Writing Under Peer Pressure

One of the things I learned this NaNoWriMo season was how much easier it is to write when other people around you are writing.  For instance, when I wrote 22k words on a Saturday during Go Green, Go Write (I still have trouble believing I actually did this), it was in no small part because I was sitting next to a complete writing machine.  Every time I looked over, this woman was typing.

Not only did it remind me that I needed to be typing, too, but it also became kind of a game.  Could I write longer than she did?  Could I type faster, take less breaks?  Sometimes I glanced over and saw her glancing back.  That woman from my NaNo group later told me that she wrote more words that day than in the whole first two weeks combined, in no small part because she was sitting next to me, and every time she looked over, I was writing.

It was the same way at the rest of the NaNo events.  I turned my phone off, I unhooked my laptop from the WiFi, and I just wrote.  Every time I looked around, other people were staring seriously at their computers.  Some of them were surfing the web, but the vast majority of people were actually writing.  My 4k+ word days were all on days that I spent around 3 hours at a write-in event.

In short, I’m extremely glad that I went to my local NaNo write-in events this year.  And I’m grateful that the group was so welcoming and supportive.  I hadn’t finished NaNo the year before, but in part because of the peer pressure, I not only finished NaNo this year, but I wrote an entire book.  I’m so glad and grateful that I’m going to continue going to the once-monthly events for the rest of the year.  Peer pressure is definitely a tool that I can use to motivate myself to keep writing.

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