NaNoWriMo 2013 discussion

General NaNoWriMo > The Social Aspect of NaNoWriMo

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message 1: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
I'm just curious to see how people handle the social side of NaNoWriMo. When November comes, after all the prep work is done and it's time to start writing, do you guys lock yourselves up and become a writing-mad hermit for the month? Or do you hit the writing nights held at various places? Do you spend lots of time on the forums for support, or are you NaNo-ing with friends or family who also write? Or do you try to keep a good balance of both?

Personally, I think it's more fun to connect with other people and do quite a bit of the social aspect. My mom participated last year, too, and it was a blast geeking out with her over it. But I stayed away from the forums, because I ran the risk of hitting my word count in forum posts instead of actual story writing.

So how do you all do it? Or how do you think you'll approach it, if this is your first year?

message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) I don't think I'll be joining writing groups or be on the NaNo forums much, but I think I'll try to interact with users on another forum where I think there will be a NaNo thread. I will definitely be active here though!

message 3: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylareads) I'm currently unemployed, and I'm hoping won't last much longer, as it's really my only reason to leave my house and socialise. I don't have many friends and my closest is 700Ks away, so the Internet is how we communicate. Thus I spend most of my life reading or on the computer, so when NaNo comes around it's really no different to how I always am, I'm just actually writing instead of wasting time on the Internet or staring at a Word document.

No one else in my house writes and they're not overly supportive, which I'm kind of okay about it because my writing's a very personal thing. So I mostly stalk the forums. I love the forums; I get so addicted to the forums. And my online friends are all writers too, so we talk about writing a lot, and we become each other's cheer squad. Last year, we would organise chat sessions around our different timezones and schedules, and hold ten or fifteen minute word wars then compare word counts. One of those friends and I even set a challenge to reach a certain (unrealistic) word count by a certain (unrealistic) day. Neither of us met our counts, but my competitive spirit always comes out in November and I added a significant amount of words to the manuscript.

I tend to limit forum time to after I've met a daily target though, and I've been known to bribe myself to reach said target - like, I can watch an episode of a favourite TV show only when I've written 2K.

I want to go to a write-in this year, but we'll see. I think it would be nice to actually meet face-to-face with other Wrimos and to have real-life writer friends.

message 4: by Farrah (new)

Farrah I met a couple random nanos at barnes and banked last year. I want to get more people involved this year. I like this forum for nano support and my writers group. Lots and lots and lots of coffee

message 5: by Farrah (new)

Farrah Barnes and nobles I meant to say. I'm typing on an iPod and can never get the right word in!

message 6: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
I'd love to hit a write-in, but the only ones that seem to pop up close to my area are up on the Purdue U. campus, and the atmosphere isn't really my thing. (I think I'm getting old!) I've thought about organizing one myself, but I'm kind of shy about that sort of thing. I suspect it wouldn't be attended by anyone other than myself and a friend of mine who is also NaNoing this year.

Coffee! Lots and lots and lots is right, Farrah. I'm thinking about starting to stock up early. ;)

Kayla, I'm a little jealous of the online writing support you described! I have a couple friends who live long distance and we used to do something similar, but for various reasons, we've all drifted apart and my writing network has disintegrated to nothing over the past couple years. I miss it!

Bribery to hit a target? Check. One of the ways I keep myself writing, even in the NaNoWriMo off season. Glad to know I'm not the only one denying myself that TV show (or trip to the bookstore, or cup of coffee, etc) until I've made some real progress. Otherwise I get lazy.

message 7: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylareads) @Cari: We used to have a rather big group of us on a Livejournal community, as we all were writers on Fictionpress, but over the years as we've all grown up and moved on from FP and real life's gotten in the way, most of the old group has dissipated. I really miss it too, all the conversations and laughs. I've managed to keep about four friends though (one I keep in touch with almost daily), but the heavy support only really happens in November, which I guess it when it counts. And it's nice, because they're very intelligent, talented women whose opinions I respect.

One of the ways I keep myself writing, even in the NaNoWriMo off season. Me too! I get so shocked when I think about writing 70K in a month, then taking another six months to finish the remaining 50K. I'm certainly not one of those writers who write two or three books a year.

message 8: by Farrah (new)

Farrah My husband was surprisingly supportive last year and rather adorable about it. He bought me a Nano T-shirt and a gift for when I finished. Although I didn't finish, I got the gift anyway on Dec 1st. This year it should be interesting to see how I am going to work it because we are building a house and it is supposed to be done sometime in November. I will be writing Nano while sitting atop unpacked boxes hehe.

