Tuesday, March 31, 2020

#CoronaWriMo: A Silver Lining?

I previously wrote about our Coronacation and experience with social distancing. This time I thought I'd write about one way I'm trying to make the most of this experience: #CoronaWriMo. For those who are active in the #WritingCommunity online, you're probably already familiar with National Novel Writing Month, known as #NaNoWriMo. It takes place every November, and writers around the world resolve to crank out 50,000 words or more to write a novel (really more of a novella) in just that month.

So naturally plenty of folks thought all this time inside would give us a bigger opportunity to write, and the idea of #CoronaWriMo was born. I actually finally crossed the 50,000 word total on my first ever novel draft on only the second day of social distancing, when I'd lacked the motivation to work on it regularly for a long time. My one New Year's Resolution for 2020 was to finish this draft, and this disease might actually help put me over the finish line.

I've learned so much about myself writing a novel for the first time. Foremost, I don't enjoy writing novels in general. I don't experience the same rush and excitement that pushes me to stay up all night working on a short story. Needless to say when I am done with this first draft, I fully expect I'll be putting it down for a while to refocus on my short stories. I have several drafts that need some revision and polishing, but I've neglected them this year while plagued by guilt for not making more progress on my novel.

In case any readers are curious about what I write, it mostly has very little to do with my work. My favorite genre to write in is soft science fiction. The reason I like it is because it's a fun genre for exploring philosophical and moral questions without the baggage that real world people and settings impose on stories. (Or at least you can choose how much baggage you want to keep around in your world.)

So I'll keep plugging away at my science fiction novel draft for now, though I admit I haven't been as diligent or consistent as I would've liked. These really are unprecedented times... So whether you're taking the chance to do something new or you're just trying to survive (I go back and forth depending on the day), I hope you're hanging in there! We all deserve some extra grace right now. And if you're doing #CoronaWriMo or have any other goals while social distancing, feel free to share below.

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