They say there’s an extra level of stress for Nanowrimo, especially when it comes to municipal liaisons–those volunteers who get local events such as write-ins up and running at a library or coffee shop near you. They say that MLs are control freaks and super-organizers. Maybe. But I don’t view myself that way. For one thing, if I were a control freak and super-organizer, my apartment and my desk in lab would be far neater than they really are. I view myself as someone who doesn’t put up with wishy-washy crap. Write-ins would never get scheduled if someone didn’t come along and just do it. This is one of my frustrations for MLing an Elsewhere region. Because I’m just this nebulous online presence for the rest of the participants in the state, it’s difficult to get anyone to commit to times and locations.
Otherwise, it isn’t that stressful. You just either do something or you don’t. The powers that be aren’t going to smite me if I don’t manage to make a local Nanowrimo event the best ever.
Anyways, there’s a thread on the forums asking about what books you would put in your Nanowrimo survival pack. This was my response:
I’m really boring when it comes to books which help me complete Nano. I love reference books of all sorts, particularly:
-a dictionary of folklore
-a book of baby names
-a book with maps in it (travel guide/atlas)
I can understand other people’s responses with their favorite fiction books or various how-to writing books, especially since these will give inspiration or have pep talks. Heck, I’ve used some fiction as inspiration during the planning phases for this year’s Nano novel. But for me, once I get writing, it isn’t really inspirational stuff that will keep me going. To be honest, they have no effect on me, maybe even a detrimental one. That’s why (gasp!) I almost never read any of the pep talks that Nanowrimo sends me until after the event is over.
But you’re an ML and a Nano mentor, you might exclaim. How can you not find encouragement useful? Well, encouragement is one thing. But I don’t want to have books of it sitting beside me while I’m trying to work. It’s not particularly useful when I’m trying to find a word, a name, a place, an idea. Other fiction books don’t really do it for me either. Because those books are someone else’s vision. While that’s fine for reading on my down time, when I’m writing, I’m working on my vision.