It’s Nablopomo time again, and this year I really feel like I need it. I’ve written substantially less this year than last year, and writing has definitely been haunted by the sense that if I wasn’t going to write as much or as often then any post needed to be ‘worth it’, more substantial with something important to say. Last year all art or words created in the face of a global pandemic felt important and worthwhile – a light in the darkness – this year that feeling was absent and I really missed it.

Despite having low expectations for last year’s challenge, I ended up making a decent showing with nine film blog posts and three food blog posts which feels a bit like a metaphor for last year’s writing in general – not as much as I’d have liked but pleasingly more than I feared. Honestly the return to ‘normal’ has been harder on my writing output than expected. We’re well into the second half of the second year of the pandemic and being caught between pandemic fatigue and having much less free time as life returned to ‘normal’ writing about art or films has been harder than it’s been in a long time. I’ve found myself really enjoying art that acknowledged the strange changed world that we’re living in now – art that even if it didn’t directly engage with the pandemic, was visibly changed or adapted to accommodate social distancing or other safety measures. External validation that we’ve all been changed by it.

So the plan for this year’s Nablopomo is to write about all the things that bring me joy – or that cause other strong emotions – especially the ones that I’d feel a little guilty about devoting a whole blog post to outside of this month. We all need a bit more joy and a bit less guilt in these troubled times.

(A note for new readers, the forgetful, or the merely curious NaBloPoMo is a sibling challenge to Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) where bloggers post every day for the month of November, instead of writing a novel.)