~ By Melanie Greene
Who’s up for a writing challenge?
Those familiar with writing know it can be a solitary occupation, even with the friendship and resources of a great group like Contemporary Romance RWA.
Those familiar with NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — know it can be an overwhelming pursuit to generate 50,000 new words in a one-month period.
Fortunately, the pursuit of those 50,000 words can be made more fun, and less solitary, by engaging in the community of others working towards the same goal.
This year, Contemporary Romance RWA is joining in the RWA Word War, an informal competition wherein RWA chapters pit their average word counts against those of other chapters. It’s a friendly rivalry (so friendly, you can represent as many of your chapters as you like – give everyone credit for your words!) designed to encourage NaNoWriMo participants, to cheer on all those fast typists, and to maintain a sense of community during the often-isolating task of immersive writing.
Each week, I as team lead will send our word counts (gathered from the NaNoWriMo site) to the organizer, who will post the individual and chapter frontrunners in the closed Word Wars Facebook group. The Facebook group will also be a spot where people can cheer each other on, find word sprint buddies, share resources and prompts, or just growl about how hard this whole thing is! It’s a tighter and more easily navigable community than the NaNoWriMo boards, and participants get a chance to get to know writers from throughout RWA. (It’s not required that anyone join the group, or participate in it.) If you’re a member of our Word War team and are not yet a part of the group, send me a message (see below) so I can sort it out for you.
Not sure you’re up for writing 50,000 words in one month? Don’t worry – neither am I! It is a daunting undertaking for many of us, but part of the fun of Word War is the motivation to write as much as possible in 30 days, however much ‘possible’ turns out to be. Per the organizer, last November the 289 Word War participants (from 21 RWA chapters across North America) wrote 9,732,788 words! It’s great fun to know that 37588 of those words were mine. And even though I didn’t end up with a Winner’s Badge, I did end up with a novella I love.
This year, I hope to finish another novella and get back to work on a novel, so when November 30, 2017 rolls around, I can schedule publication dates for the next two titles in my Roll of the Dice series. And that’s a goal that will leave me feeling like a winner, no matter how short of 50,000 words I end up. Word War participants learn to celebrate each success, even the ones not on the official metric.
Won’t you join us? Message me on FB or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are ready to accept the Word War challenge!
Melanie Greene lives in a little cottage in a giant city, with her husband and kids and cat and dog and all the people inhabiting her imagination. Find out more about her contemporary romances, including her Roll of the Dice series, at www.melaniegreene.com.