@Kayla--What is Livejournal?

If anyone is in the NJ/Philly area I would gladly help set up a write-in. :)

message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) I don't really have anyone I know personally doing NaNoWriMo, so I'll get my support from here. Also, bribery sounds like it'll work well. I'll have to try that.

message 10: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
" I'm certainly not one of those writers who write two or three books a year." True words, Kayla. Sometimes painful, when I can't even get one finished a year, but probably for the best. I'm not a fan of those authors who kick out so many so quickly, I think the quality suffers. (Or maybe I'm just jealous? Entirely possible!)

Farrah, your husband sounds adorable and awesome! I, on the other hand, am thinking about hiring a babysitter for my boyfriend for the month of November. Maybe I'll mention the story of your husband, see if I can guilt him into at least not bothering me for 30 days. I'll make it into a competition for him, too! ;) And good luck on your house! Here's hoping everything goes smoothly, both building and the move, and remember, if you get too stressed, writing is a great way to relax. (And you'll hit your word count!)

I'm in the Indianapolis area, unfortunately. Although maybe we could arrange simultaneous write-ins in our respective cities? It would be like supportive sister write-ins! Or something. :p

Michelle, I think mostly I'll be doing like you said. Which has some benefits, mainly: forums like Goodreads are available in the middle of the night when I need support. My friends who claim to have these things called "lives" are not. Forums also have a wide range of ways to support: advice, general pick-me-ups, other people having the same issue as you, etc. The wide scale is a plus.

message 11: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylareads) @Farrah: Livejournal is an online journal site, with the ability to create community journals as well. Many of the communities are fandom or graphics related, but I was a member of a few writing ones where we had discussions on anything book/writing related.

@Cari: I think you have to be a certain sort of writer to pump out books continually. Some do it well, like my favourite author who puts out two a year, but then there's writers like James Patterson who I question whether he even writes half his books anymore - and in his instance, the quality does drop a little when characterisation is sacrificed for plot. As a reader, it doesn't bother me much, but as a writer, I feel more satisfied taking a little more time to research and get it down 'right'.

message 12: by Farrah (new)

Farrah @Cari: Good idea on the babysitter. If he is a football fan take advantage of Monday Nights and Sundays! If he likes college football, well that is all the babysitter you will need hehe. Aren't those games on like four days a week! And you right...writing is a great way to relax and purge the mind.

@Kayla: Thanks I will have to check it out.

I love the idea of the simultaneous write-in! We could use this group to push each other on hehe. Or I am on FB too although I don't seem to use it much anymore. Under my full name Farrah Skinner Pileggi. Friend me if you use FB. :)

message 13: by Teralyn (new)

Teralyn Pilgrim I feel the whole point of doing Nano at the same time as everyone else is for the socializing. Otherwise, you could write 50,000 words whenever you want.

I can't begin to tell you how much I loved the forums and the support I got from friends there!

Last year I had kick-off meeting at a cafe. It was low-key and super easy to set up. Four people showed up (I live in a small town). Even though we didn't keep in touch, it was fantastic to talk to someone about writing face-to-face.

This year, I joined a writer's group and most of them want to do Nano. They're going to spread the word. Now we plan on joining forces to have kick-offs and a Night of Writing Dangerously and an ending party when it's over. I plan on putting up flyers at book stores and the local college. This year is going to be off the hook!

message 14: by Farrah (new)

Farrah That was the problem with the local Nano group in my area, from the website. No one would show up. One woman told me that she set up two events and sat there by herself for hours. She got fed up and just stopped. People would say they are attending then just not show.
Is it just me, or does everyone always seem so busy these days? If they Nano'd back in the 50's and 60's there would Nano cocktail parties, Nano pot parties, Nanostock! But even with my friends, it's like it takes three weeks just to set a date because of everyone's busy schedules.
I feel like I do more socializing on the computer via FB, Twitter, etc.. than actually in person anymore.

message 15: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
@ Kayla: agreed! Very much so. I have a certain standard I hold myself to, and though it may not be very high, it doesn't allow me to put half my energy into it and be satisified with that. I'm going to do it right, like you said!

