It’s taken me a long time, but I finally found a “local” NaNoWriMo group!
In the US, where NaNoWriMo originated from, so-called “Write-Ins” take place in many cities throughout the country, with several options per state.
Unfortunately there are fewer NaNo participants in Germany, and finding a group near you can be difficult.
I searched the forums this year, because I couldn’t find a group that I could feasibly get to last year. And then I discovered a girl asking whether anyone from Leverkusen and surroundings wanted to go for a coffee.
Leverkusen is about 25 minutes by car or train away from where I live, so definitely doable for a meet-up. I registered my interest and then forgot about it again, because you don’t get automatic updates when someone replies to a forum topic.
Eventually, I remembered and checked the forum again. It turned out that quite a few people were interested and some had already got together twice, albeit on days I wouldn’t have been free anyway.
And then they suggested today. 2pm. Café Zettel’s Traum in Opladen. And I thought: Why not?
After getting there at 2.20pm (I got lost in a maze of one-way streets and had to find my way back to the café after driving past in search of a parking space) I spent the next 4 hours talking to 6 lovely ladies, aged between late 20s and mid-60s, about all things writing.
We didn’t actually write this time, even though we all had notebooks with us. We just ended up having a lovely conversation, talking about novel inspiration, what got us writing, our NaNoWriMo projects and all sorts of other things.
The café we met at was one of the most comfortable cafés I’ve ever been in. Decent sized tables to work on with tiny desk lamps, sofa in the corner, comfy rattan armchairs, shelves of books and newspapers for customers to read, a small selection of books to buy, fresh coffee and homemade cakes. It was heaven!
One of the ladies came from Cologne and said that there’ll be a NaNo get-together on Friday as well and invited us all to join. The more the merrier! I’ll have to see whether I can actually make it to Cologne Friday night, but I’d love to meet more writers who understand the craziness of NaNoWriMo.
Even if I don’t end up going to the meeting in Cologne, I’ll definitely be in Leverkusen again next Monday. We’re already looking at making this a regular thing, even outside of NaNoWriMo, and becoming a proper writers’ group.
And one of the things I learned today: Apparently I speak very clearly, and move my lips properly. One of the ladies there was deaf on one ear and she later said I was the only one in the group she didn’t have trouble lip-reading. So there you go. I’m perfectly lip-readable. #ThingsWhatILearnedToday