And with Thanksgiving, NaNoWriMo is quickly coming to a close. But that doesn’t mean your journey is necessarily finished, and my saying that doesn’t mean it has to continue. Whether your book is finished or just not working out for you doesn’t actually matter in relation to the month; NaNoWriMo might be nearly over, but the gathering we’ve all had this month is likely going to stick around, even if you’ve never said a word to your fellow authors.
Why? Because it’s going to come next year, too, and that’s even ignoring the Camps and various dedicated groups and communities determined to see the brotherhood continue.
What is NaNoWriMo? It’s our permission to write a bunch of extremely messy words without feeling guilty. (It’s a push to buy a teeshirt once a year, if I’m being honest.) It’s a nightmare of typos and awful one-liners and shoddy characterization while we mine for the gems that are hidden inside. It’s practice, and the outline of a book, or several books. It’s seeing how high you can get your words per minute on a solid ratio of letters versus whoops, hit the wrong key. It’s using the wrong their when you want there.
Other artistic groups have their own thing. Musicians have the RPM Challenge in February, and artists have all sorts of pursuits from DrawMo in November to National Art Making Month (NaArMaMo) in August, as well as Sketchember, Inktober (which I participated in this year, and should eventually post) and others. Cover artists often do the 30/30 with us in November, making a different cover for a different book ever day. I’m sure there are times set aside for flower arrangers, seamstresses, people who work in architecture, photographers.
Each one of these brings together like-minded people who may never say one word to each other. The conversation isn’t as important as the community, of knowing you are not alone. And if your book is done at the end of NaNo, or if it isn’t, you’re still not alone.
We were here. We will still be here. We’re not going anywhere.
NaNo might be over, but we’re writers. And every one of us knows, the writing never stops.