Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

Camp NaNoWriMo—wait, it’s not in a real cabin?


ImageSo my sister and my writer’s group back home in Madison has a “cabin” at Camp NaNoWriMo and I was invited to join. At first I was like, sorry, wish I could fly back home from Singapore and stay in a quaint cabin on a lovely Wisconsin lake, but I really can’t. Then I found out it was a virtual cabin, lol. So I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo! I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo before but never actually done it. Not because I’m too lazy; mostly because I usually don’t need to set goals around word count. I’m pretty good at cranking them out. Last November, my sister, also a novel writer, finally pressured me into signing up for NaNoWriMo. That girl’s done it–and finished!–several years running now. You go, sister! At the time, I’d finished Hooligans and had started the months and months and (still continuing) process of editing and re-working and that’s what I wanted to focus on, so I as a quitter before I even started.

Anyway, now in July, they have a Camp NaNoWriMo. The difference, as I understand it, is that you can set whatever goal you want for word count. It doesn’t have to be 50,000 words. And it’s summer camp themed, and that’s just fun! So I’m all signed up now. A good friend and I are starting a new novel together, have already started I suppose, so now I do need some pressure to write. It’s tentatively titled Rafa and Rose. Click here to see what it’s all about!  So this new novel is what I’ll be focusing on in July, in between all the crazy travels I have coming up in July. Thailand, Cambodia, and Bali! (one of the benefits of living in the concrete jungle of Singapore…all those destinations are a stone’s throw away)

This is what I imagine it’ll be like: (though I don’t know how much pizza there is in Southeast Asia outside of Singapore and apparently Ho Chi Mihn City, which has Pizza Huts)

ImageCamp NaNoWriMo here I come! If only it were a real cabin on a lake…. I’ll just imagine I’m here while I write then, maybe get one of those soothing sounds albums with birds chirping or something.

Image(Fox Lake, Dodge County, Wisconsin)

Or here, but with my laptop on that there picnic table 😛

Image(Kettle Moraine State Forest, Ice Age Trail. Like my Spotted Cow product placement? Oh, Spotted Cow, how I miss you….)

Click here to go to the Camp NaNoWriMo website and learn more!  One of the things I’m most looking forward to with Camp NaNoWriMo is connecting with other writer friends from my old writing group and meeting new writer friends, cuz let’s face it, writers are just amazing people, right? If you’re doing camp NaNoWriMo and want to be my camping buddy, my camper name is “sarahjoydrop.”

Anyway… SARAH!!! Get back to editing Hooligans for the thousandth time! Sorry, sometimes I need to yell at myself. I have to get all the way though it before I start working on Rafa and Rose again….

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? How was your experience? Any tips for meeting your goals?

14 thoughts on “Camp NaNoWriMo—wait, it’s not in a real cabin?

  1. Steve Vernon

    I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo as well this year. It is my first time as well so I can’t offer any tips but I will say this, Sarah.

    Whatever you do – have fun.

    However you feel on Day 15 of the 31 Day Challenge – REMEMBER, this is just words on the screen. No one is going to club you to death with a licorice club if you do not perform to certain expectations.

    Remember – even if you get to the end of Day 31 and ONLY have 35,000 words written rather than the entire 50,000 don’t worry about it. That is STILL 35,000 words that weren’t there at the beginning of July.

    So one more time – say it with me – just have fun!



  2. christineplouvier

    I’ve done NNWM twice and Camp once. I’ll be there next month, in my own cabin, but I like to visit other areas, too. I’ll be working on my WIP (again), and since I’m also developing the companion blog, I only set a 31K word goal. But even with a standard NNWM 50K goal, the “rules” for what you can count are liberal (and their word counter gives a higher count than MSWord does), so I usually can finish with a day to spare, if I push myself (which I don’t like to do).


  3. authorleighmichaels

    Fox Lake! New Glarus beer! Kettle Moraine! I love it! 😀

    I do NaNoWriMo every year, though I’ve never done Camp NaNo. Once a year is all I can handle, since I spend the rest of the year working on what I start in November :-). I love doing NaNoWriMo though! Good luck to you – I hope you enjoy it!


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Haha yes!! Thought I’d slip that in there, do a little positive PR for Wisconsin tourism :P.

      Thanks and happy writing! Maybe I’ll do November, too and we can be NaNo friends!


  4. eclecticalli

    I did Camp Nano in April, it was challenging, but it was awesome. I’m not going to do it for July, figure I have enough self-imposed deadlines on my plate but… it was a lot of fun.
    Have a great time with it!


      1. eclecticalli

        I did meet my goal… but just barely! It was a month in which my Grandfather died suddenly, and I started working full time. Figure that going into a month with a cross-country trip and my grandfathers memorial service (plus continued full time work, and 5-day-a-week-blogging, because I’m crazy) is enough! Though the material I did get written has helped me out a lot with the story I’m currently working on…. (no, will not convince myself to do NaNo before November!)


  5. Desiree B

    I did NaNoWriMo every year since I found out about it and I did my first Camp NaNo in April. There’s no 50k word count goal (like in NaNoWriMo) instead it’s a goal you set for yourself. I like to think of Camp NaNo as a warm up for the real thing.

    Anyway, I’m going to participate next month for the fun of it. Good luck to us both! 😀


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