This edition of the newsletter is going to be short, because I know most of you have a busy day today. I hope you’ll be able to find time to write, even if it’s just for a little bit. If you don’t, that’s okay—you can make it up over the weekend! There’s 30 days to National Novel Writing Month, and they don’t all have to be perfect writing days.
Let’s talk for a moment about giving thanks, though, since that’s the theme of the day. As you’ve worked your way through the first three weeks of #NaNoWriMo, you’ve gained some valuable experience in creating a writing life for yourself—specifically, in giving yourself the time and space in which to do your writing. Some of you might be able to do that completely independently, but I think most of us would say that we owe a lot to the people who are supporting us in the quest to write a complete short novel in just one month.
Some of that support is simple and intangible: Friends and loved ones who cheer us on, who are glad to see that we’re writing, maybe even eager to see what we come up with when we’re ready to share it. First and foremost, it’s important to believe in yourself, but having other people believe in you can be a powerful reinforcement.
It’s even better to have people in your life who not only believe in you, but are willing to provide some concrete help as you work on creating your writing life. Friends who understand why you might not be able to hang out as much this month as you have in the past, and are willing to schedule around you. Loved ones who are willing to take on a household chore or two if that gives you some extra writing time, who understand why you’re getting up early, or staying up late, or not hanging out to watch television before going to bed at night.
That might not seem like much when I state it so baldly. But all of those gestures, and many others like them, have an accumulative effect—and if you’re actually doing the work that they’re giving you the space to do, you’ll see that for yourself.
So, this Thanksgiving, when people who know to ask you about your #NaNoWriMo ask you how it’s coming along, be sure to take a moment to express how glad you are to have their support. A simple “thanks for asking” could do the trick, but if you want to be more specific about how “I couldn’t do it without you,” go for it!
(Of course, some of you might be saying, “That’s great, Ron, but what if I don’t have people like that in my life? What if I have people who are actually a hindrance to my writing life?” Because that’s a thing that happens! And I’ll do my best to make sure we talk about that next week…)