As we talk about how to participate in NaNoWriMo, how to succeed, and all of the other wonderful subjects related to the event, remember your friends. I’ve done NaNoWriMo on my own. It was interesting and my writing ability increased. I’ve also down NaNoWriMo with friends. Now that was fun.
NaNoWriMo allows writers to connect with other friends who are participating. You might want to contact your writing friends and colleagues ahead of time so you can find out who is doing the event and share usernames and other pertinent information as soon as possible. Why bother? Because working with others increases our chances at success and makes the experience more enjoyable in many ways.
Encouragement: Engage with your friends early so you can set up communication. It might be fun to have a group email or text where you can encourage, inspire, and throw in a brag here and there. Best of all, if you get discouraged, your writing friends can help keep you going.
Competition: A healthy competition can keep us motivated and keep goals interesting. Last time I did NaNoWriMo, I enjoyed checking on my friends’ progress to see how I compared. When I came up short, I couldn’t help but work a little harder the next day to catch up, and the next day after that, to pull ahead. It was all friendly, and I ended up with more words than some of my friends and lost to others, but I managed to succeed at my NaNoWriMo.
Companionship: In the end, sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing you’re not alone. Many of my writing friends refer to our group as “tribe.” Many times, just knowing there are other people with similar interests, challenges, and crazy stories swirling through our brains, can bring comfort and its own kind of encouragement.
So now it’s time to start gathering your tribe, recruiting for NaNoWriMo, and prepping for a month of hard-working fun. Good luck, and may the words be with you.