Post-NaNo Stress Relief

NaNoWriMo 2012If you read last week’s Dispatches from the Trenches, you know how NaNoWriMo turned out for me.

In a nutshell, it didn’t. This is not to say it was a disaster. I didn’t have a meltdown. I merely realized that it wasn’t working for me.

Instead of doing more recap of the downside of my personal experience, though, I’d like to talk about what went right.

The best things about NaNoWriMo:

  1. Our MLs — Our municipal liaisons are the best. Sara and Christie did a great job of organizing a number of NaNoWriMo events, from the kick-off party to our weekly write-ins. And though I may have crapped out, they were still supportive and wanted to know how they could help.
  2. Our WriMos — I don’t know how it works in other regions, but our people (we call ourselves “WriMos”) are highly motivated and wonderfully engaged. The writers in the Lawrence, Kansas region are active on the NaNo forum and very supportive at the write-ins. Everyone is included, from the beginning writers to the published authors. And everyone supports everyone.
  3. The Kick-Off — Again, I don’t know how other regions handle things, but our kick-off party was awesome. And this year, thanks to the Lawrence Public Library, we had two. One was our normal launch party, where we got to know other writers. The second was a panel discussion involving several of our veterans. Both our kick-offs were inspirational and fun.
  4. The Halfway Party — By the time we hit the middle of the month, the local writers needed to blow off a little steam. We met at the local tavern and shared a few drinks along with a few stories. Seeing everyone without the pressure of word sprints helped lift my spirits.
  5. Post-NaNo Stress Relief — Even though we haven’t had our TGIO (Thank Goodness It’s Over!) Party yet, I’m sure it’ll be just as uplifting as our Halfway Party. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the writers in this town, it’s that we enjoy each other’s company as much as we enjoy writing.

I know I didn’t get everything I wanted out of NaNoWriMo, but none of that is a reflection on our writers group. In the past, I’ve had difficulties finding a writing group that I click with. I know, from what other writers have told me, I’m not the only one.

When you find a group of people who inspire you and uplift you, it’s the best thing in the world. With their support and friendship, I know that I will be able to continue writing my novel through the month of December — and beyond!

Kevin Wohler is a copywriter and novelist living in Lawrence, Kansas. During the day, he works at a digital marketing agency in the Kansas City area. When time remains, he likes to tell stories of the weird and bizarre. And sometimes, he writes them down for others to read.

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