My dear friends,
I deliberately avoid political discussion here, and anywhere online. Today I have to share something that I believe is really important.
I am not a US citizen; I am happy to be a Canadian, although, of late, it’s beginning to look as if our nation also could be entering the arena of political stupidity. It’s disheartening to witness the fear, anxiety and grief of my US friends who are greatly affected by the turn of events of their 2016 election. In the writing world there is opportunity to make things better, one word, one page, one book at a time. So to those who are worried, I say WRITE ON! Be positive, be hopeful, take the high road and DO NOT allow yourself to be pulled into the mire. Avoid hate. Be sure your words are the best they can be because somebody needs you, and that somebody could be someone you will never meet in person but who will read your words and be encouraged.
Yesterday I received an email from the National Novel Writing Month desk. I’m sharing it with you because, as I said at the start, I believe it is really important. This letter came, addressed to Polilla-Lynn – my NaNoWriMo name , because I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2010 (and won!) and in 2011-2013 (adding to my novel of 2010).
Read it and be encouraged, my friends. Love to you, Lynn
What we stand for, what we stand against.
As a creative writing nonprofit, we’re not a political organization. We don’t endorse candidates or support any particular party. In an ideal world, we would focus only on empowering people to write.
Yet we find ourselves in a time where people’s ability to tell their stories—and even to safely exist—is at stake.
NaNoWriMo strives to be a gateway and sanctuary for people’s voices. Our guiding belief is that every person’s story matters, and we celebrate the inclusion of all religions, races, genders, sexualities, and countries of origin. We help people find a safe space to be who they are—creators, storytellers, and world changers.
Because of this core organizational value, we join the many voices standing against the presidential executive order that bans refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
For over 15 years, we’ve had the privilege of writing alongside a community from over 200 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. We don’t build walls. We strive to dissolve borders through stories, the vital human narratives that expand our worlds.
So while we are not a political organization, we feel moved to take action.
In response to the executive order, as well as any future government efforts that threaten people’s basic freedoms, we will:
- Celebrate creativity over apathy, diversity over fear, and productivity over despair.
- Welcome all stories and continue to make NaNoWriMo a safe space for all writers.
- Advocate for the transformative power of storytelling to connect people and build a better world.
If you have concrete ideas for how we can work toward these goals (or if you have feedback about anything in this message), please share your thoughts.
Thank you for being part of NaNoWriMo. We are all individuals of different beliefs and backgrounds, but we come together through a shared passion. We pledge to remember that, and to look to our community as a model and inspiration, as we get to the work ahead.
With gratitude and optimism,
We are also concerned about upcoming issues that may affect people’s self-expression, like the President’s desire to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEA is a crucial source of support for many nonprofit writing organizations, and has provided funding for NaNoWriMo in the past. The NEH has awarded $515 million to libraries, many of which provide local writing spaces through our Come Write In program.
If these cuts are proposed, National Novel Writing Month will respond and advocate.
Your thoughts? You have two places to share this time if you wish, here and on their form.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂 YOU CAN DO IT!