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Love it or hate it, Nanowrimo is here again! I understand the arguments people make against Nano, but I also think it can be a very useful motivational tool, and a great way to just get out there and write. This year I’m a nano rebel – I’m working on finishing up first drafts for two novels I began before this month started. Shh, don’t tell anyone. But I figure I’m staying true to the essence of Nanowrimo, which is to write a whole lot.

The beauty of Nano is that sometimes you create the foundations of a really good story…and sometimes you create 50,000 words of suck, but no matter what, you’re definitely getting a lot of writing done. And I think that practice is good regardless of how it turns out. 

The other beautiful thing about Nano is that it creates a sense of community. Back when I first participated in 2006, I tried to do it all on my own, and it was an embarrassing failure. The next year I recruited a couple of friends and managed to finish a very terrible first draft, but after that I decided I wanted to expand my writing circle. And so I went to a couple of the local write-ins.

Personally I love going to write-ins. You meet the most interesting people, and that alone is great for story material. Plus writing is usually such a solitary thing, so there’s something so rewarding about writing in a room full of other people, all writing their hearts out. And you might even make lasting connections with other writers who will help you in the next stages after Nano.

Don't worry Gordy, you're still my favorite writing buddy...

Don’t worry Gordy, you’re still my favorite writing buddy…

Three years ago, I met a group of other local writers from Nanowrimo, and to this day we still meet every month to critique each other’s work. It has been one of the longest running groups I’ve ever been a part of, all thanks to a few chance meetings during the month of November.

How about you? Have you gone to any of your local write-ins? What do you think of them?

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