Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo before? If not, that's okay. Personally, I never knew what it was until a couple of years ago. This crazy little acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month and it takes place in November. Within that month, you're supposed to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. I remember the rush of excitement I first felt when I saw the poster tacked up on a bulletin board at my college. My thought was that this was it. This was the push I needed to finally finish writing that novel that I'd been obsessing over in my head. Well...it didn't happen that year, and it didn't happen the next year either. Each November, I logged into the website (found here), typed in my novel information, wrote about ten pages and promptly gave up. That's when I realized just how hard it is to write a novel in a month, especially when you're dealing with school full time and a part-time job that you always seem to be rushing off to. My dream of becoming an author remained just that: a dream.
Earlier this spring, however, I found out that NaNoWriMo has a summer version of their November writing festivies: Camp NaNoWriMo. It's basically the same thing as the original idea, but it takes place in June. It's actually kind of cute. They place you in a "cabin" with "cabin mates" that serve as a way to get inspiration or a source of encouragement as you trudge through writing that novel you've been promising yourself you'd finally create.
By May, I'd already written a good amount of my current project, The District. I was starting to really feel serious about this writing thing and thought, Why not? Yes, I know, I'm sort of cheating since I started writing in April, but who really cares? It's not like you get any real prizes when you win NaNoWriMo events other than bragging rights, so I can't feel too guilty about it. It's kind of exciting to watch your word count rise as you continue to write a little each day. I feel accomplished because this is the most I've ever written (and I might actually win this year!). The best feeling though is that my dream is starting to feel more and more real every day.