For anyone who might not know what this is, it’s National Novel Writing Month, and, from the way it’s taken off in the last couple of years, you’d think that no one in the U.S. is going to accomplish anything in the 30 days that hath November but write a novel. No wonder the government is talking about shutting down, but they’ll be late with that, too. They won’t shut down until December.
For a profession that supposedly writes in isolation, NaNoWriMo is a phenomenon that results from group-create and the deep need we have to connect with someone, even in isolation. We have “meet ups” where we write in parallel, sitting next to someone who writes speculative fiction while we’re trying to finish our romance novels. We pay ‘no’ attention to each other; we’re simply next to each other. Somehow, that makes us together. We have groups we create ourselves. Perhaps we even have our own ‘Harvey’, some imaginative character that allows us to skip meet-ups, NaNoWriMo, and any other group or buddy writing scheme. We simply meet with our imaginary friend.
There are also NaNoWriMo hangers-on, people who finish a novel rather than writing from scratch through November, or who use NaNoWriMo to finish some other project–poetry, a quilt, who knows? Regardless, it speaks to the power of someone—someone else—who can help you along the journey just by ‘being’.
Prep time for NaNoWriMo is now. What happens in November is anyone’s guess. May the best novel emerge.