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I wasn’t planning on doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have enough time, that I was swamped with work and that my other projects didn’t fit into the Camp NaNoWriMo experience. Unfortunately, my brain didn’t cooperate with this particular plan. The story that I’ve been working on in my spare time for fun has been in my thoughts a lot lately and after about 8,000 words of ‘zero draft’, I decided that I wanted to give these characters a real shot.

So, here I am, giving Camp another chance.

I ask myself why I do this particular activity a lot. I’ve never won the main event in November and I’ve only successfully ‘won’ the Camp event once in the 7 years that I’ve participated. Seven years. To say that record is a bit disappointing is an understatement. So, why bother? What is it about the event that keeps bringing me back?

I suppose a large part of it would be the community. For three months out of the year, my writing and I get to be a part of something more, something that people love and are truly excited about. There’s something amazing in that amount of enthusiasm, that feeling of boundless energy that floods each participant’s life on the first day of a new NaNo event.

The gadgets are pretty awesome, too. The word count chart is on of the most inspirational devices that I’ve found. Seeing that meter climb is nothing short of awesome.

The sites are laid out really well in regard to that work/fun balance and there’s always a way to be involved—whether it’s unloading your writing woes on the forums or challenging another participant to a sprint or dare. The pep talks are another really great feature. So many of my favorite writers have given talks for the NaNo events and reading those words feels like I’m getting a personal ‘you can do it’ from the people that I look up to the most.

On a personal note, the NaNo events provide a challenge. As a person, a writer, and someome who wants to be a professional. NaNoWriMo pushes my limits while also helping me not take myself quite so seriously.

Perhaps that’s why I come back to NaNoWriMo over and over again.

Or, maybe, it’s just because these events are a whole lot of fun.