This Saturday, my local library held a NaNoWriMo workshop. This was the first time I’d ever been to something like this, so I had no idea what to expect. Would it be packed full of people, or would I be the only one there? Would we sit and write for two hours in silence, or would it be a formal class? Would there be other teen writers, or would I be the only one? Armed with my laptop, I nervously entered the meeting room, unsure of what I would find.
Two ladies already sat at the tables. I knew immediately the one was a writer; she just had that “writer vibe” about her. The other lady had a giant feather pen, so I assumed she was a writer, too. As I was joining them at the table, the first lady, whose name I later learned was Tamarisk (which would be a great character name!), asked me straight off about my word count and story line. I knew I was definitely at a NaNoWriMo workshop when the first thing I was asked about was my word count. 🙂 As I pulled my laptop out of its bag and chatted about NaNo, I started feeling a bit more comfortable. Soon after another lady joined us. She wasn’t signed up for NaNo, but wanted to learn about writing.
Then the GREAT OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT reverberated throughout the library. “The National Novel Writing Month workshop is now beginning. If you are here for the workshop, please make your way to the meeting room.” Two more people from the library wandered in, and when asked if they were there for NaNo, both responded, “What’s NaNoWriMo?” Both were interested in writing, but had no idea what NaNo was. Two teen writers came in a bit later. One of them was doing NaNo and just hadn’t officially signed up. The other hadn’t heard of NaNo before, but had a novel started.
For the next hour and half, we sat and talked and wrote. The conversations covered all sorts of topics like:
- Basic NaNo explanation and rules
- Characters, especially killing off characters
- Story ideas
- NaNoWriMo forums (Apparently there is a procrastination help forum – a forum that helps you procrastinate. Who knew?)
- Pantsers vs. Planners
At the end, I wasn’t at all nervous and even jumped into the conversation a bit. I really enjoyed getting a chance to talk and write with a bunch of other writers and had an enjoyable time. I was really surprised that some of the people there didn’t know about NaNo, but I guess that’s what an event like this is for – to educate people and help them with NaNo. Tamarisk did a great job as leader/moderator of the group, and I learned quite a bit about NaNoWriMo from her 6 years of experience! I’m hoping that next year I’ll be able to go to another workshop and get some more writing done.