Monday, November 15, 2010

My first Write-In

Words written so far:18,633
Words left until 50k: 31,367
(i'm a little behind, but that's ok)

My adventure this week was attending a write-in for the first time ever.

For those not familiar with the term, a write-in is when a bunch of people (or even just two) get together at a coffee shop or library during NaNoWriMo and write.
They encourage each other with things like word wars, time limits, fun writing-break games, and all around writerly synergy.

For the past three years, I've wanted to attend a Write-in, but was never able to make it (or just wasn't confident enough. Especially the nanowrimo opening parties. Out at midnight on Halloween? I don't think so.)

But I had it in my mind to attend a write-in held at one of my favorite coffee shops. And last night I did.

It was a blast. Now I see why people on the nanowrimo forums are always raving about them.
I was at a point in my story when I didn't think I could possibly write another word and I was just waiting for something to happen so I could write again.
That something was the Write-in.

There were six people there including me. Three of us wrote on our MacBooks, two wrote by  hand, and one wrote on her mini-laptop. Everyone was so excited to be there and it was awesome to meet other writers in my area.

One of the girls brought her Ukelele and played a little bit for us, to serenade the creativity. She also brought a cardboard stand-up robot for no apparent reason. I think it ended up in two people's stories as a character.

I was a little nervous when the group decided to do a word war. I wasn't ready. I had no clue what I was going to write. I hadn't planned it out yet. And suddenly, one person said "Go!" and we were off. We had ten minutes to write as many words as we could, and whoever wrote the most, won.
It was as if the words were being ripped out of me before I had the chance to sensor them. It was eye opening to see what I would write if my inner editor was truly turned off, gagged, and stashed in a closet.

What I wrote was haphazard. Not what I planned at all. But it was half decent and it helped me to imagine what certain scenes in the story were like. Word Wars are great practice.
As it happened, I ended up writing twice as many words in ten minutes as everyone else did, though I have to wonder how fast the Ukelele girl could have written if she wasn't writing by hand. (She's already up to 30k words and hopes to finish by this weekend. I'm pretty sure if she was on a computer, she could've beat me soundly.)

Whenever anyone would reach a significant word count, they'd give a shout out and everyone would congratulate them and give high-fives. It was such an encouraging night and everyone was friendly and helpful.
Some of the writers even brought reference books for everyone to use, such as a Writer's guide to Names. And it was great to have other people's input when I couldn't think of a certain word.

If you're doing nanowrimo and you know of a decently close write-in to you, I highly encourage you to go. Take precautions as always, since you will be meeting strangers. But it's well worth the time and the $4 spent on coffee. (Tea for me, as always.)
I look forward to my write-in next week and seeing everyone again.


  1. reesha darling, you're a genius and I miss you.
    Bethany :)