NaNoWriMo 2020

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year that all your writing friends annoy you with details about the novel they will write throughout the month of November. They may have spend all of October (aka Prep-tober) going over their writing schedule and outline, creating a calendar, and signing up for all sorts of writing apps and groups. Lucky for all you exasperated readers, I am not one of those writers.

To be honest, I forgot about NaNo this year.

With all the stress and mental space being taken up by Covid, the economy, the disaster of the United States election, work, and family– writing has taken a back seat in my life. Unfortunately, but perhaps understandably, my focus has been surviving this year with my sanity in tact.

So, am I doing NaNo?

Let’s just say, not really. While I would like to re-devote a fraction of my energy to writing again, I don’t want to do so with such an intense exercise. 50,000 words in a month is an impressive feat for even the most practiced writers, and I am far from “in practice”. That would be like expecting someone who hasn’t run since high school to do a marathon with a few day’s notice. Instead, I’m going with a much more relaxed and manageable goal: I want to finish 1 poem or short story a week through the month of November.

Why this goal?

Lately I’ve been starting a lot of projects without completing them. I have a handful of short stories that I begin with great enthusiasm but lack the time, energy, and willpower to complete. I know exactly how I want them to go, but don’t actually finish the writing process, which leaves me disheartened and discouraged. By taking the time to sit down and finish these pieces, perhaps I can regain enough momentum to work on the longer projects I’ve left abandoned.

Will I publish?

I am no illusions that I will publish any piece I finish. Beyond getting it written there is the process of editing, and finding a suitable publisher (usually magazine, website, or podcast for short stories). It would be more appropriate to day that I hope I will end up with one or more pieces worth submitting for publication by the end of the month. With some hard work and a little luck, maybe it will happen. Of course, I’ll be sure to share the news here.

NaNoWriMo Thoughts and Well Wishes.

I sincerely applaud any and all writers who aspire to this lofty goal each autumn. It is truly incredible to see the hard work and dedication these artists put toward their craft. As a writer myself (though out of practice) I know how thrilling, but also how intimidating mounting a new writing project can be. I have no advice, only encouragement and well wishes to all you writers who are participating in NaNoWriMo in any capacity this year. You are amazing.

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