Ian Philpot

Last April, I was working on a play for Script Frenzy—a thirty-day challenge to write one hundred pages of a stage play, screen play, or any other type of script. Just a few days after Script Frenzy ended in 2012, the Office of Letters and Lights (OLL)—the folks who put on Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo—made the decision to discontinue Script Frenzy.

A few weeks ago I received an email from the OLL that there would be a self-regulated writing experience in April called Camp NaNoWriMo. I immediately signed up, set a goal of twenty-five thousand words, and started making plans for what I would write—more stories about Alan Staph.

2013 Camp NaNoWriMo Participant BadgeAfter my first week at camp I’m a little behind my goals, but I’m optimistic.

Last year, I went to a writing conference in the middle of Script Frenzy. I was writing my script in two different writing programs (because I didn’t know which was better). And I wasn’t sure about some major details of my plot.

This year, I don’t have any of those problems. I don’t have any travel plans this month. I’m using Google Docs to keep my writing together. And my story is based completely on brief narratives from my character, so I don’t have major plot points to hit.

One of the lures of Camp NaNoWriMo is that each writer is put into a cabin with other writers to encourage each other and build relationships. While I think this is a great idea, my cabin hasn’t really been talkative. Which, if I had ever gone to camp, is exactly what I would expect from a camp experience.

So I’ve taken things into my own hands and joined a new cabin—one that includes a coworker of mine. At the very least, she and I will talk about our writing at work, and that should be all of the motivation/accountability I need to keep writing through the rest of April.