I’ve never won NaNoWriMo.
I’ve taken part in National Novel Writing Month several times but never written the 50,000 words needed to win. There isn’t a prize. Everyone who writes the required amount gets to call themselves a winner. My friend, and local coordinator for the event, Amy Flugel, encouraged me to take part but … maybe next year.
Perhaps in recognition of my NaNoWriMo failure, I scheduled a talk for November titled, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What? The occasion, at the Chehalis Public Library, was scheduled for November 3rd. I figured it might be helpful for those that can and do win the event. Only later did I learn that Amy had scheduled a “write in” at the same library that afternoon.
Our two events mingled together. Amy started with writing sessions and moved on to word wars, where individuals compete to write the most words. After an hour of writing, I talked. I discussed critique groups, beta-readers and what an editor can and should do for a manuscript. Then I explained the different routes to publication available today. I’m not sure whether some of the audience were taking good notes or continuing to write while I talked. I stayed around and answered questions while Amy continued with another writing session.
Like many authors, I’m an introvert and would enjoy just staying home and writing, but the path of growth, both as an individual and a writer, requires getting out of your comfort zone. I enjoyed the day and, I think, the people there did also.