I’ve struggled for nearly a month over what I would make my Camp NaNoWriMo project this year, assuming I’d even participate, because part of me wanted to work on the novel I’d already started and still am nowhere near finishing, and part of me wanted to leave that on the back burner and just begin a whole new one. Unfortunately though, of all the story ideas I’ve come up with lately that I thought I could probably turn into a novel, none were particularly inspiring me to do so at this time. But since you can choose non-fiction for your Camp project, it suddenly occurred to me that I could use NaNo’s writing incentives to spark a continuation of another WIP I’ve neglected for far too long: the one I’ve been periodically publishing to this blog in the form of short articles under the rather ambitious title of Worldbuilding for Fantasy Writers and Gamemasters.
So my goal this month is to write 50,000 words for that series (I will not be counting the already published blog articles toward that final wordcount) and thereby hopefully the next installment, “The Castle Comes to Europe”, will be available for you to read in full on this blog by Lammas Day at the latest, and I’ll also have plenty of additional material to include in future installments. Just by way of comparison, the wordcount of all ten installments of my worldbuilding series already posted to this blog is only approximately 11,720. So my current aim is to write almost five times that amount in just 31 days. It’s not likely that I’ll succeed, but the challenge will almost certainly motivate me to churn out a lot more words than I might have otherwise. After all, it’s been nearly a year since I wrote anything on the subject at all–long enough, perhaps, for all but my most loyal readers to forget that I had attempted anything of the kind in the first place.
So I’m actually more excited about this than I was the last time I did Camp NaNoWriMo back in April, 2021, because I’ll be able to share the results in increments right here within a relatively short amount of time. And after all, Camp is meant to be a more relaxing version of NaNo, as suggested by the very name. Ever since I went to summer camp as a teenager–and maybe even before then–I’ve always loved the idea of camping. Some of my fondest moments playing D&D or similar tabletop roleplaying games (or even the video games emulating them) have been when the party makes camp, usually in the middle of some forbidding wilderness fraught with unknown terrors, sitting around a roaring fire feasting and drinking and telling stories or singing songs, or just shooting the shit and getting to know each other a little better. There’s something about drawing a circle of warmth against the outside world, even if it’s no wider than the glow of a campfire. For a time you’re safe amongst friends, taking a well-deserved rest between adventures, and you can work on yourself and all the other things that everyday life constantly intrudes upon.