22 June 2012 - 7:33 pm

NaNoWriMo 2012: ambitions ahoy!

It’s that time again: NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and the ML train is already full steam ahead. And it’s only June.

(For those who are unfamiliar with National Novel Writing Month, it’s a challenge to write a novel (50,000 words) in November. It happens every year, and this will be the 6th year I have participated. Municipal Liaisons organise events in their local areas, and this will be my 6th year MLing as well. It’s crazy, you say? Why yes, yes it is.)

This year, I have a bunch of people eager to help with the MLing load (I’ve had co-MLs before and they were awesome; this year I’ve got three times as many hands to help out!). The Brisbane region is over 2,400 people now, and while we don’t get anything like that many to any of our events (holy crap no – even 10% is terrifying to contemplate), we still have a lot of people to cater for. We haven’t even got this year’s influx of new writers yet!

And, me being me, I want it to be bigger and better than last year. Why the hell not? It’s no fun if you do the same things over and over again, and while we keep doing what works, I like to spice things up by trying at least one new thing every year.

So me and my team of ML helpers and potential co-MLs have been working at the plans already. We’ve set the calendar of write-ins (where we get together to write in the cafe we’ve tamed into hosting a bunch of nutters on laptops) and write-outs (where we go someplace outside to remember what the sky looks like… with our laptops to write). We’ve made up lists of games and competitions we can do for our Kick-off Party, and lists of prizes and things to give away (writers love party bags, apparently).

And we decided to try something I’ve been pondering and talking with various people about for a while now, probably over a year. It’s one of those ideas that makes people go ‘oooo’ and makes me go ‘ahhhhh’.

When you’ve done as many write-ins as I have and you start to think about what could be more awesome, having an all-weekend write-in on an island in the sun is a natural step, right? Especially when the island in question is a ferry-ride away from the port down the road from your house.

But would anyone come? I’ve asked people, done surveys, and the resounding answer was: yes. With a group of willing helpers to ease the terrifying load of logistics and organisation, it seemed like time to try it.

And thus, the NaNoWriMo 2012 Writer’s Retreat was born.

Over the last few weeks, the groundwork has been laid. We’ve got a venue, dates, and a whole stack of cool ideas. To get things moving, bookings opened up for the Retreat on Sunday, and most of the initial set of places have been booked already. We haven’t even got the influx of newbies yet!

There’s still a lot to sort out, but the back of it’s broken. Now we’re careening downhill towards stepping onto the ferry and throwing my bag down on the bed in a villa on an island. When I think about it, I get excited and exhausted all at once.

It’s going to be awesome. We will kick ass. And amongst it all, we’ll be writing novels. What more could we want?

Also, how the hell am I going to top it next year?

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