The Day After

An Open Letter to My NaNoWriMo Friends,

Congratulations to all of the winners! Wow, you guys are amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed racing with you and doing word count sprints. That was a lot of fun.

But it was also a lot of work.

The most important lesson I learned in this year’s National Novel Writing Month is that relationships with other writers are important. It’s a lonely business to face the glow of the monitor, alone, but that’s how writing gets done. It’s the before and after that can make or break us. To have someone say, c’mon, let’s go tackle 300 words in 10 minutes inspired me. To see word counts pop up in the Twitterfeed added a nice element of friendly competition that was less about competing and more about accomplishing.

I loved that. We’re all producing different things, but we’re doing it in a community. Kind of like real life outside the anonymity of social media. We’re real people living real lives away from the glow of the monitor.

Imagine what we can accomplish if we encourage each other in those other pursuits.

And to the other Nanos, like me, that came in under the 50K, well, congratulations to you, too! It’s a crazy race to finish that goal in 30 days and sometimes life gets a little in the way of meeting the word count. Let’s keep at it.

Notice that I didn’t congratulate anyone for finishing the novel. I’m careful to say word count and not finished novel because I think there are more than a few unfinished novels that have a great beginning, don’t y’all think? I do.

And then there’s that other thing: revision.

I’m going to make a note of all my writing buddies and check back in with you guys in six months. We should be done by then. Right?


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