Okay, so it isn’t really Wednesday, but look back to my last post. It isn’t Sunday. Of course this post is only partially a #ROW80 post… it’s really more of a NaNoWriMo post. I have read several authors opinions on NaNo and totally understand where they are coming from. What I am offering here is my explanation as to why I continue to do NaNo. But that is putting the cart before the horse, the rifle before the bullet… the zombie before the machete.
Goals for this week are coming along. I wanted to be completely done with my outline by now, but I am far enough along that I know I will be ready by the weekend. Once it is completely done I am going to jump into research mode and collect up any past research and add on any new research I know I will need. (I mean what kind of LA socialite knows what a pair of Jimmy Choo’s look like, but can’t name the dress that girl is wearing?) My tech reading is coming along, starting with the chapters that relate to what I am doing in my Day Job™. (HTML5 and div tags, for those interested.) And I have made arrangements for a NaNoWriMo Launch Party in my region. The Municipal Liaison for Madison is on vacation, and apparently event planning is in my blood. At the very least, I can come up with a budget location in a short time frame.
With a listing of my short term goals out of the way, allow me to explain to myself as well as any of you reading one of the real reason I continue with NaNoWriMo – the people. Honestly, its the community atmosphere of the event that keeps me returning. It has been the only thing in the past 12 years that has kept me from smelling the crisp, moist November winds in Wisconsin and thinking hunting season. These days if I miss a hunting season, I know I will be spending the time drinking coffee and writing surrounded by a subsection of my “peeps.” And not the funny shaped marshmallow kind, either.
The reason that I bring this up is a discussion I had last night with a friend that stuck with me. This friend really stuck with me due to NaNoWriMo even though we shared common friends. (In other words, he is a gamer in this city as well.) It is not every gamer that I would do a caravan down to Indy for GenCon with, and not just any writer either. For his part, James will be participating this year. I would love to maneuver our Writing Group night to accommodate for him as well, but we have a fairly established night (that conflicts with his established game night). November seems to be our time to hang out though.
There are rumors of other casualties though. Specifically one friend new to the NaNo experience tells me that Dale (a staple in NaNo for as long as I can remember) is not only very busy this year, but has not met the 50k goal the last couple years. I understand the lack of progress causing one to consider if this is the tool for you, but somehow the idea of the lack of her at our write-ins this next year makes it not seem like November. Last year we discussed write-ins throughout the year and never really followed through with that. Maybe we can change this in the coming year.
James also tells me that Glynis won’t be participating this year, which will seem odd as well. A couple years back, she was the one that added to the spot I was at in my story the line:
And then he saw the goblin in the corner.
She did this while I was in the bathroom and when I came back just said to go with it. It led to some very disturbing scenes as I was writing a zombie horror story that year. That kid in the mask never stood a chance. I did kind of call her the Goblin Queen after that. But have you seen Labyrinth? If Bowie was the Goblin King, then the Goblin Queen can’t be all that bad right? Also, James and her met at NaNo. Either that or at an MATC writing class and then again at NaNo. It just lends itself to some nostalgia is all. Honestly I am pretty sure we might see her at a write-in or two even if not participating, which for me is the real question.
What it boils down to is the sense of community. It is a sense of getting together more than once a month to sit around and talk about “the craft”, brainstorm up story ideas, discuss anthologies or publications that have opened submissions, and in general act like a writer. I look forward to seeing these people. I get a giddy sense of anticipation the week before November 1st arrives. With Halloween and NaNo hitting in rapid succession, this is my version of Christmas morning. And even if I haven’t managed to get published in the last year, it is a real treat for me to find out who among our fellow NaNos has… and then go buy their book.
For me November is about far more than football, turkey dinners and deer hunting. It’s about writing, friends and supporting our local authors – published and unpublished.