Writing is a personal, solitary process – usually undertaken in pyjamas and occasionally while subscribed to the golden rule of “write drunk, edit sober.” Fortunately, my freelancing experiences have taught me to write furiously around other people, so I figured I’d bring my newfound tolerance for writing in company to Nanowrimo 2014.
No more Ms Going Solo. No more OCD-will-write-at-my-desk-only insistence. It’s either now or not-now.
At the last minute, I cast aside my assumptions about what happens when a group of writers gets together and decided to RSVP to the Johannesburg Nanowrimo Kick-off at Cnr Café in Craighall Park. I’ll admit that the curiosity of what could possibly be in a steampunk goodie bag had something to do with it…
Thinking caps off to the Joburg Municipal Liaison, Fiona (santacruzrulz), for arranging a really relaxed and fun event and choosing a comfortable and accessible venue for our she-NaNo-gans (totally just made that up). The ice-breakers and games really jolted our collective imagination and got our chins wagging, but it became very apparent, very quickly that writers hardly need ice-breakers when the necessity arises to talk about their novel ideas! And Nanowrimo bingo? Genius!
Now… about the contents of that goodie bag…
The CAUTION: NOVELISTS AT WORK poster totally rocks and when it came out of the bag, I immediately knew where I’d be sticking it up at home. Then, there are the stickers (yes, stickers… such simple things, yet totally affirming of our participation in the craziness of Nanawrimo, okay), the chocolate and cappuccino – the cornerstones of survival for writers everywhere – and more goodies to keep the momentum and motivation going for the duration of Nanowrimo.
By the end of the month, that key is going to have some friends on its piece of string, and that Boarding Pass is going to be punched so bad, people will start referring to me as “Iron Mike”.
That strange, steampunky cog-like thing with the square cogs (SQUARE COGS… I can’t even…) will get some special attention in a follow-up instalment of this 2014 Nano journey, including the Nutty Professor who made them and how well they work to unclog the gunk of writing 50 000+ words in a month.
Thanks go to Joanne Macgregor for the reality check on being published in South Africa as well as answering our n00b questions.
The Kick-Off group had really good synergy and I – former lurker – am really glad to have been a part of it. The real reward for the evening was that I went from having a kazillion ideas for the book “I’m supposed to write” in November, to having the penny drop and realising that the one I want to write has been staring me right in the face this whole time.
Watch this space for a POV blow-by-blow of what it takes to do NaNoWriMo…
GO, JOBURG! See you at the write-ins!