Tonight’s post is about Social Media and how awesome it is for writers. Especially NaNoWriMos. I have never felt this connected to a group of I’ve only just recently met, be it online or in person. Period. And all because we all share the same incredible goal of writing 50K words in 30 days.
(anyone who has seen that episode of Bones where Brennan goes on that kids’ science show as the bone lady will understand when I say that I can’t say “Amazing” normally… ever.)
That being said, there are some things I’ve noticed about Social Media that could deter or help a potential success story. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Twitter can be painfully distracting. Especially if you have it on all of your devices. There’s nothing more annoying/distracting than being in the middle of a writing sprint and seeing your phone beep, then hearing your ipod chirp, then seeing the notification on your twitter tab… Granted, my mistake here was opening and signing into twitter on every one of my devices… which is why my advice to you is to keep it open on one device at a time and only check it when you’ve finished your section/hit a wall in your story.
- Twitter can be incredibly helpful. It’s a very efficient way of staying connected to the other NaNoers across the globe. You can ask them about their word count, post your frustrations and receive suggestions on how to resolve the plot device you’ve been over thinking… I have even used it to let other people in my area know when I have gotten to a write-in location and where I am seated. In fact, I believe on at least one occasion my talking about a write-in with another NaNoer convinced a third NaNoer to attend!
- If you’re on twitter…
Follow @NaNoWordSprints – these guys helped me write 5K in just under 3 hours. Craziness. Granted my hands and forearms hurt like the dickins and I thought my shoulders would never relax, but I wanted to reach 5K and still have an evening out and I did. Because I did NaNo Word Sprints. Do them. Use them. Abuse them. Ok, don’t abuse them, but definitely do them. Why? Because I said so.
Follow my Writers/NaNo/BookCountry list – I’ve done my best to ensure that all of the people I follow that are participating in NaNo or are writers in general (with helpful writing tips) are on this list. Follow them. Talk to them. They don’t bite, not people they just met anyway… that comes later.
- Support groups are required for every challenge… and Facebook has become mine. All of my friends and family are there (ok, not ALL, but most) and they have been liking my statuses and commenting when they feel they can offer some support or whatever. I am so grateful and, even though I’m sure that by the end of the month they will all hate me with a fiery passion akin to the flames burning bright in the devil’s land… I will still be grateful to them for their support.
- Google + … same thing from the point above, just with a different group of people… Ones that are more friends-through-interests than friends-in-person. Except for one guy. One guy is on both sites… he’s a good friend. He has to hear me update my word count TWICE every day. He will probably hate me TWICE as much as everyone else, that’s how special he is. A shout out to him…. if he hasn’t already started ignoring everything I post
- Chats/Online Hang outs – these are great for those days that are cold and dreary… or that you just don’t want to get dressed. You go online, sign into your region’s “designated” chatting method (in my case, a site called goodchatting where we have a forum for our region) and you chat. That sounds counter intuitive, but it’s not. Because, while you’re chatting someone will randomly suggest a word war. Word Wars are the reason why I’m at 28K. Honestly. On the weekend, I did several 15 minute word wars in a row and wrote 6K. The following day I went to a write in and wrote another 3K via word wars. I’m starting to think I won’t be able to write without a word war from now on.
So, if you’re reading this and you are being a recluse (ie. not participating in write-ins or haven’t introduced yourself on the nanowrimo forums) then get you butt out there. Make yourself known. Draw attention to your word count and your story. Your friends and family will cheer you on, your fellow NaNoers will compete with you AND cheer you on, and I’ll watch, grinning the whole time telling people “I told him/her to do that.”
However, if you don’t know who to contact or don’t have a social media account, at the very least hang out in the forums. Or contact me and I’ll help you get connected. It’ll be fun! And trust me, your word count won’t suffer.
Have any other Social Media tools to help the NaNoers of the world reach their goal? Share them here!