NANOWRIMO SURVIVAL GUIDE: Find writing buddies

Some friends and I being dorky during last year’s Writeathon. Hipsters gonna hipster.

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Note: Apologies again for another late post! Ugh. I didn’t manage my time too well last week, and … well, tardiness happened. We should be back on schedule next week.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I believe a writer fares best when they are surrounded by a supportive and encouraging community. I think this true particularly for wrimos. While Nanowrimo is unquestionably a time of fun and hilarity, it’s also one of the most strenuous creative experiences I’ve ever gone through. (Think marathon, but with noveling.) As if pumping out an original novel isn’t hard enough, you’ve signed up to do it within 30 days, at less than 1,700 words a day. That means lots of late nights, sleep deprivation liek whoa, and a potentially unholy amount of coffee consumption. Under such conditions, it’s incredibly easy for wrimos to kowtow to discouragement.

That’s where writing buddies come in.

If you have friends or family who are doing Nanowrimo, recruit them! Try to write together, if schedules and geographical constraints allow. Go to your favorite writing places as a group, or take turns hosting each other for daily write-ins. Even if you’re not talking, the camaraderie from physically being together makes a difference. It’ll help everyone to stay on track and focused—not to mention, being a heaping dose of encouragement. If you can’t write together, or prefer to work solo, check in with each other periodically. Use e-mail/ text/g-chat/Skype to ask how progress is going, or to send words of encouragement, or even offer suggestions if someone is having a hard time writing their main character out of a particular situation.

If you don’t know of anyone who is also doing Nanowrimo, recruit fellow writers, or studious college students. (I kid you not; November is midterm season; who else will be staying up all hours doing work?) Or look up your local region and see if you can connect with any writing groups, or community write-ins.

Ask around this week, and let me know how that goes.

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Readers — What has your experience been like with finding and working alongside writing buddies?

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