November 30

These are the last words that I will write this month.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the magical journey that is Nano this year.  We had a lot of wonderful moments.

Our first ever Team Championship has been such a success, and I’m so happy about it.  We have had so many people get so excited and so into it, and that’s so great.  There’s less than six hours of nano left and I have no idea who is going to come out on top in the end.  Minion Laura and I worked REALLY hard on the poster, and a bunch of people  bought them!  So validating!  Speaking of validating…

I personally had a great nano and set all kinds of new records for myself.  I beat my previous highest word count by a LOT.  I finished faster than I ever have before.  I crushed my previous record for words in one day.  And the really exciting thing is that a lot of the people I have talked to have also blown their goals away.

We won’t have the final numbers until sometime this weekend, but let us consider this:  Nano as a whole has a finish rate somewhere in the high teens.  The Detroit region finishes somewhere in the low twenties.  This is all in percents, by the way.  Now, that’s already an awesome thing, that proves that Detroit is way cooler than everyone in general.  But the teams, as of this moment FORTY PERCENT.  Do you realize how awesome that is?  It’s awesome.

This year was also the Year of Swag.  You guys asked for more swag in the last yearly survey, and boy howdy, did we deliver.  There was something in the neighborhood of twenty brand new pieces of swag.  So much swag that it’ll take at least another year for a lot of folks to collect it all.

We had some truly grand events.  Hugely productive Midway.  Boot Camp came back for its second year and we all had a glorious time that was EXACTLY as productive as Midway, but with about half the people.  First hopefully of many, Night Owl events at Joe and Dev’s house, that was so fun, and now here we are, sitting at the One Last Push, just having a nice quiet time chatting and getting a few last words in.  Of course the Productivity Gulag is fully operational in the basement, where there are sure to be cheers erupting any minute as those desperate souls churn out the last of their words.

We had some great potlucks!  I’m here for the food, really.  Both to eat it and to make it.  The Midway church made us breakfast.  Super cool.  We had pizza at Boot Camp that was possible because of our fundraising.

Fundraising might just turn out to be a record year as well, and for that, we are so grateful to everyone.  People dug deep into their pockets in so many different ways, and without those contributions, we would not be able to do all of the things we do.  So thank you.

We had a lot of fun times with friends.  Some of whom we do nano with because they are our friends, and some of whom we are friends with because we do nano with them.  Both of those friendships are good.  The community that makes up nano is it’s defining feature.  Victory is sweeter when your people are there to cheer for you.  Failure doesn’t sting as much.  The clack of the keyboard is better in unison with twenty other keyboards, and the coffee tastes better at your favorite writein.

People have made some amazing stories, and some terrible stories, and some terribly amazing stories.  But they are our stories, and they are all good.  Because they didn’t exist before this month, and now they do.

Things exist now, because of this thing we have done, that did not exist before.  And no matter whether you are excited about revising what you wrote, or plan to burn it so that it never sees the light of day, it is still a thing you did, and you should be proud of it.

It’s the end of the year.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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