WRITING WEDNESDAY: NaNoWriMo and the Mysterious Writing Community

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 7.48.03 PMConfession: On October 16th of this year, I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was.

I mean, I knew it stood for National Novel Writing Month, but that’s pretty much it. Then one of my lovely CPs explained it to me and I decided – impulsively – to give it a shot. Honestly, though? It was kind of anxiety-inducing. Not because of the hefty 50,000 word goal, but because it meant trying to get involved in the Writing Community.

The “Writing Community”… it was like some mythical creature I would hear my CPs talk about. “The writing community is so supportive!” or “The writing community is so amazing!” I could only assume it was made up of super cool people with really popular blogs (ack) and Twitter accounts (double ack!). Whatever it was, I was definitely not a part of it (if you look up social media-phobe in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of me struggling to figure out how to re-tweet something).

Anyway. With only one Writing Buddy and only half a clue what I was doing, I dove in. I introduced myself in the NaNo forums, I added Writing Buddies (strangers!) who seemed friendly. I updated my word counts, read pep talks, attended a tweet-chat (or tried to, at least – I seriously don’t know how to use Twitter, guys).

And let me tell you something — it was pretty darn awesome.

Sure, I didn’t write 50,000 words (I never expected to — med school is rudely time-consuming), but I wrote way more than I’d expected, and more importantly, I met some really lovely people. And I never would have met any of them if I hadn’t put myself out there.

And maybe that’s all the Writing Community really is — a group of writers who are willing to put themselves out there. Willing to post questions in forums and comment on strangers’ blogs, willing to put “writer” in their Twitter profiles so other writers can follow them.

Or maybe that’s just the scotch talking, I don’t know.

But if you’re thinking about doing NaNo next year and are worried because you’re not part of the “writing community”… just go for it. It’s a ton of fun. And it turns out most writers (even the ones with cool Twitter accounts!) are pretty awesome people. And if you’re starting off Writing Buddy-less, you can always add me. I may not know how to re-tweet things, but I promise I don’t bite.

Happy writing, everyone. 🙂

xo Elizabeth

P.S. Does anyone else think the title of this post sounds like a Harry Potter book, or is that just me?