Writing Tips

Writing Tips: You Can’t Do It Alone

writing-2Or maybe you can. Some people can write all by themselves, and have the energy to keep themselves motivated, even when things go tough.

But most of us authors? Nope. We need more support than we can give ourselves. We need a team of friends and family to motivate us, to help us think through difficult plot points, to remind us we’re not the same people as our characters are, that it’s okay to kill a character, and that life goes on, even after we’ve finished our first draft. But what if you don’t have a team to back you up? Or what if your family and friends have grown tired of our constant whining about plot, setting and characters?

Then you need to come up with another plan. Like, NanoWriMo. During November, there’s a writing event called NaNoWriMo. All types of writers, from aspiring authors to people who already have a few books under their belt, gather to write a 50k word novel. It’s awesome, it helps you to stay motiviated, and you have a whole community to fall back upon if you get stuck, or if writing just gets too tough.

But what about the rest of the year? Since NaNoWriMo is only once a year, that means there are eleven months in which we have no motivation, no community, nobody to help us.

Well, because we simply can’t do it alone, there are tons of authors and author groups out there who came up with community events to help support each other, keep track of our progress and other people’s progress, and keep tabs on each other so we don’t fail.

I’ve joined another of these initiatives this week. It’s called Three Books in Three Months (that’s without editing, of course!). It’s a small group, which is actually more my style than the large group of NaNoWriMo participants. I get to know people better when there are just a few of us than a whole gang. I also post updates on the NaNoWriMo and Beyond forums on AbsoluteWrite, along with lots of other members, and it’s a great way to track progress.

Ideally, I want a friend who shoots me a mail, say once a week, and goes: “Hey! How’s it going? Have you been writing? Tell me you’ve been writing. We have a deadline coming up, you know.” And then we can mail back and forth about our current projects, and exchange ideas. But since I don’t have such a friend, I take part in communities, to help myself, to help others, and ultimately, to perhaps find that friend, or several of them.

What about you? Do you have any communities or event you’re participating in to help you write more?

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