Rev. Kate J Meyer, LPC
Reflections on NANOWRIMO2020
Greetings! To begin, a big thank you to my longtime subscribers who continue to stick with me through random droughts. Thank you, too, to new subscribers and readers. I want to take today's post as an opportunity to update you on what I have been doing since the last post, and where I hope things are headed in 2021.
I'll start with where I have been. It is fair to say 2020 has been a drain on us all. After my 40th celebration, my return to "the new normal" life resulted in a significant decrease in motivation to do much of anything. I was over it. As October crept towards November, I began to realize one of the largest drains on my mental health was Facebook. In the process of deciding what to do about that, I began to see #NaNoWriMo taking over my Twitter feed and, after some research, took that hashtag as my answer. Step 1: Register for National Novel Writing Month. Step 1a: take multiple deep breaths to dispel anxiety related to signing up to write 50,000 words in one month. Step 1b: get really excited about the potential result of said registration. Step 2: announce a Facebook fast to coincide with the writing challenge.
To write 50,000 words in a month requires nearly 1,700 words daily. This was an overwhelming prospect to be sure, and yet I felt confident this was the year to try. For all 2020 has not been, it has set up circumstances that allowed me to work towards this goal, the primary of which is working remotely. There were days I ended my work day and immediately started a 2 hour writing block, days I wrote in several 15 minute increments, and days I wrote late into the night; it was the nature of remote work that afforded me such flexibility and I will always be grateful for it.
While many NaNoWriMo writers work on a fiction project, I focused the month on my nonfiction book about the intersection of grief and Christianity. I had days when the Spirit moved and words flowed without effort, and days when I had to fight for each word that landed on the page. Thankfully, the good days resulted in a word count higher than was needed, so I was able to write less on the difficult days. Before the challenge began, I only had one chapter completed. I'm thrilled to tell you that at the end of the challenge with just over 50,000 words, I now have 7.5 completed chapters! All that remains is the conclusion of chapter 8 and the appendices. The month was exhausting, but well worth every moment.
The biggest take away for me is the reminder that I have plenty of time in my life to write, I simply need to make choices that reflect it. I cannot keep up the pace I had during that month, but after taking some recovery time of no writing, I'm coming back to it and I intend this blog to be a part of that regular routine.
Another take away from that time leads to the "what's next" section of today's post. First, I decided to self-publish #TheRedCouch. It is more important to me to get it out there than to wait for traditional publishing. A very talented friend of mine has been hired to design the cover and I am in the process of a final read through before publishing in both e-book and paperback. You can read more about The Red Couch here, and be assured I will keep you posted on the progress of this big step. Second, though I extended my Facebook fast through December, I have been working to build my Twitter platform which is an essential step of any successful published author in today's flooded market. If you are on Twitter, I invite you to reach out to me @KateJMeyer1. Third, the nonfiction book is newly retitled #FaithDoesntEraseGrief. Due to the nature of the book and the current level of grief in this world, I intend to pursue traditional publication for this book. For now, you can read more about it here. Fourth, public speaking remains a passion area and I hope to grow that side of things throughout 2021 and 2022. More information on what is offered can be found here or by emailing me. Finally, an additional leg of an author's platform is comprised of website presence and blog attention. Here is where each of you comes in. Would you be willing to share the website with others? If you haven't subscribed to the blog, that is another way to contribute; you can do so easily here. If you're seeing this post on social media, are you willing to share it? I also welcome interaction within the blog through the suggestion box.
More to come in the coming days and weeks. Thank you for sticking with me thus far, and through this lengthy post. I hope you are well and look forward to hearing from you!