We're halfway through NaNoWriMo, and in the U.S., we're a week out after one of the ugliest election seasons in my memory. Whether it's from word count or feeling disheartened at the election results, you're not alone.
Bear with me, I'm going to quote the Bible. Trust me, this is significant, and I'm not using it to beat anyone over the head. I'm finding encouragement anywhere I can get it, and I think you'll understand why I find this relevant to us in the author/reader/book community right now.
"Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit!" -Hebrews 12:1, The Message (Bible paraphrase)
We are surrounded by pioneers: Writers, thinkers, activists, and more who have done this before us. And we are each others' support. More than ever, we need to come together right now to challenge, cheer for, and champion everyone in our community.
If you're doing NaNoWriMo this year, don't give up. Even if you don't make it to 50k words (you'll at least have something to be proud of). Even if you feel like your words are meaningless (they're not). Even if you're uncertain about the future (I know I am). Keep going.
Just as important, be part of that squad of pioneers. Lift up other writers with a quick "You can do it!" or a note about what someone has done which was meaningful to you.
A quick story: I was talking with a fellow author whom I respect and admire yesterday. They were offering some light encouragement, and I told them that something they'd said in passing a few weeks ago gave me the spark and direction I needed for my NaNoWriMo novel. It was a brief exchange, but the mutual "You've got this" meant a whole lot in these dark days.
Your words, whether on the page, on social media, or in person are valuable. They mean something. No, they mean everything.
Happy writing, and don't give up!