How to Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo

How to Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo is a more relaxed version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of a story during the month of November. You earn badges and achievements on the website for completing word count goals and other milestones. Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and July. The best part? You decide your goal for the challenge.

Unlike NaNoWriMo, you’re not locked into 50,000 words for Camp. Last April I kept track of writing minutes. Since the only option to track on the NaNoWriMo website is word count, I used the formula 1 minute of writing = 1 word for tracking. My goal was 1,800 minutes writing during the month, so on the website the tracker had an 1,800 words target. If you need to edit a project, you could track the number pages revised or minutes editing for Camp.

Another unique feature of Camp NaNoWriMo is the cabin system. You can search for other writers in your genre or partner with your friends to form an online cabin where you can post encouraging messages and hold each other accountable.

To sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo and more details, visit and create a profile. If you already have a profile from participating in NaNoWriMo, all you need to do is announce a new project on the website and select the option to associate it with Camp NaNoWriMo.

This post contains affiliate links, including and MasterClass.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

How to Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo

Here are some steps you can take now to prepare for Camp. Even if you don’t do everything on the list, completing some of these tasks will make Camp much more fun.

  • Set a goal. Think about what you want to accomplish during Camp. Do you need to meet a word count goal? Do you need to work through edits? Are you trying to build a writing habit? Journaling might help you clarify what you most would like to work on during camp. After you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish, make your goal as specific as possible. It will make it easier for you to track your progress.
  • If you will be working on a first draft, consider writing an outline or synopsis so you can start the first day of Camp with a clear plan. If you are new to plotting, a book on the topic I’ve found to be helpful is Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. You can find it here. You could also try the Snowflake Method, where you grow an idea from a one-sentence summary to a full outline. This post has a more detailed explanation.
  • Catch up on your to-be-read pile, or pick up a book in the same genre as your project for inspiration. Use your local library if you’re on a budget. Many libraries are using curbside pick-up right now, and some also lend out e-books through Overdrive and Hoopla. You could also sign up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and access thousands of books for free, including my serial. Make sure to cancel your subscription before your trial is over if the service isn’t a good fit for you.
  • Start building a writing habit now. Set aside 10 minutes a day to write so you can ease into longer sessions when Camp begins.
  • Let your friends and family know about your plans to participate in Camp. They can cheer you on and hold you accountable. It also lets them know you have a project to work on and may not be as available for the month.
  • Brainstorm easy meals to make and consider meal planning. Pinterest is a great resource for recipes. If you’re the main cook in your household, this will free up more time during the month.
  • Look for writing prompts for inspiration. Pinterest, Tumblr, and Reddit are all great sources for prompts if you’re feeling stuck.
  • Watch YouTube videos on writing craft. This lecture by Brandon Sanderson is popular with science fiction and fantasy writers.
  • Take an online class. My favorite series of courses are on MasterClass. There are 80+ instructors of all kinds of subjects, including writing, acting, cooking, fashion, music, and more. This is a good way to get an in-depth look at a topic. For writers, aside from the benefit of access to a dozen writing courses, you could take classes related to your project. Notable writing instructors include Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, and Margaret Atwood. I recommend purchasing the All-Access Pass because a single course costs $90. The All-Access Pass is $180 for one year with unlimited access to all the classes. Even if you only take three courses, you’ll save money. You can find more information here.
  • Don’t forget to sign up on the website and announce your project!
  • Look for cabin mates, either on the NaNoWriMo website or online.
  • Join the official NaNoWriMo Facebook group for more support. The group is active year-round.

More Resources for Camp NaNoWriMo

In this blog post, I share ideas of preparing for NaNoWriMo in a bullet journal. Even though the demands of Camp NaNoWriMo can be less strenuous, many of the tips can still be applied. You can read the post here.

If you purchase anything from the links below, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support!

I write more about the bundle here, but the Write Publish Profit 3.0 Super Stack is a wonderful resource if you’d like to take your writing to the next level. For $49, it includes my favorite editing software, ProWritingAid (normally $79 for a yearly subscription), classes, ebooks, and so much more, all designed to help you become a successful author. The deal ends on June 17th. You can find it here.

Write Publish Profit 3.0. This bundle ends on June 17th. It includes software, courses, ebooks, and more, all designed to help you become a successful author

One of my favorite courses on MasterClass is Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling. The video lectures are a perfect pep talk if you’re having writer’s block or looking for inspiration. He covers everything from short stories to comics to novels. The class workbook is full of exercises and an extensive list of recommended reading to further improve your writing. You can watch a preview of his class here.

