How to be a Camp NaNoWriMo Cheerleader

Camp NaNoWriMo.Happy April! This month, writers all across the globe are challenging themselves to write a book in thirty days. I think of Camp NaNoWriMo (which takes place in April and July each year) as the underappreciated sibling of November’s NaNoWriMo. Writers work just as hard in Camp NaNo, but it’s far less recognized than the big event in November.

I think the lack of recognition for Camp NaNoWriMo means campers need even more cheerleading from friends and family. I’m not doing Camp NaNo (I thought about it, but I’m revising at the moment), but I know several writers who are. If a writer in your life is sweating through Camp NaNo this month, here are some things you can do to help them reach their goals.

  1. Cheer them on! Check in with an email or text every so often. When they reach daily/weekly goals, celebrate with them! (This can be as simple as tweeting “Great job” or sharing a funny video as a reward for reaching a goal.)
  2. If the writer has kids/siblings/elderly parents they take care of, offer to help with caretaker duties for a few hours.
  3. Make or bring them dinner. Fast drafting takes a lot of energy, and it’s really easy to lose track of time when you’re trying to write thousands of words a day. Having a night where you don’t have to think about dinner would be a huge help.
  4. Ask them how they’re doing. Some writers like to talk about their works in progress; others hate it. By asking an open question like, “How’s everything going?” you can invite them to discuss their work without making them feel forced to come up with a pitch on the spot.
  5. If they want to talk about their book, listen! If they’re stuck on something and want to talk through it, offer to be a sounding board.

There are plenty of other ways to cheer on your writing buddies, but these are the top five things my writing friends and I like to do for each other when one of us is fast-drafting.

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? If so, how is everything going?

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