Good morning authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday where we talk shop, industry, news, and more. Today's post is tricky and one I never wanted to make. The past couple weeks, we've been talking about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo and the supportive community it fostered for writers. A space that has been splintered in the worst way.
Safe Spaces & Writing Goals
In case you missed the controversy, there has been inappropriate and dangerous activity in the NaNoWriMo website forums, centered around a moderator, who is an adult in a position of power. While I often talk about this challenge from an adult perspective, NaNoWriMo has traditionally welcomed and fostered young teen authors, and what has happened here is chilling and a complete violation of the safe and creative environment it is supposed to be.
Whether you utilized the forums or not, the idea that this happened and the lackluster response from the website, has left a sour feeling for many of us. So, for those of us who need new safe spaces and communities, here are a few different resources to check out.
For Goal Tracking and community building there are quite a few sites out there. Story Origin, which is a fantastic professional tool and gives authors access to a thriving online community has a goal tracker as part of its tool kit.
Other goal tracking websites include OWL, the Online Writing Log, Pacemaker, and WriteTrack. Some of these services have premium plans available but many of them, such as OWL, also have a free version that gives authors access to sprinting groups, leaderboards, and other group oriented activities to help foster community spirit.
If you, like me, relax from a hectic day with some video games, 4thewords has been revamped its site to provide a free option to authors of all ages looking to smash some word goals tailored with an RPG adventure flavor. Do word sprints, defeat monsters, and more.
For gamers and non gamers alike, I can also recommend Kind Words. Kind Words is a low cost 'game' you can install through the Steam App onto your computer. Providing lo-fi chill music to write to, Kind Words provides a unique and peaceful experience, allowing users to interact with their player sprite and room how they wish but in between writing marathons and pomodoros, users can send and receive letters of encouragement and kindness to and from strangers. Kind Words is an incredible safe space to use and provides a relaxing atmosphere for productivity.
Whether you choose to continue with your writing challenges this month or not, please keep yourselves safe and be mindful of those who move in your online writing spaces.