• NaPoWriMo Week 2 - The Value of Support

    And just like that we're half-way through November! How did that happen so fast? How is all of this really happening? How is Spike so adorable?

    Join me below the break for this week's pep-talk, because everybody needs a number 1 assistant now and then.

    Before we get into our actual topic, I just wanted to congratulate you. You're halfway there! Whether or not you're halfway to your goal, it's incredible that you've made it this far. Seriously. Here's a little message courtesy of NaNoWriMo.org, one of the resources we'll be talking about: 

    "You can do this. You do have time. You are absolutely, definitely, no-questions-asked, good enough."

    With those kind words of support in mind... I know what it's like to not talk to anybody about your writing. Like. Ever. To hide it like I'm ashamed, even though it's something I have a passion for. 

    If we're honest, I think even if we do tell people about our writing, we don't necessarily tell people about our fanfiction, do we? We writers are the antisocial type, and not to brag or anything, but we're pretty good at doing what we do best all by ourselves. 

    But—and this is coming from a writer with social anxiety disorder remember—it helps to have someone (online or off) that you can be genuinely excited to talk to about what you're writing. Someone you can bounce ideas off of. Maybe even someone who'll actually read it when you're done!

    In NaPoWriMo, that's especially true. It's motivating to think that even if you're writing out crap by the pound, it will be something you can be proud of. Heck, something you should be proud of now! That's a whole lot of words you're writing!

    So, let's talk about our writing. Here's a few places you can find support in the craziest month of the writing calendar (not in any real order, but there's 10 of them if that makes you happy).

    NaNoWriMo Website

    I put out the link at the start of the month, but if you haven't checked it out already, National Novel Writing Month has a website, NaNoWriMo.org. You can log your progress, talk on message boards, and read some really cool pep-talks from famous writers. There's even local meet-ups, if you're the leave your house type. 

    Equestria Daily Discord

    A more fandom specific option is the #writers-guild channel on the Equestria Daily Discord! You can talk about your word counts, questions about your stories, basically just anything you want to related to writing!

    If you want in, email me your Discord name at eqdnapowrimo@equestriadaily.com and I'll pass it along so you're invited.

    Groups on FIMFiction and other Fanfic Sites

    There's all sorts of groups out there! You want feedback? There's a group for that. You want to shamelessly promote your shipfic? There's a group for that. 

    I don't have a lot of heavy involvement in groups myself, but I can attest that whenever I have a story idea that isn't working, I can go into the forums to get help. See if there are any groups out there for you and your stories.

    Find a Writing Buddy

    They don't even have to be in the same dimension!

    Having writer friends is a huge help. You have to remember not to compare your work or output to theirs, but having someone you can relate to on writer problems is a boost to the confidence. You're not the only one struggling with procrastination, writer's block, and feelings of inadequacy, and you deserve to know it.


    What's better than having writer friends? Collabing with them!

    I never thought I'd be into doing collabs until I tried, but it's a lot of fun. You can keep each other accountable, bounce ideas back and forth, and just generally shriek about how much pain you're putting your babies through (or maybe that's just me and my writer friends).

    We even have a collab group entered into NaPo this year (shout-out to The Verse System), so it can absolutely be done!

    Real-Life Friends

    Is it sad that I used this gif for real life friends or goals?

    Eh, whatever. My point with this one is your real life friends and family might not be into MLP and fanfiction themselves, but even if you just have a friend that's willing to listen, it can mean the world.

    I have a friend I can pitch my story ideas, too, and those pitch sessions are some of the most motivating parts of the process because of their reactions. It even helps me iron out some plot details I hadn't considered before as I give an overview of the story in real time.

    Now, this isn't to shame anybody who doesn't have very many friends willing to listen (or very many friends at all). It's more common than you think to go through a period of your life where you're more isolated than you'd like to be. There's no shame in that.

    So if you have someone like that now, treasure them, and if you don't, you will in time. Maybe sooner than you think.

    Find an Editor/Beta-Reader/Pre-Reader

    This might be something you hold off on for now,but you could always start shopping around for one before December hits!

    The wonderful thing about writing fanfiction, especially in a fandom as big and experienced as ours is, is that you already have people willing to read your work. This is usually the main reason I give when someone asks me why I'm writing fanfiction and not, well, fiction. 

    Personally, my skills aren't quite ready to be looking for real editors and submitting manuscripts to real publishers, but this helps me get to the point where I know I'll be able to in a few years time. 

    Your NaPoWriMo Host (Me!)

    (I don't have a fancy-schmancy ponysona OC, so have the gorgeous cover art to a story I wrote, Losing Sunlight)
    There wasn't really a job description when I impulsively signed on last minute to take over the job this year, but if there was, helping you guys out would be the first responsibility. 

    If you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about your writing or your story, email me at eqdnapowrimo@equestriadaily.com or hit me up in the EQD discord. I might not be much of a talker, but I'm more than happy to listen.

    Local Writing Groups/Classes

    This is the only item on the list that could cost money, but I'd recommend it if you've ever been interested in a writing class. It can bolster your confidence, help you make some of those writing buddies, and teach you new things about your craft.

    Just be wary of those price tags and what value you're getting for your money. I'm glad I took one back in high school, because they go for, like, $200 at the university level. 

    Writing clubs or groups, on the other hand, tend to be a lot less pricey (and sometimes free to join!). With NaNo going on right now, there's all kinds of meetups and groups you can join!

    Do a Review Swap

    And for our final resource, I recommend setting up a review swap, of sorts. An I'll review your story if you review mine sort of thing. Unsolicited requests might be seen as a little bothersome, so maybe look in FIMFiction groups, or with writers you know tend to be down to collab with anybody.

    With that, I want to say I hope so far you've felt the support you deserve during this event. I absolutely believe in you and want to give all the tools you need to reach your goals. You can do this. And it's okay to ask for help.