NaNo is just around the corner and a big part of some writer's experience is meet-ups. Writing in a group is a different experience than writing at home in your own little nook. You may be expected to socialize *gasp*, I know writing is normally a task best performed alone.
Let me back up and talk to you about what kick-off events and meet-ups are (I know, it sounds self-explanatory)
Kick-off events are put together to help a group get to know each other and each other's writing. Often times there is NaNo-swag, such as stickers and bookmarks. Some ML's put together goody bags, give out candy, or do giveaways.
This year, I probably went overboard. It's my first time, and I'm excited! My goody bags include little notebooks, pens, stickers, bookmarks, gum, and hard candy. I'm also doing a door prize: a candy bucket with a coffee mug, chocolate, latte mix, bigger notebook, better pens, a stuffy to squeeze, and a fake plant (perfect for the forgetful writer). I've only got one 'thing to do' thing planned. It's something I'm borrowing from my regular writing group. On a large index card, each writer writes down a summary of what they plan on writing, then everyone gets to read each card and add a question, comment, or suggestion. It's a way to find out what we're writing, get a little silly, and get to know each other a bit better.
Once NaNo starts, meet-ups are great events to help you stay motivated. If you have a competitive nature, like me, then their especially awesome. One thing I like to do is word wars. What are word wars? Well, I'll tell you! Someone sets a timer and the writer who gets the most words down before it goes off wins. During meet-ups, a majority of my words happen during word wars. Some ML's give out goodies (I have candy, a few pens, and such) to the highest word counts. I'm considering doing some for the most improved word average as well. Now, there is some etiquette you should always follow when hanging out with other writers:
- If you are going to be listening to music, you need to wear headphones or earbuds (I picked up a few extra sets of buds at Walmart for a buck each)
- (I'm gonna yell this one, so plug your ears) NO TALKING DURING WORD WARS (It's a pet peeve of mine)
- Be respectful of other writer's chosen genres. Your cup of tea or no, the only thing you should be offering up is encouragement or keep your lips zipped.
- If someone asks a writing question, don't make them feel stupid. Everyone is going to be in a different place.
- Be respectful of the venue. Make sure you clean up after yourselves. if you're meeting in a restaurant, be kind to your servers. If you're meeting in a library or bookstore, keep the noise level down.
- If you don't have a private space or there are young'uns joining you, watch your language and topics.
I'm sure there are other things that could be brought up, but those are what come to mind at the moment.
Oh! Cell phones! Be courteous and take your conversation out of the room if it's going to be a lengthy one.
That's all I can think of for the moment! What do you look forward to about kick-offs and meet-ups? Do you have any questions? Are you ready?
NaNoWriMo 2019 Blog Series