I have been a WriMo since 2013. I have written several novels and I have spent many hours editing and revising stories, both fictional and non-fictional. As an active member of a writing community, the Virtual Writers, I have hosted a countless number of writing sprints. I have hosted a couple of workshops on writing in general and on writing in a virtual world in particular. I have always tried my best to motivate and encourage my fellow writers when the dreaded NaNo slump takes place, usually during the second week of November. All this to show you how committed I have been, over the years, to the NaNoWriMo project.
And then... a bomb exploded.
Right when we didn't need any distraction, in mid-November, very concerning information came to light about the forums, how they were moderated, and about some of the moderators.
I don't like forums. I don't use forums. So, I was horrified, to say the least, when I read the testimonies of many forum users, especially but not only, those in the Youth Writing Program (underage kids) about the way the forums were moderated. Some of these testimonies mentioned actions that are clearly indictable offenses.
I was even more horrified when I realized that forum users, including underage kids, had been drawing attention to these issues for months, if not years.
I don't know why this went on for so long without being addressed.
As a result, I now avoid associating myself with NaNoWriMo in any way, including hosting writing sprints during NaNoWriMo events.
My writing community has removed all references to NaNoWriMo in our resource material, and we are seriously considering organizing a writing event by ourselves. A final decision will be made before the April Camp NaNoWriMo.
What started so well, took a clear tumble.
I was, nevertheless, able to keep my head above the waterline.
And finish what I started.
I did miss a few goals (grayed out icons).
But I managed to drag myself to the finish line.
It's sad that such an amazing idea (I'd even say energy), that prompts people from all over the world to write their stories, ends up facing such a serious hurdle. The allegations made were so shocking, especially those involving underage kids that, as a former educator, I will not suggest NaNoWriMo to anyone else and I will definitely not recommend the Youth Writing Program.
May this storm be the motivation to (re)build on more solid ground.
|Nostalgia by Cicca|