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  • Dan Connors



November can be a depressing month. The brilliant colors of fall are fading, days continue to get shorter, and the weather is often grey, damp, and cold. It's a perfect time to stay inside and watch television and movies or play video games.

Or, if you want to stretch your brain in this drab month, you can take part in something called Nanowrimo. Every year since 1999, a national communal writing project launches on November 1st. It's free and open to everyone at People all over the world commit to writing at least 50,000 words for the month in a novel or whatever format they like. There's no judgement- just prompts and encouragement to write every day and try to create something wonderful.

I'll be participating in Nanowrimo this year here on the blog, looking for 30 unique essays that may or may not tie in together. I'm shooting for one per day, which is a challenge for me but could produce some interesting content for you. My goal with this blog is to showcase some of my better essays and gain an audience. Writers need readers, pure and simple. I have a novel I'm trying to sell (more on that later), and no agent or publisher wants to talk to you unless you already have readers. If you like what you see, I'd love it if you could spread the words. If you don't, I'm always interested in feedback from readers.

Writing is one of the most challenging mental exercises that there is. It forces you to organize your thoughts, string them into arguments and narratives, and come alive as a thinker. Putting words down onto paper (or screens) is a risky commitment for some, because it exposes your inner thoughts and invites criticism (as well as praise).

Writing can be therapeutic, which is why many therapists encourage journals for patients to write their thoughts and feelings down. Talking face to face is better for you but writing allows you to dig deeper and take your time arranging your thoughts. Then you can choose with whom to share your words- a friend, a relative, the world, or just yourself. The choice is up to you.

I've been writing for over 40 years now. I've been published in newspapers and written things no one has seen. Some of the 30 essays may be so brilliant that someone will publish them. My goal is that all who read them will get something out of them.

I invite you to join me if you like by creating a Nanowrimo account and becoming my writing buddy (connorsd). Before you know it, December will be here and the holidays will consume our schedules. November is an ideal time to learn, reflect, and fight back as the dark days of winter approach. You can also join me this month as I dig down deep for some pithy essays and observations. Thank you for reading!

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