NaNoWriMo Community

NaNo handouts

I remember the first time I met someone who already knew about NaNoWriMo. It was in May of 2013, and she recognized the shirt I was wearing as a NaNo shirt. I get a shirt every year that I participate, and wear them a lot, especially in September through December, so they tend to start conversations when people ask me about it, and also identify people who know what it is. It was years before I met more people who already knew about NaNoWriMo, and in more recent years, I’ve met several (even my doctor had heard of it).

I am happy that NaNoWriMo is becoming more well-known and more wide-spread. It wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing community that comes together every November. And this is coming from someone who is very introverted and socially awkward. I won’t pretend that I participate in the NaNo community nearly as much as I could, but it’s there and it’s inviting.

Socially awkward or not, NaNoWriMo is one thing I can talk about with relative ease. I am very passionate about it. I like to tell people what it is, how awesome it is, and if they show an interest, why they should give it a try. So when the opportunity came up for me to sit at a local authors’ table during a festival in my hometown, it didn’t take long to think past the book-related things I should bring and realize that this is the perfect opportunity to spread the news about NaNoWriMo to people in my community. We have write-ins at the library in my town during November, so maybe I can drum up some more participants!

I have some stickers and buttons (shown above), and I will hand them out to anyone who might be interested. I’m almost as excited about talking to people about NaNo as I am about selling my book or talking about my soon-to-be-releasing book. And really, talking about NaNo will be easier than trying to promote myself.

If you’re considering participating in NaNoWriMo, and you’re curious about what kind of local community might be near you, check it out for yourself! You’ll have to make an account, but it’s free, and no one will force you to participate once you’ve signed up. Maybe you’ll find just what you need to decide to give it a try!

For anyone out there who is participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to check out my series of tips and tricks for the month, and also to add me as a writing buddy! (Let me know you came from here, and I’ll add you back!)

Public Appearance

I’m very excited to announce that I will be one of several Huntington County authors appearing at the Pioneer Festival in Huntington, IN at the end of September. I will have paperback copies of my book (The Triangle) to sell (and sign, if so desired), as well as information on future books. It will be my first public author appearance, so hopefully it will go well!

Most of the people who read this blog live nowhere near me, of course, but I still wanted to announce it here! Now, in traditional me-fashion, it’s story time:

My local library has a monthly writing group called The Wordsmiths. It started about 3 years ago during NaNoWriMo, as a write-in location. Those of us who attended throughout the month decided to turn it into a regular thing. Not long after that, I got a job, which quickly blossomed into a crazy, life-sucking entity. I didn’t go back to the writing group until, I think, 2 years later, again during NaNoWriMo. Then, all this year, every month, there was one reason or another that I didn’t go—being sick, working, taking my daughter to the doctor, and the last couple of months…I’d just forget by the time it was time to leave the house.

Even this week, I had fully planned to go, and didn’t forget it for once…but started talking myself out of it, because it had been so long since I’d been there,  I felt weird suddenly showing up again. And because I could tell more people had started to come in my absence, and I don’t like meeting new people. And because…blah blah blah.

But I didn’t want to wait until November to go again, and let it be seen that I only care about this group during NaNoWriMo, plus other reasons compelled me to strap on my big-girl pants and just go. And it turned out to be a very good thing, because the woman who organizes The Wordsmiths and keeps it going is also one of the organizers of this event at the Pioneer Festival, which is being jointly presented by the festival and the library. She said she’d thought about asking me sooner, but for various, completely legitimate reasons, wasn’t sure if I’d want to. But she was glad I’d come this month, so she could ask me about it. A day before the deadline to turn in participants’ bios and pics.

Now…of course I would prefer to go to this thing with more than one thin novelette to my name. I’d love to be able to give a publishing date for “Pithea” while sitting at that table. At this point, I don’t think that will happen (it is possible though). However, I still truly think that the way this all worked out shows God’s hand in action. I can talk to people in person about my book (both present and future), can (try to) answer any possible questions they may have about writing and publishing, and maybe even spread the NaNoWriMo love. And what might be the biggest benefit of all, it will be experience talking to people in real-life about my writing, possibly signing some books, and just push me out of my comfort zone in general, while still being in my own hometown, plus a lot of my family will be nearby in the re-enactment section of the Festival (as participants).

Whatever exposure I may or may not get from this, it will be an invaluable experience; I’m quite certain of that.