Monday, November 3, 2008

Competition and Cameraderie: Inspiration Station # 1

Last night I sent an e-mail. It’s an email I’ve sent repeatedly to a certain group of people every month, and in November, every week, for the past 4 years. It says something to the effect of “Hey guys, are we all still planning to meet for our regular gathering tomorrow – same bat time, same bat cave?”

And the responses came in this morning. “I’ll be there…. I’ll be there… Yep, count me in…”

It's my nano crit group – now in it’s approximately 37th month -- assembling again.

You see, many of us out here in blogland have taken on the challenge of Nanowrimo this year. We’ve signed on to write 50,000 words in 30 days. We know that Nano will get our inspiration flowing, our novels written, those words in our heads onto paper… and we’re excited. But nano success (and success in writing in general) hinges greatly on perseverance and not quitting half-way through.

Writing a novel is a daunting task.

So where do we find the courage to keep going? We find it in each other.

The writing community provides the encouragement to make progress in our novels.
Other writers offer the two things that prevent us from giving up: Cameraderie AND Competition.

For all novelers, and especially for those writing a novel draft in 30 days, it’s important to have other writers egging you on and providing encouragement. This is why critique groups are so essential to every author. And why I am now encouraging YOU to set up your own little group to provide Cameraderie and Competition this nano season.

This is now my 4th year participating in NANO, and I have a group of friends who I met the first year at Nano, who formed a little group. During November we meet every Monday online (for ½-1 hour), and send e-mails thoughout the week providing:

Cameraderie: “You know, my children have forgotten that they have a mother because I’ve been noveling so much.” “Aw, they still know you love them… but I personally love that clip from chapter 6 that you posted. I really want to hear what happens next!”

Competition: “Woo Hoo! I’m 2000 words ahead of you! You’ll NEVER catch me! I dare you to try…”

My little group also meets monthly throughout the year, discussing our progress on revisions, submissions to editors and agents, conferences we’ve attended (because we live all over the country), and even critiquing each other’s writing via e-mail and mail. And so I suggest a similar strategy to you.
Find people who will provide both Cameraderie and Competition for you this Nano season and all year round. And let that competition and cameraderie work its magic!

How to do it?
1.) Groups can meet online at or -- for those who don’t live near each other. Or, you can reply to each other here on writermorphosis.
2.) Crit groups that already exist and live near each other (like my Goalies’ crit group, where at least 5 of us are nanoing,) can communicate more locally.
3.) You can also attend the local nano write-ins, or find 5 or 6 “friends” on the nano site itself, link to them as your “buddies” on the site, and try to beat each other’s word counts. That’s really the best place to start.

Cameraderie and Competition are essential for all novelers, I think.

So for my crit group buddies out there, and for all others reading this blog. Let’s get a move on; let’s win this nano! I DARE YOU!


C.R. Evers said...

NaNo, NaNo, NaNo, You can't catch me! (inserts thumbs in ears and sticks out tongue) :0P

Your competitive friend,


Bish Denham said...

Thumbs up from one of NaNo 7!

just Joan said...

Yep, the bat cave is a great place. And it's good to know I can come here and find inspiration, too.

You're the best!

Now I must return to my regularly scheduled Nano novel . . .

Janelle said...

Hey Christy,
I love the competition.
Look-out chica! You're ahead of me now, but I'm right behind you! : )

Janelle said...

Bish! Joan! Glad to see some of my awesome nano group members stopping by to say hi!
Hooray for our group, indeed!" : )