11.23.2009

NaNoWriMo write-in: Kids welcome

child working on laptop

NaNoWriMo.org interviewed Ian Dudley, founder of the Kid-Friendly Write-In.

I've so far attended one write-in, in which I didn't introduce myself and wrote alone at a nearby table with my hot chocolate and brownie (woot! double fudginess!), because I'm like that.

But, whether I'm going to an organized write-in or just to a coffee shop for a write-in-of-one, I have to do something with...the kid.

Ian Dudley came up with the grand idea of welcoming kids to one of the South Bay, California, write-ins. It's a pioneering thing to do, but here's hoping it catches on and spreads to Seattle and the rest of the novel-writing nation!

Go to NaNoWriMo.org for the full interview, but here are some juicy excerpts:


When I became a dad this year, I realized how limited write-in options are for parents who can't find babysitters. We've heard about NaNo widows and widowers, but NaNo orphans aren't an option (unless you enjoy frequent visits from CPS).


There have definitely been some hazards. One boy is fully mobile and tall enough to grab things, such as my camera, off of tables. He also climbed onto his mom's vacant chair and merrily started 'adding' to her word count before she caught him. (I don't know if she kept the words.) Typing with your laptop on the floor is an even greater hazard, with outright key removal being a risk.


Another mom wrote 188 words at our last meeting, which doesn't sound like much until you consider that her daytime word count would otherwise be zero. She says this is the only write-in she can attend, and that alone makes it worth having.



Yea for parent-friendly, baby-friendly options! Before I became a parent, I thought that the US was a family-friendly country. And then I had my little one and found out just how excluded and universally mistrusted and outright disliked we are. So if you are childless (child-free/pre-child/post-child) and don't relish the idea of children in your coffee shop, please try to have a little compassion for the (literal) little guys. You were a child yourself once, unless you are a cyborg, in which case, 10001010010001001000. Because if you are a writer, someone inspired you to start writing. Maybe for these kids, it's their write-in-attending, NaNo-attempting parents.

Peace to all, great writers and small.

Photo courtesy Patricia Dekker on stock.xchng

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