When I discovered I would be bringing up the rear in pep talks this year, I wondered if it was just a coincidence or if my fellow MLs had voted me most likely to still be writing at the eleventh hour. In any case, here I am and, although I am now on track with my word count, it took 28 days of slogging along behind the pack, waving away the dust, to get here. The irony is, now, with the end game in reach, I see the true unimportance of word counts and those pats on the back we will get from winning.
Sure, on the surface NaNoWriMo is all about cranking out 50,000 words and throwing a big party but, if you look a little deeper, you see the true genius of the effort – the stories that are shared with humanity. At the Night of Writing Dangerously this year, my family sat with a transgender millennial, a teacher from an economically challenged town, and a young teenage writer and his mother. Theirs are stories that need to be told, perspectives that deserve to be shared, and there are millions more, including yours.
Through the habit of daily writing, our voices become stronger. In 30 days, we will have sharpened the tools we use to show who we are and what we contribute to the world. So whether you are closing in on this year’s 50k, or hovering at the bottom of the chart, what’s important is that you keep on going.
Hone your voice, tell your tale and send it off to join the wild, swirling mass of stories that become life lessons for us all. As my autocorrect would say, “Duck the word count!” Let your voice be heard.