NaNoWriMo

In spite of the… tumultuous things that have been going on in the news over the past week or so, plenty of people all over the country are still struggling to get their novels written for this year’s National Novel Writing Month. (Even your humble blogger here is actually inadvertently participating, since I’m working on a top sekrit freelance project that’s going to require me to write about a novel’s worth of words in November if I’m going to hit my deadline.)

With so much going on in the world and the constant drone of social media vying for our attention, it can be easy to become distracted. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there to help NaNoWriMo participants stay on track and finish their next masterpiece by the end of November–or at least thereabouts.

The NaNoWriMo website has a wide range of available resources, including a list of NaNoWriMo events that can help you to keep your motivation while also connecting with other writers. You might also want to check with local writer’s groups or hit up other local authors on Facebook or Twitter to see if they would like to get together for a write-in at a local coffee shop, or anyplace else where you can plug in a few thousand words.

And if you find your enthusiasm for your project flagging midway through the month, the NaNoWriMo website also hosts a massive archive of author pep talks from years past, as well as new pep talks from this year’s slate of authors, including Alaya Dawn Johnson, Alexander Chee, Daniel Jose Older, Maggie Stiefvater, and Jenny Han. You can also follow the #nanowrimo and #nanowrimo2016 hashtags on Twitter to see how other authors are doing, and share your own novel writing experiences.

Ultimately, writing can be a pretty solitary occupation, and while some people aren’t big fans of things like NaNoWriMo, for others it’s an opportunity to connect with other authors and remind ourselves of the big, diverse, exciting community in which we all work, even if we actually spend most of our time alone with our cats or dogs, sitting in front of a glowing screen and trying to make little words appear on that big, blank white space.

So whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year or sitting it out, don’t forget that you’re not alone out there, and that there are plenty of other authors who’re probably doing exactly what you’re doing… especially if that’s procrastinating by watching cat videos or listening to your favorite podcast.

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