a couple of years.  I have fairly extensive plans for two of them: an expanded version of the short e-booklet of doll stringing instructions that I sell on one of my other websites, to include some of the more specialized jobs I get asked about on a regular basis, and a companion ebook for my 1920s wedding blog, with ideas for planning a 1920s-themed wedding (which my husband and I did when we were married in 2007).  Both could most likely be written in the space of a month, and it would be nice to get one out of my head and into reality.  It would also give me an opportunity to get my feet wet, so to speak, in the realm of electronic self-publishing.

Another option would be to spend the month on marketing, and write a marketing article or a press release every day, even if they aren't to be distributed just yet.  It's been a while since I've done it, but at one time I used article sites such as Ezine Articles to distribute short marketing articles, primarily to promote the site where I sell my doll stringing ebook.  I have more topics for marketing articles and press releases now: not just the doll stringing ebook, but also my wedding site and my novels.  When it comes to articles and press releases that would need to be timed properly, I could write them and hold them in reserve for when the appropriate time comes.

So many options!  I don't know what I'll actually end up doing with the month, although getting back to work on Ruby Ransome seems the most likely.  I wish there was a NaNo-type challenge every month, so that I didn't have to choose between all these great ideas!

What about everyone else?  Can you think of a goal you could use Camp NaNoWriMo to help you achieve?

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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