What NaNoWriMo events do you participate in?

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 At 10:30 AM

Two weeks until the start of NaNoWriMo 2010!  I'm getting really excited.  One of the things I'm looking forward to the most is attending the events — I love going to the local write-ins and social meet-ups.  I'm usually the only professional writer, but I try to put that all aside and just have fun.

It occurred to me the other day, though, that a lot of the people who read my blog have probably never even been to any of the events.  If you want to check it out, sign in on NaNoWriMo.org and go to the forums.  You should have a forum category dedicated to your area, determined by what you set in your profile.

There are two basic types of events throughout the month, most of them on a weekly basis: social meet-ups, and write-ins.  Don't plan on getting much writing done at the social meet-ups, as they are more so that you can get to know the other writers in your area, talk about your novels, and sometimes even read from your novel.  These meet-ups can also be good for getting help if you get stuck, but mostly they are just for fun and for getting to know one another.

Write-ins are more serious.  Generally the idea is to shut up and write, although a little bit of socialization is sometimes allowed, depending on how anal the members of your group are.  It's a good way to get a couple of solid hours of writing in, though, especially if you've been struggling with motivation.  And then you have one of my personal favorite, the word wars — someone sets a timer, and everyone writes like the dickens for ten minutes or so.  When the timer goes off, you see who has the highest word count.

Once during the month, usually toward the end for those desperate folk who have gotten behind, there is an all-day write in, called a write-a-thon.  The area leaders usually plan this, and there are various prizes for word wars throughout the day.  I attended one in 2008, and it was a lot of fun, though we were all spazzed out on caffeine by the end of the day (the write-a-thon was held in a tea shop).

This year will be my first year attending the kickoff party.  Usually this one is held at someone's house, since it is held Halloween night, and everyone starts writing at midnight local time — not many places are open late enough for something like that.  But this year, we have a wonderful 24-hour bookstore and coffee shop that opened up near me, so that's where the kickoff party is being held.  I'm so excited!

Do you participate in any local events during NaNoWriMo, and if so, which ones?

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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