The great people who run the National Novel Writing Month campaign send me reminders about Camp NaNoWriMo, which occurs in July for getting a novel started, or a middle grade or picture book written. It's intended to be a smaller scale than November's 50,000 words in 1 month challenge.
I'm not doing any of it.
The wonderful NaNoWriMo people and I haven't had a war of words, I'm not giving up writing to raise alpacas, and I'm not crossing a sea in a dingy with my cat. I still believe in NaNoWriMo, as most of my completed novels were products of that insanity. The NaNo challenge works for me- work like a hellish crazy person and write the novel in 30 days (yes, even Thanksgiving Day) and have the rest of the year to polish and perfect it.
So what's up?
I have several novels that I wrote, revised, and then put aside to work on other projects with my agent and editors. Needing my attention are a time travel novel spanning human civilization, a re-imagining of a Gothic classic, a paranormal-medical mystery, and a middle grade World War II historical. Plus I'm doing another revision on my sci fi NaNo project of two years ago which my agent has gotten interest in if I make some changes. Plus a middle grade animal-science story is going out to a publisher and my agent thinks it would garner more interest as a series so I have to outline several more books to show where the first book will lead.
I have enough on my plate, don't you think?
I won't mention that we're having work done on the house, there are summer camps to drive the son to, and book signings for me, I want at least a 5 day vacation, and relatives may be coming for a visit. You know how busy summer gets, and then before you know it, it's September and the whole school routine starts again.
So for the first time in several years, I'm skipping NaNoWriMo, but I'm taking the skills and the get-it-done determination I've learned and applying it to those other projects. (I'm even skipping yoga this morning to finish my read through before the contractor gets here to start work.)
Maybe you have a manuscript or two that need a lot of attention. Or you don't feel up to writing a new novel during the frantic holidays. Skip writing a new one and use the companionship and camaraderie of this community to help you freshen and fix up that old manuscript sitting in the drawer- the one you still love, but which needs a ton of loving attention. Instead of posting words written, you could post words revised.
Whatever your writing goals, use NaNoWriMo to help you achieve it. Stay plugged in and energized.