Hello, friends and fellow writers!
If you know what NaNoWriMo stands for, odds are you might be participating. And in case you don’t know, it’s short for National Novel Writing Month, a special time during which most people save up for post-Thanksgiving sales, stock their fridges with ingredients for favorite holiday dishes, and prepare themselves emotionally for visits from relatives they don’t actually want to see, all while writers like yours truly pledge to scribble 50,000 words in just 30 days.
If you’ve been following me for more than five minutes, you probably already know that I’m a Municipal Liaison for the NYC region of NaNoWriMo. As such, I typically don’t really write during November anymore: instead, I plan fun events for Wrimos (all around the city during pre-pandemic times, and all over Zoom since) with the six other people signed on as region MLs. So much event planning and hosting happens throughout the month that usually, very little writing gets done, and I find that October and December are far more productive months for me.
Maybe it was my DIY wedding in September that messed up my timeline. I spent much of October recovering, and I guess that put me at peak productivity…now? I’m hitting par or above each day (1,667 words, for those of you wondering how much one has to write daily in order to reach that magical 50K in 30 days). I’m feeling tired but oddly good. And tired makes sense, because I’ve still been applying for full-time day jobs left and right, trying to get wedding thank you notes in the mail, dealing with low blood oxygen from asthma problems, and continuing to recover from said lovely but exhausting wedding. Having enough energy to write every day? That, I wasn’t expecting.
But I’m not one to question a good thing when it happens! I’m grateful for the motivation, because I need it. A new CP of mine just pointed out that what I’d thought was a novelette is really going to be a full-length novella. I still haven’t finished my science fiction (science fantasy?) novel. And Sela really needs a sequel out in the world. All of this is on its way, I assure you! But I do feel a bit untethered at the moment, and NaNoWriMo has been a bizarrely grounding event for me this year.
The usual things that make me love this month-long event/community continue to be there, though. Our region is full of kind and encouraging writers who show one another a generosity of spirit that I think you’d be hard-pressed to find in such quantities anywhere else. Zoom is turning out to be a pretty great service, at least as far as our write-ins and other events go. If you have to be on screens, you may as well be staring at the smiling faces of other writers working towards the same goal you are, right?
I’m looking forward to how the month is going to wrap up. I’ve reconnected with some old friends, been thrilled to meet new Wrimos who have just joined our region, and I’m getting to know myself as a writer once more. That last fact has brought me back to a few projects I thought were less of a force than they’re actually proving themselves to be, so I’m pleasantly surprised to know I have more stories up my sleeves than even I thought I did at the moment. Here’s to the rest of this mad and wonderful month!
Happy November to you, whatever you might be doing with it!