Camp Anawanna? Not Quite.

Hello again, everyone! Welcome back to another installment of “What the heck am I doing?” I sound like I’m writing a vlog script rather than an actual blog post.

Anyway, it’s almost the beginning of April! Spring has sprung or will have come April 1st. Easter and April Fools Day somehow managed to fall on the same day this year, which means that this is the year for parents to play the best and safest pranks! Seriously, though, can you imagine the look on a kid’s face when they open a mini Cadbury egg only to find a grape? I’d try this with my own kid, but he actually likes grapes, so…yeah.

But, you know, Easter and April Fools Day aren’t the only things that fall on the 1st. Most people might be asking “What else is there? Did I forget a holiday?” I suspect, though, that many others know, and they are either excited or anxious or maybe a bit of both. What am I talking about?

It’s time for camp! Not the kind of camp where you go and learn how to live off the land or what have you. No, I mean Camp NaNoWriMo begins at midnight, and I don’t know about you, but I’m actually super excited for this!

“Ali, pray tell, what is Camp NaNoWriMo?” I’m glad you asked! Camp NaNoWriMo, or just NaNoWriMo in general, is a month dedicated to the art of writing. NaNoWriMo is an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an event that happens throughout November, and the goal is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month. If you get to 50,000 words, congratulations! You win! And before it comes up, this isn’t meant to be a competition against other people. It’s more of a competition with yourself. This isn’t a small feat. 50,000 words is a lot to write. That’s 1667 (or really, 1666.666-repeating) words a day for 30 days. What you’re working on is meant to be the first draft of your novel or the project you decided to start. No revising! That’s what December is for.

Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and then again in July. You don’t have to participate in both camps, but you’re more than welcome to. You can be put in virtual cabins with other participants who can act as your cheerleader or your drill sergeant. They hold you accountable, just as you do for them. It’s nice to have writing buddies who understand the struggle of trying to survive such a daunting task. During camp, you can actually change the goal you want to work towards. You’re not stuck trying to make 50,000 words in 30 days. You can actually set your goal to how much time you want to write, or how many lines you’re going to write, or pages, or if you want to do words, you can change the number of words you want to write. You get a choice of what you want to do.

For me, personally, Camp NaNoWriMo is much more appealing. See, NaNoWriMo is during November. I work in retail. You know what else starts in November? HOLIDAY SHOPPING! In this month, we have two of our busiest days: Thanksgiving, and of course, Black Friday. I don’t work as a salesman or as a cashier. I am part of the team that is more “behind the scenes”. We are the ones who prepare the store for the holiday season. I have to go in an hour or so earlier than normal, which is typically 3-4 hours before the store actually opens. The day before Thanksgiving, I have to stay up until around midnight to make sure everything is ready for the big sales. Black Friday, I have to be at work at 4 in the morning.

And that’s just the expectations of my job. My family has quite a few people who are divorced and remarried; I use to have to go to at least 5 different places as a kid just for Thanksgiving. These days, I thankfully have at most 3 separate dinners to go to, but then you have to figure out WHEN these are taking place between work for everyone, and the different dinners I go to. Add in the fact that I have my son that needs taking care of, the therapy sessions he has to go to, and now my therapy sessions to take into account…I barely have time to think or breathe, let alone write. November is just an awful month for me to try and commit to any particular project.

April, however, is a lot more lax in terms of what needs doing. Yes, I still have work, though it’s not nearly as hectic; I still have my son, and then his spring break and trying to find a sitter; and I still have all of the different therapy sessions, but other than that, there are maybe a couple of birthdays celebrate (including my own). Fewer distractions mean more time, and that time is easily used for writing. ALL THE WRITING!

I’m actually going to treat this as if it were NaNoWriMo. What does that mean? My goal is set at 50,000 words. 1667 words a day. I’m trying to prep as much as I can in 2 weeks time. So far, I’ve managed to get my notes all in one place (you should see all of the notebooks I have dedicated to this novel I want to get written). I know my plot and order of events needs looking at, and for that, I’m going to check out Scrivener (just to clarify, this isn’t an ad for them) since they have a 30-day free trial. I need to make out either a schedule or a to-do list for writing. SUCH PLANNING! MANY DO’S! WOW!


I even made an inspiration board above my desk with mostly quotes from Hamilton. All but two of these (the Rise Up and Nonstop stickers) I found on Pinterest. The stickers I bought from TeeRico.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to let my blog go by the wayside. I’m also planning ahead for that. I’ve made up my mind on 2 posts a week, the posts falling on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are ideas brewing in my head, and I am actually working on getting some of them written ahead of time just so that I don’t fall behind. In both blog life and in writing life. I’m going to be a busy bee until the end of April, but this kind of busy is something I’m looking forward to.

What about you? Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What goals are you setting for yourself? Do you participate in the November NaNoWriMo? Do you even care about NaNoWriMo? I’d like to hear about your experiences and tactics in winning! If you are going to camp, feel free to add me as a writing buddy! I can even add you to my cabin if you’d like! Until next time, my dears!

PS: Who all got that reference I made in my title?

One thought on “Camp Anawanna? Not Quite.

  1. Anthony

    Salute your shorts! #childhoodreborn!
    I am partaking in my first NaNoWriMo this year, and I am in camp to start, and already found a cabin with the coolest person around!
    Good luck in getting your novel started and rolling!


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