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!
All of this angers me. It’s impossible not to “hate” this man, at least for me. Immigration bans are ridiculous and extremely damaging, and I can’t stomach the thought of any of it. And to want to eliminate the NEA and NEH is too ignorant for words.
It’s a very sad situation, to say the least. I can’t get my head around how people actually voted him in, although it’s confusing about the popular vote and all that.
I think that the hate one feels has to be redirected into something positive so as not to destroy the one feeling it. Hate is worse for the one carrying it around. Anger is the same. Yet, that said, I totally understand what you are saying. I struggle with the same feelings and I don’t live there! From the outside looking it … it’s quite an enlightening perspective.
Stay strong, Donna Marie. There is One far greater.
At this point, Lynn, the “hatred” isn’t as all-consuming as it was during the campaign and then the weeks after the election itself. I’m too busy with too many things to allow the horrible outcome to continue consuming my time in that way. There is no question that there’s only One that’s in control, and it’s certainly not Trump, regardless of the fact that he considers himself “all powerful.” We’re living in the Last Days and we’re basically watching it play out, and although I’ve always understood that, the actual experience is still not always easy. I’ve never put my hope in humankind. The only hope is through God 😀
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I think I was in such disbelief at the outcome for the first week, and it seems that many still are.
I agree with all you said. We’re on the same page and – as you said – “watching it play out.”
A very nice statement. Honestly, I think both of our candidates were not the best America could bring up.
We all need to stand for Freedom and Love. No matter what nation you live in or who you agree or disagree with.
I totally agree with your viewpoint, Erik. From the perspective of a Canadian it’s been mind-boggling the way the process there unfolded.
What a better world it would be if we all did stand for freedom and love.
Thank you for your comment.
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