A well-known adversity writers face is being able to see a project from its conceptualization to its publication. Too often writers either procrastinate for too long or lose focus, and end up jumping ship before their works ever come to fruition. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, aims to help writers complete their stories by setting up daily word counts and building a supportive community of writers.
Every November — the official month of NaNoWriMo — writers participating in the event are encouraged to write a 50,000-word novel by the month’s end. During this time, participants spend large chunks of their day writing about 1,650 words. Part of the community aspect is some writers forming groups that huddle up in snug locations like cafes, museums or libraries.
According to Laura Chapman, Lincoln’s NaNoWriMo municipal liaison, working in a group provides a support structure for writers that encourages them to complete their works.
As municipal liaison, Chapman acts as the established head of NaNoWriMo in Lincoln, answering questions from local writers, running the Facebook page and organizing “write-ins.” As Chapman puts it, write-ins are when a gathering of novelists meet at a location to write and aid each other on their stories.
“It’s a chance to meet new people,” Chapman said. “Writing so often is a solitary endeavor, but through NaNoWriMo you have this group of people cheering for you and supporting you the entire time. And I’ve made some really good friends over the years, who’ve helped me develop my story.”
After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008, where she majored in journalism, Chapman pursued editorial work, interning at multiple newspapers and working as a corporate journalist. For the past five years, however, she has been applying her skills at the…