@ Farrah: unfortunately, the boyfriend's not a sports fan at all. I'm going to have to get creative, but that's what I do best. ;)

Okay, we'll definitely have to set up some simultaneous write-ins. I think it would be fun, and we could kick each other in the pants to get going!

I'll admit, I'm already loving this forum, so I can see this is going to be a major part of my socializing/support come November.

Teralyn, I wish I could find someone as energetic as you around here! All that stuff sounds awesome. Although now I'm tempted to host a NaNo cocktail party, mostly for the hilarity value. Maybe I could set it up near the end of the month as a last ditch effort to hit the word count? From past experience I know that while not much good writing happens when the drinks are flowing, a lot of (mediocre/bad) writing does get done, an exceptional amount.

"It doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done! Cocktails provided." <--- the tagline I'll use for the invitations. ;)

message 16: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) Same here, I love all the activity and support here! At first I was afraid not too many people would join, but there will probably be more members once it gets closer to NaNoWriMo :)

message 17: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylareads) I think there's another NaNoWriMo group on the site that gets updated every October when the official NaNo site is reset, so a lot of NaNo-Goodreads members probably only come out during NaNo. As far as I'm concerned NaNo support is a year-round thing; there's always revisions, or new ideas, anything really that could be discussed!

message 18: by Teralyn (new)

Teralyn Pilgrim I agree. I looked at the group from last year, and even though they have 500+ members, it didn't seem like there were many discussions. Maybe we can be cooler than them this year.

message 19: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
I'm sure we'll get more people joining up and active the closer November comes, and until then, I'm enjoying our small little group. The near-constant activity in larger groups is great, but I like the little circles, too. You get a better feel for people, makes it more comfortable and more personal.

@ Kayla: agreed on the year-round thing! This has been a great motivator for me, especially after a winter where I had no inspiration, no motivation, and didn't write a word. My brain has been on fire since joining up here, and there's no better reason than that to keep it up all year long.

Pft, we're already cooler than them. They just don't know it yet. ;)

message 20: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) Definitely, I agree. I like the smallness of the group right now. It's nice because pretty much everyone is active :)

I don't know. From what I could see when I was checking if there was a group for this year yet, all there really was was last year's, and there wasn't as much to discuss. We are already cooler than them ;)

message 21: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylareads) From what I remember from last year, even after the reset, the group wasn't very active. Perhaps being a bigger group, it was kind of redundant because everyone just used the official forum to chat. Like Cari said, smaller groups are more personal and can extend beyond the basic conversations you get on the forums.

message 22: by Farrah (new)

Farrah I dig the smaller groups too. I belong to a few really large ones on goodreads and it gets to be too hectic and busied.

message 23: by Teralyn (new)

Teralyn Pilgrim That's a good point. If we have hundreds of people in this group, how would that be any different from being on the Nano forums?

message 24: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
If we have hundreds of people, I'll never be able to keep track of who's writing what. At least now I recognize names and who's focusing on what for NaNoWriMo. ;)

message 25: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) With forums, it's more like you're leaving a comment and not bothering to check responses later. It's a lot more like conversations here.

message 26: by Farrah (new)

Farrah I can't believe I just found Goodreads a few months ago. It's so much more fun that Twitter and Facebook!

message 27: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) Hmmm...*checks profile* I've been on here for over a year, and I love it!

message 28: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
I've been here since mid-2008, and I'm still in love with GoodReads. By far my favorite site!

message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) And the NaNoWriMo group has been renamed for this year. But I like this group a lot. It's small and easier to know which users are active and communicating ^_^ Next year, I'll rename this group so we can keep it active.

message 30: by Farrah (new)

Farrah I agree I like this group too

message 31: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
I like how we're all getting a chance to know each other (or at least our writer selves) before the craziness of NaNoWriMo kicks in.

message 32: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (nocturne_13) Exactly :)

message 33: by Rhiannon (new)

Rhiannon (running2track) | 63 comments Mod
There's about.....5 of us. And I usually forget about my groups on Goodread (only this one) and then one month later, boom! 50 new notifications....

message 34: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 267 comments Mod
I agree!!

message 35: by Syahira (new)

Syahira I'm in kuala lumpur, malaysia. We had around 15-something for the last write-in. And I found new friends and friends of a friends in the group. So far, my social networking doesnt suffer much.