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling

I already mentioned some of these books in this post, but here are some of my recommendations to add to your reading list. I’ve read and loved all of these books.

Good luck with Camp NaNoWriMo and have fun!

How to Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Write Publish Profit 3.0

Write Publish Profit 3.0 Super Stack

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here

I’ve bought the Write Publish Profit bundle two years in a row because it comes with a year’s subscription to ProWritingAid, my favorite editing software. The entire stack is $49. Usually, a yearly subscription to ProWritingAid is $79. It’s well worth the cost because it goes above and beyond simple grammar editing. While it doesn’t take the place of having beta readers (I have the notes from mine to prove it 😅), it does help point out weaknesses and strengths in my writing. It has been a huge help in cleaning up my drafts.

Also included in the stack are classes, books on writing, Novel Factory, an extended trial to Campfire, and more resources for writers. Here is a list of what’s included:

  • 19 ecourses ($4,2674.99 value)
  • 11 ebooks ($79.24 value)
  • 3 video masterclasses ($275.00 value)
  • 3 exclusive K-lytics Genre Reports ($111.00)
  • 50% off professional cover design
  • 50% off professional interior book design and formatting
  • 6 month pass to a private writer’s community
  • ProWritingAid Premium (1 year subscription)
  • Novel Factory Basic (1 year subscription)
  • Online eCover Creator (1 year subscription)
  • Extended free trials to premium software and apps like Authorcats, Storiad Book Marketing Platform, Campfire Pro, Kindle Ranker, and more.
  • PLUS: templates, workbooks, checklists, and more…

For me personally, buying it for ProWritingAid alone makes the bundle worth it. If this sounds like something you could use, here is my affiliate link:

The offer ends on June 17th.

If you purchase through my link, I earn a percentage of the sale that will help me to reinvest in my writing.

NaNoWriMo Prep in Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal Layouts for NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo Prep: Free Resources and Layout Inspiration

About NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month is a fun, free event that happens every year in November. The challenge is to write 50K words in one month or on average, 1,667 words every day for 30 days. It sounds difficult, but with proper planning, it is a feasible goal. Anyone can participate, even those who want to write for the sheer joy of it and any genre is welcome. Some people even write fanfiction! There are also NaNoWriMo rebels who write poetry, flash fiction, and other forms of writing with the goal of writing a cumulative 50K words in 30 days. If writing a novel is on your bucket list, read on for tips, tricks, and inspiration for completing NaNoWriMo. (For more information about the challenge, please visit

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

Preparing for NaNoWriMo in my Bullet Journal

Last year, I completed my first NaNoWriMo under a pen name. This year, I created a new account under my real name and I’ve made more of an effort to prepare in my bullet journal. I asked in the official NaNoWriMo Facebook group for ideas for Preptober (the term many writers affectionately call October and is credited to Rachael Stephen.) Using the resources I found through Pinterest and the Facebook group, I’ve made a bullet journal for my work in progress so that by November 1st, I’ll be ready to write. Below are the first few pages of my set-up:

Preptober Goals Page

Preptober Checklist
This is my to-do list for October. It’s a long list but it helps me stay focused on having a successful NaNoWriMo.

Calendars and Preptober Schedules

Preptober calendar
I’m using these two calendars as guidelines for tasks I’d like to get done in October to prepare for NaNoWriMo. I may not do everything on these lists but I like having options.


NaNoWriMo Instagram Challenges and Prompts

Preptober Prompts
These are Instagram challenges and prompts I’m working on through October.

Sources for printables:

For more layout inspiration, follow my Instagram account here.

This year’s NaNoWriMo is particularly dear to me because I’ll be working on the first draft of a novel idea I’ve had for years. Though I’ve had the basic idea for a long time, I’m struggling with the fear of my idea turning out to be terrible. I’m determined to get over my worries about writing an awful first draft and finally finish writing my story.

No one writes a perfect first draft.Click To Tweet Any mistakes I make or plot holes can be fixed in editing, after the first draft is written. NaNoWriMo will help me silence my inner critic and focus on getting the story out. I’ll still be working on it in December, as my current outline puts my novel between 90K and 100K words, but having the first half of the draft done by November 30th will be rewarding.

If you are participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a writing buddy. My username is simplykelseyjo. We can keep each other accountable and send encouragement on the days the words aren’t coming fast enough.

NaNoWriMo Resources

Below, you will find some of my favorite resources for getting ready for NaNoWriMo:

What are your favorite resources for NaNoWriMo? Please share with me in the comments. I’m always looking for more inspiration to keep me motivated while writing.

NaNoWriMo Prep: Free Resources and Layout Inspiration for Bullet Journals