On August 1, I will go to camp — Camp NaNoWriMo, a virtual writers retreat where “campers” create 50,000 words of fiction in a month, similar to the parent competition in November, the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The point of writing a book in a month is to get the story out (probably the hardest part, in my opinion) without obsessing over quality, which should come much later, and can get in the way of an early draft.

Camp NaNoWriMo puts writers into groups of four or five “campers” based maybe on age, genre and musical tastes/hobbies.  I feel like I’m going to be a hard one to place: I’m a 37-year-old former-lawyer, former-yoga teacher, a country-music-loving literary fiction writer who adores Sherman Alexie and Zadie Smith and hanging out with my family.  Are there others like me out there — could I really have a group???

I’ve put my current novel on hold over the summer to focus on writing short stories, and it’s been great to explore new stories and characters, and to actually finish something, even if it is just an eight page story.  I’ve got some ideas turning in my head for novel #2, and I will explore one of those ideas next month, as I march towards 50,000 words.

August is Camp NaNoWriMo.  Who’s with me?  Let’s do this…


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