Thursday, October 15, 2020

2020 and the fight for NaNoWriMo by Lisa Phillips

Sounds like a pretty good story premise. Our intrepid dark, unpredictable hero who is prone to bouts of moodiness and a tendency to put people in timeout for 14 days ventures out to conquer the city of NaNo, a friendly neighboring locale he hasn’t seen in a while but would quite like to see again.

The only problem is, this NaNoWriMo hasn’t remained that familiar spot from previous ventures—the place of victory it once was. Though it might be the same mountain with its steady and relentless climb to the top, victory doesn’t look quite so sure this time. That hill looks a little steeper. The path looks a little more treacherous. Occasionally a boulder labeled, “lockdown” or another labeled, “online school” rolls across the path. Snow clouds gather, and the air seems to hold a little more chill the weather man calls, “you’ll have to wear your mask inside Starbucks even though you didn’t finish your drink yet.”

So what is this weary traveler known as 2020 going to do?

He’s going to prepare.

Yeah, yeah. He does that every October to get ready for his journey. He’ll scribble in a notebook, and have inspired plot ideas in the shower. He’ll dig out those long (but mostly useless) character questionnaires, and then remember to read the craft books and actually dig into the character’s real, inner journey—the one that encompasses real change.

Same old October NaNo prep.

Or is it?

This year looks a lot different for our intrepid traveler. He’ll have to find new ways of working. New places that are distraction free. Life probably looks a whole lot differently this year, and assuming things will fall into place may not work. 2020 has to see a few boulders start to roll before they even get close, and make a side-step out of the way.

Can he still achieve victory?


Will he?

Maybe. Maybe not. And isn’t that the real story of 2020? Kind of like this:

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. (Prov 16v9)

Right now it feels like he’s directing 2020 through a minefield. The word, “unprecedented” comes to mind. “Never before” has x,y, or z happened in our lifetime. Who knows what will happen next? I’ve found myself homeschooling for the first time. Writing a chapter a day – at seven in the morning – and taking longer to write a book. Everything was canceled for a while, and yet it felt like I was busier than ever. Now that things seem to be coming back online, I’m wondering what will happen next.

So if you’re looking forward to NaNoWriMo out of a sense of nostalgia for years past…I’d caution you. Be VERY careful to measure what you’re able to commit to. This year is so wildly different from any other that it could blindside you, and all your plans get tossed up in the air like confetti.

If you do sign up, whether things go well or poorly, give yourself GRACE. Celebrate your accomplishments, and for the rest of it—toast your favorite beverage to, “doing a little better next time.”

Last year I thought I would do double NaNo. I ended at 75,000 words. Not bad at all—maybe even fantastic—but that would never happen this year. Not only am I homeschooling, I’m also attending a week long intensive conference mid-Nov.

But I’ll be on the sidelines, cheering everyone on…and then about the 13th, I’ll realize I need to write that 55k word book before I go on vacation Nov 27th. *shrug* 2020. Am I right?!

So if you’re looking forward to NaNoWriMo out of a sense of nostalgia for years past…I’d caution you. Be VERY careful to measure what you’re able to commit to. This year is so wildly different from any other...

Need some more info about National Novel Writing Month? Click here. Lisa Phillips has a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

She’s a contributing author in the DANGEROUS DECEPTIONS boxed set that released this week. The set is aiming to be a USA Today Bestseller, so if you’ve got a dollar and you adore Christian Romantic suspense then head on over to Amazon and snap up your copy now!