NaNoWriMo Write In Events – 5 FAQs

Hands to keyboardWhat is a Write In?

Believe it or not, a Write In is exactly what it sounds like. A group of writers show up at a designated place and time with their laptop (or tablet or pencil & paper) to write. It’s not meant to be a discussion about the craft of writing. It’s not a workshop on how to get published. It’s not a critique group or a marketing session.

A NoNoWriMo Write In is all about massive word count production.

Are you serious? You just sit there and write?

Yes and no. Some writers might show up, plug in earphones and say nothing to anyone for the full 2 hours. And that is OK. Some writers might want to interact more by calling out questions to the group such as “I need plot help, how can I get an elephant into a bathtub?” or “Do ninjas wear shoes?” or “Does anyone know how to turn off the auto-correct on my Word file?” And that is also OK.

The key most important thing is to write, write, write! And then write some more.

That’s all there is to it?

Well, there will be a very brief round of introductions at the start. If enough folks are interested, we may have word sprints where we set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write as fast as possible to see who has the most words when the timer goes off. I may throw out kooky challenges like adding an item/key word to the scene your working on. Examples include “Add a Ninja to your scene” or “Something explodes.” Participation in word sprints and writing challenges is strictly voluntary. If someone is cruising along on their heartwarming knitting romance, they may not care to add a ninja or an explosion. On the other hand, their characters could start discussing how to knit a ninja costume for a beloved grandchild and open a whole new subplot based on Ida Mae’s grandson who is in the hospital suffering from burns. It’s all just silly writing fun, but it could open new plot possibilities.

Why would someone participate in that nonsense?

Some people hate Write In events but I love them. During my first four years of participation in NaNoWriMo, I found the Write In events to be highly motivating. Writing is such a solitary pursuit. It feels good to spend time with others doing the same thing. There is just something so magical about sitting in a room surrounded by the sounds of fingers tip, tap, click, clacking away as fast as possible.

When you listen to music with a fast tempo, you walk faster. When you listen to the cacophony of other productive writers typing fast, you type faster. At least I do.

I want to join a Write In. Is it open to any writer currently working on a manuscript?

Yes! My events will be at two public libraries so they are open to all authors (and aspiring authors) who want to participate. I’m not going to audit the group and/or exclude anyone who has not registered on the NaNoWriMo website (or the Young Writers Program website). That said, I HIGHLY recommend joining the challenge, creating an author profile and a novel. It’s all FREE…and there is something so powerful and motivating about posting word counts online.

Sounds great! When and where can I participate in a Write In?

I’m hosting two write in events in the North Georgia region:

  1. Tuesdays 7:30 – 9:30 PM at the Dawson County Library
  2. Fridays 7:30 – 9:30 PM at the Lumpkin County Library

There are lots of other NaNoWriMo events in North Georgia and all over the world. You can click here to find an event near you.

photo credit: Annette + Powerbook + Teh Interwebz via photopin (license)

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