I’m a huge fan of the Office of Letters and Light and all its various creative endeavors, one of which is Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve talked about it briefly on here before; it’s a 30-day challenge held in June and August during which you write the first draft of a 50,000-word novel.
For first-timers, 50k in 30 days sounds like a lot. It may even sound completely unattainable. But there are people who make it their personal goal to write 100k in those same 30 days. There are others who only strive for 40k or even less. But the quantity of words doesn’t really matter too much, at least to me. What matters is that you’ve written something. You’re one step closer on your novel than you were before. Writing’s not a race.
Camp NaNoWriMo is set up as a challenging goal to meet. It’s not technically a competition, although it can be fun to compete with your friends and with yourself. I’m going to do Camp NaNoWriMo this year, and it will be more challenging for me than other NaNo events since life circumstances have changed. But the most important thing to remember about writing goals and competitions and crazy challenges like NaNo is that you are, above all, writing. And the more you write, the more experience you will gain and the better you will get. Practice makes perfect.