I’ve been writing every day for twelve years, and I quickly learned that to balance the time I spent alone at my computer, listening for the story inside me, I needed community. I’d always had a supporter in my sister, Karen Robinson, who awoke in the pre-teen me the possibility, the glorious potential, of writing my own stories. She led by example, being older and very clever, and my earliest efforts had plots and characters very much like hers. I found community as an adult in my critique groups, and at conferences, discovering some of my truest friends among writers. I found it in groups of dream workers, where I found my spiritual home, and where I could play in the stories offered by not only my unconscious, but by others’ as well.
All of that was more than enough for a long time. Then in 2008, I decided to try NaNoWriMo, mostly to shake up a writing routine that had gone stale. To my delight, I discovered a whole community of fun, intense, and creative people. I asked questions on the forums of the kind that a Google search wouldn’t answer. I received thoughtful and generous answers. I went to local write-ins at cafes, and met some of those fun, intense, and creative people in person. I found camaraderie on list-serves for other writing groups, as people asked, “Who else is doing NaNoWriMo?” As for the buzz on the internet, I read it with an insider’s point of view, finally understanding what it meant to be joining the fun and taking on the challenge.
I hope you’ll be part of the NaNoWriMo party this year!