What happens when you go to a holiday party and someone asks, “How’s the writing going?” Do you cringe because you’ve been too busy searching online for gifts or hard-to-find ingredients, or decorating ugly sweaters? It can be difficult to find time to write during this season.

Yes. I totally used “NaNoWriMo” as a verb. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s when writers voluntarily torture themselves during the month of November as they attempt to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Did you know that Like Water for Elephants and The Night Circus both began as NaNoWriMo projects?

You have a great book. You have written an awesome book. And so it happens that you have written, let’s say, a transgender character. They might be the protagonist, or their friend, their lover, their sibling… but you are not trans yourself. You have done research: you’ve read trans activists; you’ve watched them on YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter; you are slightly aware of trans rights are in your area.