Another year, another novel. This was my seventh November spent with NaNoWriMo, and I couldn’t imagine a year without a novel in. Several lessons were learned this year:
This year felt like the best organised St Louis NaNoWriMo I’ve ever been in. We had two Municipal Liasons running the show, both called Jen, both with last names starting with S. We called them Jen and Other Jen. There was also a small team of dedicated minions scouting out locations in advance, booking events, running write-ins, and trying to be helpful but not annoying.
St Louis has a lot of writers
We had around 1200 people registered to our region, 738 of whom registered a word count. Our kick-off party was the biggest we’ve ever seen, with over 70 people in the top floor of Fitz’s on the Loop. We wrote over seventeen MILLION words, 1.7 million on the last day of November.
Numbers, not halos
As a region, we were almost twice our 2009 size (going from 340 to 738 active writers), but we donated less to NaNoWriMo. Our fund raising cheerleader, InjunJoe, got overtaken by life, and the rest of us dropped the ball on encouraging people to donate. Last year, we focussed on doubling our 2008 donations and getting to a regional donation of $1440. This year we focussed on the number of donor halos in the region. I think we should bring the focus back to a number again for next year (say, $3000?), and as a team, encourage people to donate.
Encourage the newbies
Three of my friends were first-time Wrimos this year, Leah, Carol, and Jen. It was awesome to see them take their first steps into high-speed novelling, and encourage them along. I hope they had fun, I had a blast watching them go!