A Very Belated Post on 2020 NaNoWriMo

Hello, dear readers. How are you? No, really, how are you? My mother feels that this question is only a social pleasantry and that to say more than “fine” is really TMI. I feel like the question is an invitation to get to know someone more deeply, to take a moment to pause and be human with them, to care, to empathize.

And I mean it when I say I hope you are doing well. And if you are not, that you have someone to talk to that will hear you and listen deeply and sit with you. And if not, that you find someone to do that.

How am I? I’m exhausted and happy and sad and angry and all of these things all at once. I wish we had a word for it. I haven’t found one yet that feels right to me. But mostly I’m feeling a bit embarrassed that this post about NaNoWriMo is so late after November ended. However, I wanted to do a bit of a reflection on this year’s NaNo so here it is. I’m going with the “better late than never” philosophy for today’s post.

Did you do NaNo this year? If you did, yay! If you didn’t, I understand. This year was hard and I thought about just opting out, but in the end I’m glad I signed up for it.

Did I win?

Well, I didn’t hit 50,000 words. I almost wrote 27,000, which was a win for me. And I wrote every day, which was another win.

I think everyone who wrote anything during NaNo is a winner. Sitting down and writing is a win, any day.

But what was really great for me for NaNo was hosting a couple of virtual write-ins. I was really nervous about doing that, but they ended up being so much fun. We had a small group, but it was the first time I’d seen some people in almost a year. It was great to write in community and to support each other.

It was also one of the few times during this school year that Zoom felt like a gift rather than completely energy draining. It was so lovely and made me even more excited for next year’s write-ins that will hopefully (fingers crossed) be in person.

So NaNo for me this year was a great way to reconnect with some writer buddies, get a good start on a new novel draft, and remember that it is okay (even good) to prioritize making some time every day for my projects and passions (even when the work and home to-do lists are never-ending).

I hope that you are finding ways to take time for your writing, your creative activities, your passions, too during this year of really unprecedented times. I have the privilege to do so, even when I feel overwhelmed, and I hope you have space to do so, too. If not, I hope the next year brings the space and ability to do so into your life.

And I hope the end of the year inspires you to take some time to plan what you want the next year to be and how you will get there.

For those of us who have the ability, consider supporting NaNoWriMo as they help support us with Come Write In Program and the Young Writers Program. Everyone has a story to tell and this is one way to help others tell their story.

Thank you, as always, for reading and listening. I hope you find joy in your writing and the work you are doing. Until we meet again, friends, take care and keep writing.