My First NaNoWriMo – A Tale of Healing!

National Novel Writing Month healed me.

If you ask the Dayton, Ohio, NaNo group, those who know me likely consider me a prolific writer.  I can hammer out seven hundred words in a fifteen-minute word war and have little problem writing fifty thousand words in less than three weeks.  I'm focused and intense, man!

But I didn't always live in Dayton.  For the previous three years before my first NaNo, I lived in Miami, Florida.  It was the most consistently miserable time in my adult life.  I felt trapped, I didn't have many friends, I didn't want to go anywhere.  While I was in Miami, I finished a couple of short stories, but that's all.  Prolific?  Pshaw.  I'd be lucky to write at all in the course of a month.  I was seriously concerned that I had lost the ability to write, lost the magic that allowed me to express myself in words, and was trying to adjust to the idea that I wasn't a writer, after all.  It was a rough adjustment because I didn't want to make it.  I loved writing.  It had defined me as a person since I was a kid!  Since almost before I can remember, I wanted to be a writer, and I have worked to hone my craft.  For those three years, I was in and out of dark moods brought on by my inability to write, and when I did it was dark stuff indeed.

Then, Ohio.  I didn't know anyone and went to a NaNo kickoff party.  I sat there awkwardly, not knowing what to do, really, other than write.  But before the end of the kickoff party, I had been invited to an afterparty.  Many of the people that were at that initial meeting became lasting friends.

Even better, I could write.  The floodgates were open.  After three years of almost no productivity, I wrote seventy-five thousand words in a month.  The magic was back as if it had never gone, or even had grown stronger in its time away.

NaNoWriMo restored me to myself.  The fears that I wasn't a writer evaporated in the warmth that the people there gave me, without being asked for it, without even knowing they were doing it.  I will always love NaNo and the alchemy of experience that brought my art back to life.

Kit Bradley
NaNoWriMo name: swordandlion
2016 NaNo Project: editing Lord Goblin novels


  1. I'm so happy you rediscovered your talent. Thank you for sharing your story. And happy writing!

  2. So glad you came to that kick-off party! The community of Nanowrimo is a welcoming and safe place. Love our #DaytonWrimos, they're are an awesome & fun bunch. Thank you for sharing and for having Tippy's back.


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