If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year (and even if you’re not), attending write-ins throughout the month is a great way to find time to write, and also to network and connect with like-minded wrimos. If you’re unfamiliar with the NaNoWriMo Come Write in Program, visit this link to learn more. But here’s a list of things to get you off to a great start, so once you get there you have more time to focus on actually writing, and less time trying to find a place to plug in your laptop.
1. Something to Write With
Let’s get the Herp-derpin’ out of the way. You’re going to be writing. Which means you need something with which to record the things you want to write. You know, unless you’re like the writing version of Mozart, composing word-symphonies in your mind and stuff… but if that’s the case you need to be off solving world hunger or something like that.
The rest of you, make sure you bring something to write with. Popular choices include:
- Notebook (don’t forget a writing utensil!)
- Tablet (the stone and chisel kind are frowned upon. But, if you must… gawd, you’re such a hipster.)
- Typewriter (something tells me you won’t be getting much writing done today, since you’re so worried about being out-hipstered by the guy with the chisel.)
- Laptop (don’t forget the charger!)
2. Sweater or jacket
As a librarian who will be hosting write-ins, I can only repeat what I’ve told the people in my writing group: I will do my best to control the air conditioning, but it is a wily beast and I make no promises.
It’s always a good idea to dress in layers, especially this time of year. There’s nothing worse for your creativity than being freezing.
It’s always a good idea to bring headphones or ear-buds whenever you’ll be writing in public. It’s even better if they’re noise-cancelling.
Many writers insist that creating playlists helps them write. If you’re one of them (I am not), more power to you. Here’s a group of play-lists for writers if you don’t want to make your own.
Personally, I like to use background noise generators. My favorite is Rainy Mood.
Here are some more:
You can also try searching your app store for ‘background noise generator’, if you won’t be near wi-fi.
4. Snacks / or cash
If the write-in is being held at someone’s home, a library, or a rented space, ask the host/librarian if it’s ok to bring snacks. Most libraries will let you bring snacks into the meeting room, and will allow drinks WITH LIDS. Please choose a snack that isn’t smelly to avoid distracting the other attendees. Of course, it’s always nice to bring enough to share.
If the write-in is being held at a business like a restaurant or coffee shop, please don’t bring outside food. It makes the NaNoWriMo community look bad, and the establishment might refuse to host write-ins in the future.
Plan to buy at least a cup of coffee or a drink. A meal or small appetizer is better. This makes the management more agreeable to hosting these events. If they know they will be making a profit, they may even reserve tables for your group in the future, or give you NaNoWriMo discounts. Think of it as your ‘rent’ for taking up the space.
5. Power Strip
Especially if you’re meeting in a coffee shop or other public place. Plug-ins are at a premium these days. Be the write-in hero!
6. Your Contact Info
Network. Swap business cards or emails. You never know what opportunities these connections might make in the future.