Hopefully, I’m not the only one old enough to remember Mork and Mindy, the silly ‘80s comedy that launched a moderately successful comedian by the name of Robin Williams (all right, he was and is HUGE!). I’m reminded of him every November when the frantic productivity of NaNoWriMo launches. But this alien-sounding battle cry that rallies a tremendous hoard, drives me away. Competitive sprints and pathological word counts may inspire some to unlock their creativity but the pressured message and rigid structure of it paralyzes me (like being called on in class to give an impromptu speech!). That said, I admire those who successfully apply the technique. Whatever gets words on the page, right? My OCD/ADD brain automatically structures my time like a drill sergeant, but many need and thrive on the camaraderie and accomplishments of the event. For me, it’s more stressful to try to carve out the extra allotments of time than to take advantage of the ones I already have in place.
The one tool I now enjoy using that I never imagined I would is the Write-In (kind of a mini or weekend unstructured NaNo). Our Mid-Michigan RWA chapter sets up meeting time and/or weekend retreats designed for quiet and industrious keyboarding. After finding the right mix of rock music on my headset to drown out the sound of frenzied typing and occasional whispering all around me, I’ve made fantastic use of these events that provide both silent work time AND the opportunity to brainstorm and network. Our chapter also promotes an on-line monthly NaNo group for those who can’t carve out a weekend or don’t have a coffee shop nearby.
Whatever works! Make use of the tools at hand. It’s the end, not the means. Finding the right creative grove is mana from inspiration heaven. If you haven’t tried NaNo, it may be that perfect fit. So NaNo NaNo, y’all!
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
The awesome co-hosts for the November 1st posting of the IWSG will be Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Twitter hashtag is #IWSG