|Courtesy of http://colormetwentysomething.blogspot.com/|
Lesson #6 -- Don't go it alone.
Writing can be an isolated endeavor. Even when one is plugged into writing groups and social media, the pressure of a goal as big as 50k words in 30 days, can make one go hermit. You will certainly need all the support you can get.
The good news is there's tons of it available to you, maybe even in your local community. Through NaNoWriMo, participants can specify their city and receive notification of group writing meets in their local area. If there aren't any in your area, NaNo is always looking for volunteers to start one.
Online, the support never ends. In addition to the groups you are added to or join on the NaNoWriMo site, other writing groups may host their own version of NaNoWriMo, often giving away prizes for participation and accomplishments like high word count for the day, highest daily average, most total words written, etc. My Book Therapy, a writing community hosted by authors Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck, as one such group, MBTWriMo. Writers offer daily prayers, words of encouragement, and kudos, and participants can win a Nook or Kindle Fire, Starbucks discounts or writing craft books.
There are others, including Facebook groups, writing loops, blog groups, etc. There's even a group over in the Harlequin forums.
But one word of advice: be selective about which loops/groups you join. There were over 250k writers participating in NaNo last year and I kept getting hit with invitations to join forums, regional teams, and writing communities. It's all too much. Pick one, maybe two. You don't need the stress of trying to keep up with too many groups, where you are expected to post daily results, offer encouragement, listen to the woes of other writers, etc.
Remember, the focus for November is on the writing, not the networking.
Still, I made some new friends during NaNo that I've kept up with during the past year, another thing for which I can thank NaNo.
Here are a few groups I know of offering support for NaNo participaints:
Harlequin (you'll have to search the forums)
SheWrites (last year there were multiple groups to handle the over 20,000 writers; you'll need to search the forums here too)
Most require a free membership, but there are many, many others.
Of course, you don't have to join any groups. Perhaps you get more than enough support from family, friends, co-workers and other folks you already know. That's good too, especially if they pump you up, celebrate you, and play drill sergeant, as needed. What you absolutely want to avoid during this highly charged month are the naysayers, the critics, the people who tear you down. If you can't eliminate them from your life completely, avoid them as much as possible in November.
Who supports you in your writing endeavors? Who's your biggest cheerleader? Where will you get a group hug, real or virtual, during NaNoWriMo?
Peace & Blessings,
Stay focused. Be deliberate. Believe.