Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Letter of Encouragement for #NaNoWriMo2017

Last year, 2016, I completed my second NaNoWriMo. But I almost didn’t. I almost couldn’t.

November is usually a magical month, fall is in full swing, with the colors in Michigan spectacular. We’re getting ready for a day of thanks, shared with friends and family. And Nano. What’s not to love about November?

Well, election day, as it turns out.

November 2016 ranks as one of the worst months of my life. My entire world view was threatened, as it was for millions of Americans. After the election, my desire for writing was gone. I balanced on the edge of depression. I didn’t want to leave the house. Tears would fill my eyes at random moments. I tried to understand what had gone so terribly wrong, how our country could be so hateful and misguided.

I still don’t understand it.

The days following the election were horrible and I did no writing. It was the last thing on my mind. I’d been going at a decent pace the first week of the month to finish Nano. Now, two weeks in, I felt hopelessly behind. I would never catch up. Best to call a time of death.

Then I got a message from my friend, my writing buddy, Nikki. We’d discussed being accountability buddies for Nano in October, but she was on the fence. Now, she was doing it. It breathed some life into my Nano and I decided to fully reanimate that corpse, Walking Dead-style and dammit, I was going to finish. And I did. November 28th, a few days to spare, despite having not written for 10 days in November, I pushed past the 50k line.

Today, a few days into Nano 2017 and a bit behind where I wanted to be, I know a couple things for sure.

One, without my friend Nikki I wouldn’t have finished Nano 2016, and this is how I feel about that:

Cherish those writing buddies.

Two, the finish line was all the sweeter for the adversity.


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