The Writing Ship will be approaching the end of Quarter 1 in approximately 4 weeks. Prepare to engage Deadline Mode AKA Panicked Motivation.
Secondary Alert! Camp NaNoWriMo is around the corner in April; all Writing Ship Crew Members who wish to participate in the Camp Mission should begin their preparations now.
In more normal language, we’ve made it to Week 10 of 2023 (woohoo for double digits)! However, when facing the remaining four weeks left in the quarter and the rest of my writing goals for the same time frame, I do feel a bit of self-doubt. Can I really get all of it done?
I’m sincerely hoping Grant Faulkner’s Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo has some good advice for this week’s Pep Talk.
This week’s topic is “Building a Creative Community,” which doesn’t initially seem like it will help with gaining motivation and inspiration. However, I know firsthand that talking about writing with others who write does give you renewed excitement for your own writing.
Back in 2019, I was inspired by all of the NaNoWriMo content on YouTube. I wanted to write and succeed along with the others. I started writing again. And then when the motivation had waned, but I still wanted to succeed, I started attending writing sprint streams. Shortly after, I decided to start hosting my own writing streams. Tracking not only my progress, but the progress of those I was writing with became fun, competitive, and celebratory.
Faulkner also discusses the encouragement that C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their writing group, the Inklings got from being able to find each other. Many authors who wrote “classics” have been inspired by meeting other creatives. Faulkner lists Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and several others as examples of this. I would also suggest Mary Shelley as an example. The story of Frankenstein would likely never have existed if she and her husband did not go to a weekend retreat with their friends.
The process of writing could be a lonely endeavor, but it can be so much more. Accountability buddies, critique partners, editors, as well as your readers become the basis for an expansive community. Written stories inspire fan art, which inspires more writing (either in sequels or in fan fiction). The more the community grows, the more likely it is for a story to be adapted to other forms (screenplays, broadway, comics – the potential is endless!).
Faulkner’s homework for Week 10 is to “Strengthen Your Writing Community.”
“Engage in a writing group. Either join a site like NaNoWriMo and enter the conversation with writers online, or invite your writing buddies to form a writing group that meets regularly in person.” ~Faulkner, 55.
This is the perfect time to join NaNoWriMo! Camp NaNoWriMo is next month, so I have all this month to work on prepping for it! I’ve gone ahead and declared which project I’m going to work on for the month of April, and I’ve even selected a mock cover for it! There is a small local NaNo group that occasionally meets in person, so I’m hoping to join in regularly over the next few months.
I’m also currently hosting live writing sprints four times a week on my YouTube Channel: The Dawdling Writer. You can catch me and quite a few others making headway on our projects (fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, short stories, drabbles, etc.) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1-3 pm Eastern and on Sundays from 2-5 pm Eastern.
I love being able to celebrate everyone’s successes after the sprints, whether we just added a few words, finished a scene, or edited a chapter. We get excited to celebrate these milestones and more. And if my channel isn’t your vibe, you should definitely check out the rest of AuthorTube to find your favorite live writing sessions.
Kat Leo Writing and Devin Cutting put together a spreadsheet which lists all of the AuthorTube Channels and creates a schedule for the daily live writing sprint sessions. You can find the spreadsheet HERE.
What about you? How are you going to strengthen your writing community?
Need to catch up on the pep talks?