An Interview With… Megan Finney

Hi everyone, and this evening on the blog I’m delighted to introduce to you my co ML for NaNoWriMo Liverpool.

Megan has been a real help to me and my fellow WriMos for the past three years and I’m delighted to announce that I am now co ML alongside her for this NaNoWriMo year.

I was delighted when she kindly agreed to answer some questions about how she got involved in NaNoWriMo, what the community is and how her writing is going.

Over to you, Megan…

1) How did you first become involved with the Liverpool NaNo community?

An old friend introduced me to NaNoWriMo in 2012. We both wrote for leisure in high school, and would often send each other chapters to proof-read. She messaged me one day, saying there was a website I “might be interested in”. She was right! I signed up but didn’t start attending write-ins until two years later, when exigent circumstances forced me out of the house more. I’ve made many close friends in the community, including my boyfriend and D&D group. It’s a great community, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.

2) How has it helped your writing?

Honestly? Discipline. Before joining, I never finished anything. I’d spend so long working on unimportant aspects of a project that I’d get bored and abandon it, and start something new. The time limit NaNoWriMo sets really helps me knuckle down and focus. It also taught me the importance of not editing as I go. NaNo is about getting words down – your first draft doesn’t have to make 100% sense, be grammatically correct, or even spelled right. You can always fix it later.

3. What does the ML role entail?

It’s mostly about cheering people on, and making sure things run smoothly in the background. During November, we arrange meet-ups for participants to gather and write together. We usually meet in-person – but for safety amid the current pandemic, everything is online this year. I also try to host more casual gatherings every month, so folks can socialise outside of crunch-time.

Keeping participants informed is another big role for MLs; we manage our regions’ social media accounts, to let people know about anything happening in the community.

4. What does the NaNo community do for writers?

Being part of the community brings a sense of solidarity. You’re working alongside similar minds, encouraging each other and sharing this grand artistic experience. It’s a positive space full of kind, creative people. It also builds confidence, I’ve found. You can get feedback on your ideas, voice your struggles to sympathetic ears, and seek advice on any writerly stumbling-blocks.

5. Do you have any advice for authors who are just starting out?

Something I often say to my fellow writers is: “progress is progress”. Any amount of words that you write today, is more than you had yesterday. And, as I mentioned earlier, those words don’t have to be perfect. Just get your ideas down; you can always smooth any rough edges later.

Also? Take breaks. Be kind to yourself, reward your accomplishments – no matter how small – and try not to compare yourself to anybody else but you. Everyone has their own style, and works at their own pace!

6. What are your plans for when you finish your current work? What routes are you looking at – traditional, indie, or self-publishing?

Right now, I’m tying up some old pieces of fanfiction that have sat unfinished for far too long. After that, I might return to my original urban fantasy series. It’s been stuffed in the metaphorical drawer for a while; I sent the first book some time ago to a handful of agents and traditional publishing houses, with no success. The rejections stung, but I think I’m almost ready to give it another shot. That’s another piece of advice, folks – don’t give up!

Thank you so much for your time today Megan. It has been a pleasure to interview you. All the best with your writing!

Bio: Alongside being co ML of NaNoWriMo Liverpool, Megan lives with her family in Widnes and is beavering away at her fantasy series of novels.

Twitter: @Liverpool_NaNo

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