Cheering from the sidelines

I am not doing NaNoWriMo, and it feels like I’m opting out of a big party in order to study or something.

I have participated one time and it was wonderful and helped me to just let go and write. It was probably the most helpful thing I’ve done for my writing. But I am not participating this year, because I have a small child.

The small child isn’t wholly to blame, to be fair to her. I also want to focus on writing short stories because finishing things feels important right now.

Also, I still have the steaming heap of compost that was my first NaNo novel sitting on my hard drive, completely unedited.

My husband has read it and says, ‘It’s promising, but there’s an aircraft carrier that materializes out of nowhere with all the main characters aboard.’ And that isn’t even the novel’s biggest problem.

So I visit the Lawrence NaNo forum and wistfully read posts without commenting. I am sure there’s an internet term for this.

I am excited for you all who are doing this. I sort of feel like you all are marathoners and I’m that girl who stands there while you sweat and spit your way through the month, handing you bananas and bottles of water so you don’t cramp up and saying, ‘way to go’ And ‘you can do it!’

One of the things I loved about NaNo was the Lawrence writing group and how encouraging all of you lovely people are. I was often spurred to keep going simply because of the general enthusiasm of the group. So I want to give you an encouraging Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood) quote:

“What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our wishes? Lots of things, of course, but the main one, I think, is whether we link our wishes to our active work. It may take months or years, but it’s far more likely to happen when we care so much that we’ll work as hard as we can make it happen. And when we’re working toward the realization of our wishes, some of our greatest strengths come from the encouragement of people who care about us.”

Have fun! Work hard! And enjoy each other!

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