With November upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on what makes you the writer you are, and how the rest of the NaNo community can help you complete your novel. Today, Municipal Liason Sarah Peloquin shows us how it “takes a village” to make a writer:
I enjoyed solitude as a child. Now, as a parent of four little minions, alone time is a rare and beautiful treasure. When I first began honing my writing, I thought, Perfect. Writing is an alone sort of activity and I’m an alone sort of gal.
And writing is, in one sense, a solitary matter. No one else will ever write you.
Your creativity and imagination spilling out onto blank pages is solely yours.
At the same time, your inspiration for writing is the product of life experiences and the community of people that shaped you. A hermit in a dark, cold cell will never have the same ability to create a story as a person who has tasted and seen and touched and heard and felt the world around them in all its exquisite glory.
When I say it takes a VILLAGE to make a writer, here’s why:
Virtual – Our world has expanded with the expansion of technology. We now have ways of connecting to our fellow writers that we never dreamed of one hundred years ago. Get involved in the online chats, twitter word sprints, and NaNoWriMo’s own amazing regional forums to connect to others who are on the same journey, in the same part of the world, with you this November.
Inspiration – NaNoWriMo’s forums are amazing for offering new writing challenges, writer pen pals from around the world, mentors who’ve seen it all and lived to tell the tale, and even threads just for those times when the blank page is your worst fear realized.
Links – To Write-ins at your local libraries, coffee shops, bookstores, and more. Calendars of events, both the official NaNoWriMo one and those compiled by volunteer Municipal Liaisons, who work tirelessly at bringing you the resources you need to succeed at this 30 day writing challenge. (I’ve heard chocolate is a good incentive for MLs in lieu of payment)
Life – Happens and it’s amazing to me every year when my own brilliant region circles the wagons to support a struggling writer through a difficult time. Care packages for the sick, an emergency online meet-up when the words just won’t flow, or just a note of encouragement to remind someone that not meeting their writing goal in November is NOT failure by any stretch of the imagination.
Affirmation – Whether it’s winning a contest for the most words written or a Hip, HIP, HUZZAH for even making it to a write-in after the car broke down, the baby-sitter was a no-show, or the house nearly burned down right before you left because your husband was trying to be helpful by making dinner for you. We all need to hear words of encouragement for our efforts. A community of writers brings that in abundance in my humble experience.
Galvanized – This word is NOT used often enough in my opinion. What better place for a writer than a community (online or otherwise) of fellow writing warriors who can give us the kick in the pants we need on those days we don’t want to stare at another blank screen?
Educational – Writing is an ongoing learning project and there is no greater way to continue honing your craft than building a diverse community of writers around you. You get better the more you learn.
Your writing world will expand this November, and it’s time to jump right into the fray. Find your region, build relationships, and for goodness sake, write!
Sarah Peloquin loves great books on rainy afternoons, whether it’s The Chronicles of Narnia read aloud to three (almost four) squirmy children or her favorite history, poetry, or parenting books. She homeschools her aforementioned tiny minions with her amazing husband in Midwest, North America. She found NaNoWriMo in 2008, but didn’t get serious about it until 2010. Sarah took on the challenge of Municipal Liaison in 2014 and enjoys her region immensely. You can find some of her scribblings and inspirational posts at: Musings on a Life Lived and Instagram.
Top image licensed under Creative Commons from behindthethrills on Flickr.