NaNoWriMo Young Writers Group in Battle Creek

I know. I admit it. I did it. I volunteered to facilitate a NaNoWriMo Young Writers Group at Willard Public Library in Battle Creek for this month. I love doing anything I can to get others to write, as long as that is their ambition, too. So besides participating in the regular adult NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – which challenges people to write a 50,000-word rough draft novel in 30 days, or 1,667 words per day). The middle school and high school kids have listed their own word goals. We meet once a week to see how everyone is doing. I was hoping for 5-7 participants. Fourteen signed up and set goals.

Two have come regularly each week where we discuss their stories. One likes to just tell me what’s happening in his story and gets upset with me if I ask for clarification (details). The other is open to lots of “what ifs.” Other kids have dropped by just to have me look over their pages (I rarely read what they write, unless they ask me to), check their word counts, and figure out and mark the percentage done of their goal. Teens have a lot going on in their lives. I’m honored that they care enough to stop and show me what they’ve accomplished. Keep writing!

A girl came just once to “meet a real author” and confessed that she didn’t know where her story was going since it had so many twists and turns. She hadn’t signed up to be part of the group. I suggested she write out the goals for her characters, and maybe try some outlining high points on how those characters can reach (or fail to reach) those goals. She seems pleased with my answer. I wish her well. I felt like a writing doctor. I wish them all well. Keep on writing.

Volunteering Your Writing Time

I feel like this old rug has been beat to threads.  But I have volunteered for my entire life, so not doing so just feels wrong. Am I volunteering for free author school visits? No, to that. I ought to be paid for those. Am I volunteering in our public library in November to run a NaNoWriMo Young Writers Workshop for six weeks? The answer to that latter one would be yes, for I will do anything I can to help kids (and adults) to write, and write better.

Okay. You may beat the rug if you like. What are your favorite volunteer activities? (As long as they do not interfere with your own writing, that is.)