The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

NaNo WriMo Tip #2: Make Friends

We're one week through NaNo. Three to go! How are you doing so far? Have you been to any local write-ins? Last night, I went to an amazing write-in here in Cary, NC. We had 12 people there. We ran period word sprints, got to talk and find out about each other's work, and enjoyed hot coffee and snacks together. It was so much fun! I got over 2,000 words written within the 3 hours we were there, and more importantly, I made some new friends.

Writing is a solitary life. Sure, writers get together to talk about craft and critique each other's work every once in a while, but when it comes down to it, it's just you and the blank page. NaNo WriMo isn't just about writing a 50,000 word book. It's about doing it at the same time as thousands of other people. It's about the collective struggle. It's about the community.

If you're doing NaNo this year, but you haven't had the nerve to go out to one of your local write-ins, you might really be missing something. I know it can be hard to walk into a cafe or library you don't know very well and search for a NaNo sign or a group of writers hard at work on their laptops, but it's one of the most valuable experiences of the month of November.

My first year doing NaNo, I didn't go to a single event. I wrote alone and stayed home. I was solitary. And really, other than a higher word count, it wasn't that much different or more exciting that a regular writing month. But last year, I broke out of my shell and went to some write-ins. At one, I met Jennifer. We hit it off right away and exchanged buddy info and email addresses. About a week or so after NaNo, she emailed and invited me to join a critique group. Through that, I met Erica, and the three of us are still working together. To be honest, they have become two of my best, most valuable friends in the world. And I never would have met them without a NaNoWriMo write-in.

Many of us who do NaNo are full-time, serious writers. Writing is an all year thing. But try to remember that NaNo is about more than just the writing. It's about belonging to a group of people - writers - who share your dreams and fears and interests. So get out there and find a local write-in. Meet people. Exchange email addresses and user names. Make friends. It could change your life.

2 comments:

Hither Jem November 9, 2010 at 8:50 PM  

I definitely see what you mean and as someone who is doing this for the first time its hard when everyone has written so much already and has a lot of experience with writing and you are just trying to expand your writing horizons. Also busy schedules and life usually don't help with making the write-ins.

George November 15, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

We're going to need more tips only two weeks left!

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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