If you are participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) then you may have selected a region to be included in. My region is hosting many write-ins. I didn’t do any last year because I didn’t have a laptop but this year I’m shaking things up! I had my first one last week.
I don’t get out a lot and I can get social anxiety, as a result of my PTSD. I especially struggle with having a set schedule. Despite all of that. I put the write-in on my calendar and gave myself a million reminders. I’ve never tried writing with other people before and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it. But I was optimistic. Hey, maybe I would make a few friends?
I got to the library and I found the room for NaNoWriMo. Inside were two long tables pushed together with little prize bags all over the top. There was a sign in sheet and just one other person there. I figured more would show up since I was basically right on time. But I was wrong. It was just me and Kira for the evening. I got off to a slow start. For example, I was wearing a Cure tee shirt and Kira said, “Oh, I like The Cure too!” To which I very awkwardly replied, “Thank you!!!” In my head, I was thinking, “That’s not right. Ask what her favorite song is or something! Take your hand off your heart! You’re not doing this right!” By the time I was done mentally berating myself Kira had moved the conversation away from music and I was left feeling like a jackass.
I regrouped and asked about her story and what she was working on. That went better. I slowly got into my groove and then we both sat down to work. Kira was typing frantically and my tablet got the blue screen of death and rebooted about five times in a row! So I just sat there not typing but looking at my monitor. I’m sure she wasn’t paying attention, but I felt like an idiot again.
Finally, I got Scrivener open and started working on a chapter in The Anomalous Adventures of James and Max. It turns out, it’s really nice to have someone working steadily near you. Kira’s focus made me focus more. I took fewer breaks than I normally do and I wrote a lot longer. I more than met my goal for the night and was really happy about it. My hostess gave me some swag for meeting my goal and let me know that the group does work together year round. I got a lot of good information and a ton of writing done.
I definitely need to people more often! I had plans to go to another write-in last Friday. However, I was sick that night. But there are more coming up. I’m planning on putting the rest on my calendar and trying to get to as many of them as I can. Then once NaNo is over I’m going to see about writing more regularly with this group, although I’ve only met one of them. I really liked the vibe of writing with someone else.
Have you ever done a write in? What was your experience? Do you work well when other’s are focused and working around you or are you better as a solo act? Meet me in the comments section!