It’s that time of year again. The time of changing leaves, of chilly mornings and crisp afternoon. The sunlight, though less, feels nevertheless sharpened, until in winter it will cut like blades. I look for leaves like smoldering fires. I go outside just to smell the changing air.
I also know that, at this moment, all around the world, writers are huddling over their keyboards and churning out stories as fast as they can type.
The yearly writing sprint that is National Novel Writing Month tends to inspire very strong opinions. I’m a fan myself. I’ve done it many years (though not this year—too many conflicting obligations on my time), and I find it both fun and productive. It is intended to do one thing—to get people to the keyboard—and it does that one job very well.
And in years when I have a bunch of half-finished projects sitting by and don’t need another novel draft, I nevertheless turn November into a personal challenge month: I set goals of hours spent editing, short stories edited or submitted, query letters written. Whatever I need at that moment in time. Being caught up in the general heady rush of NaNoWriMo keeps me going. It’s so much easier to run that race when you’ve got friends running alongside.
There’s just something special about a bunch of friends & strangers coming together to cheer each other on during this weird, gray, chilly month. The camaraderie has been, in my experience, one of the best parts of the experience. So if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, GO GO GO! Get yourself a cup of mulled apple cider, wrap yourself in something cozy, and keep writing! Dig deep into yourselves: each of us contains galaxies, we just need to tap into them.