message 36: by Allisa (new)

Allisa White (allisawhite) nice. I took a break yesterday and caught up with a show. That was definitely nice!

message 37: by Naomi (new)

Naomi (tribalcat) I'm active in the NaNo forums all year long, as I also participated in both camps this year. The cabin system is good for meeting people, but it can be tough to get into a fully active cabin. I've met a couple of writing buddies through the Age-specific forum in NaNo, and we're getting to know each other as well as talking about our writing projects. None of my friends are writers, but it's nice to come online and meet people with similar interests.

message 38: by Allisa (new)

Allisa White (allisawhite) Yeah, my cabin wasn't active at all.

message 39: by Kayla (last edited Sep 12, 2012 09:25PM) (new)

Kayla (kaylareads) I chose not to be in a cabin this year simply because I didn't have the time to dedicate to it, and I refused to be a silent participant. I had a cabin when I did camp last year in August, and only me and my friend were regularly active, with one other girl checking in once a week. Considering at the time my friend and I were chatting daily on tumblr, it was kind of pointless... I like the idea of it, but I don't think they work so well in execution. I much prefer the NaNo forums, because at least the people that are there all year are enthusiastic and you know they're posting because they genuinely want to.

message 40: by Allisa (new)

Allisa White (allisawhite) Yeah, or this group, it really helps.

message 41: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
The cabins were disappointing during Camp NaNo, made me really miss the original flavor NaNo boards and this group. Half the fun is in the community and crazy support pushing towards that 50k mark. Aside from one of my good friends doing Camp, I felt as if I was working through the whole month alone, and it wasn't nearly so much fun. The enthusiasm during November is what makes all the long nights and frustration worth it.

message 42: by Allisa (new)

Allisa White (allisawhite) Definitely.

message 43: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 267 comments Mod

message 44: by Kasi (new)

Kasi Blake (kcblake) | 4 comments This is my first time so I don't know if I'll go into the forums or not. I would love to become friends with other writers because no one I know in my real life writes or cares anything about writing. I get very little support on writing. People sometimes get upset with me because I want to stay in and work on a book instead of running around with them.

message 45: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
Even just reading the forums is enough to get a sense of community. I didn't post on them last year, and it was still a huge boost just seeing what other people were up to. I've got a couple writer friends, but for the most part people don't understand when I say, "No, I can't go out, I'm story plotting! LEAVE ME ALONE!" I guess it's one of the drawbacks to being a writer: we're self-isolating by necessity and people think we're crazy for it.

Oh well. We have more fun than them, and in the end we have something to show for it!

message 46: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 267 comments Mod
"we're self-isolating by necessity"

lol yup!

message 47: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 267 comments Mod
Cari wrote: "The cabins were disappointing during Camp NaNo, made me really miss the original flavor NaNo boards and this group. Half the fun is in the community and crazy support pushing towards that 50k mark..."

Last November I went to a "Writing Retreat" (note the quotes) that was supposed to be based on the NaNoWriMo format. And it was awful. There was NO sense of community, everyone but me was dropping all the swear words that ever existed, the food was disgusting and not a single person there was serious about what they were doing. Everyone but me, that is.
I'm just glad there is a sense of community on here! :)

message 48: by Cari (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
While I'm a major offender in the "use every swear word known to man and then make up a few of my own" category, there's such a thing as time and place, and a "writing retreat" is neither. What's the point of an event like that if there's no attempt at community and nobody seems to really care? Why would anyone bother to go?

And disgusting food is insult to injury. ;) That sounds like a terrible experience.

Thank goodness for places like this! We may be odd, we may be a bit nuts, but at least we're not alone. LOL

message 49: by Allisa (new)

Allisa White (allisawhite) Definitely. I get some support from non-writers and it's really weird and slightly annoying when they ask me questions like if I'm getting it published or asking for characters. They don't get it much. The forums on Nano are great, it's not like I made any great friends or anything, it can just be really interesting to read and help others out. Give it a try, and can be fun!

message 50: by Cari (last edited Nov 01, 2012 08:35PM) (new)

Cari (prettydemons) | 130 comments Mod
NaNoWriMo has officially started! Anyone planning on going to write-ins or other NaNoWriMo gatherings, or is the plan to turn into a social hermit for the next 30 days?

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