It’s a little over halfway through the month of November, which means I should be a little over halfway through the 50,000 words I’ve promised to write for National Novel Writing Month. I’m not; but I’m only about 3000 words behind, so I’m not too worried about it yet! I’ve talked a little about my first challenges with this project, but otherwise I’ve been a little mute on the subject. However, today, I wanted to talk a little about the amazing experience I had recently with the other writers in the Orlando region!
The title says it all. Together with a group of forty plus people, I traveled around the resorts at Disney World and knocked out several thousand words on my work in progress. Now, I’m a psychologist, which means I looked at the plans for this traveling write in and my first thought was, “awesome, a day of writing in different contexts, we’ll avoid the rut associated with remaining in a static environment!” (Yep, I’m a nerd.) My second thought was, “I bet people at the resorts are going to be incredibly confused…” especially since the idea of a “write-in” is so unfamiliar to people. If you think about it, though, this word is fairly self-explanatory. Writers go to a location – an all-around favorite tends to be Starbucks – and they sit and they write in the location. The Disney spin was a fresh way to shake up our environments and get the word count flowing.
Another perk of the trip: we didn’t have to pay a dime for anything but food and coffee. Parking at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) was free, and that’s where we started and ended our excursion. We were there for around 90 minutes or so as we waited for stragglers to arrive. By the time we left, we were forty strong and cumulatively a few thousand words deep. We managed to fill an entire bus on our way to Art of Animation, our second stop.
Art of Animation was also technically our lunch stop. We all enjoyed the various foods they offered at their cafe, especially when paired with the Disney music covers that blasted over the intercom. I personally loved the sound of excited children splashing in the nearby pool; probably a throwback to my days as a lifeguard. Meanwhile, my main character was receiving a strange message telling her to travel to Georgia.
After Art of Animation, we picked up and bused to the Magic Kingdom, where we hopped a monorail to the Grand Floridian. This gorgeous hotel was the perfect location for me to get out a thousand words or so, and then I even had time to walk around and enjoy the boutiques and the various items on display throughout the main resort. They also had a gorgeous gingerbread house set out for the holidays. I’m a sucker for anything Christmas; so the Grand Floridian was probably the highlight of the excursion for me.
We gathered together after an hour or so and monorailed back to Magic Kingdom, where we filled another bus and ventured to Port Orleans. I stuffed myself with beignets as I knocked out another few hundred words, eager to get my word count back up to the average. Though we only stuck around for about forty-five minutes, we were happy and satisfied with our day and our word counts as we walked to the boat docks. Our group was so big that we had to split in two, but all of us made it safely back to Disney Springs and dispersed.
Overall, the write around was a success, both in terms of exploration and word count. I loved being able to get a snapshot of the beautiful hotels in the Disney resort circuit, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the NaNo experiences of my fellow Orlandoans. And now that I know you can hang out in resorts for free, I have new places to go lurk if I ever get really bored in Orlando 😉 or just want to go spend too much money!