• Douglas J. McLeod

Attempting to Write During the Pandemic

With the final days of October counting down toward Halloween, a writer's mind turns to the annual marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. This has been a challenge yours truly has participated in on and off since 2009, where I, along with countless others around the globe, attempt to write the first draft of a novel -- or 50,000 words -- within the 30 days of November. In recent years, this has been a difficult challenge for me, as I also attempt to juggle a day job and a night class at the same time. However, in the year 2020, there is an additional twist thrown into the festivities, and that would be the existing COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally, participants would be able to congregate in various libraries and coffeeshops to work on their projects, but thanks to the pandemic, all in-person events have been forced to go virtual. Online meeting rooms will now host social events and write-ins for those putting their characters through different literary situations. For those who tend to be introverted, this is a boon for them. However, for those who miss social interactions, the change is a placebo for face-to-face contact. Yet, the aim is still the same: 50,000 words written in 30 days.

I don't know how well I will fair this NaNo season, but I am willing to put in a valiant effort, as I attempt to create a new story in one of my existing fictional universes. I aspire to reach the finish line, but I will be content if I can break my recent November record (since 2016) of 32,000 words during the month. Regardless, I will do the best I can to pump out the start of a first draft, if not a complete first draft.

Until next time, happy reading and writing, and stay safe.

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