Last year, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo mainly because I wanted to connect with other writers and try my hand at writing 50,000 words in one month. While I enjoyed and definitely learned from the experience, I ultimately decided NaNoWriMo isn’t right for my writing habits. I typically draft at a fast pace, but I write all my first drafts longhand, which makes counting words a lot trickier. I found myself focusing too much on finishing a scene so I could transcribe it and add it to my word count and not enough on the writing itself and the (for me, vital) process of editing as I typed up my first draft.
But I love encouraging fellow writers, and NaNoWriMo gives me the perfect chance to do that as people around the globe all work toward the same goal. This year, my library will be an official Come Write In location, and I’ll be using our social media pages to encourage and advise my community’s writers. I’ll also have a display with useful books and handouts, and a program halfway through the month to give those who are stuck a bit of a boost. If it goes well, we may host more events next year.
And as a writer, I still plan to be a part of the NaNo community this year, but I’ll be doing so from the sidelines. Rather than count my own words, I’m going to cheer on others who are counting theirs, offering prompts and advice on Twitter using the hashtag #nanopepsquad. I’ll still be writing every day, but I’ll be measuring my own success in a way that works better for me. And hopefully I’ll be able to help fellow writers as they work their way to 50k. Because whether we NaNo or not, we’re all in this together.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If not, want to join me on the sidelines?