Nanowrimo: why I love November more than ever

On the fourth day of Christmas…

I realize those twelve days are supposed to run between December 25 and Epiphany, Jan. 6, but I want to take these twelve days before Christmas to offer my gratitude for the people and things that make the writing life possible for me.

Who doesn’t love November? For one, it’s really and truly pumpkin spice month. The days get shorter, which makes me sad, but the air gets crisp and I love that. Fall’s predominant color of rusty orange takes over from the greens of summer. We all look forward to Thanksgiving, of course.

Personally, it’s a month of birthdays, lots of birthdays. And my wedding anniversary. My husband and I will mark 40 years in 2022.

In the midst of all that excitement, I have something else to look forward to.

National Novel Writing Month! I’ve participated for nine years, written an official 877,793 words. That means nine books. The first time I “won,” that is, reached the goal of 50,000 words was in 2015. That book eventually became DIVIDED LOYALTIES, my Civil War story, of an immigrant girl seeking a way to help her new country when war comes to her backyard.

I’ve published four books, including one I wrote during the more casual Camp Nanowrimo, held in April and July. Two others are ready for querying. The rest are in various stages of completion. A couple of the early ones, I’ll admit, I tossed. No one will ever see them again.

I am most grateful to the people who organized this global month of writing furiously. It taught me lots of things. I can sit down and write up to 2,000 words at a sitting. I can finish a whole novel. There’s a lot to do once those 50,000 words are finished. I can do what it takes to write a book worthy of a reader’s interest. I can support other writers while they cheer me on.

So today I’m grateful for NaNoWriMo and all the support writers give one another to get to their goals. It’s a great way to reach your goal of becoming a novelist.

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