So, NaNo. November always has its challenges, but this year they piled on, with the addition of a new freelance job, trying to coordinate a very short visit from my son and his fiancee between two families, trying to figure out the winter holidays, and other stressors. It threw me into migraines and just made my life miserable.
I ended up running a consistent just under 1 day behind up until the ninth, then for no good reason, I let the stressors win and took a week off.
I’d offered my house for a write-in on the 17th, though, so I had to get my act together. Did I write before then? No. But I did get a tidy 2,000 during the write-in, adding to my grand total of 13,430…not even half way to the end.
This should have been a sign of a better future…but I took the next day off, managed just over a normal NaNo day on the 19th, and then 2,300 the next day.
Oops, it was time to do some math and decide what I was going to do. I had 19,513, and only ten days left. In a month where I’d managed over 2,000 rarely, with the holidays coming up and the chance to see my son and his fiancee, plus friends visiting, I needed to make over 3000 every day.
I had to decide then and there whether this would be my first NaNo failure, or whether I would get my act together, make time, make adjustments, and get it done.
Well, I’ve never much cared for the term impossible. Improbable sure, that’s something I’m very familiar with, but things have a way of falling into place once you truly commit to them. This had been my failure so far. I hadn’t committed. I’d taken my time, allowed myself wasted hours, and let the stressors win.
That was unacceptable.
So what did I do? I took that math, understood it would only get worse over the holidays where time was spotty, and said that’s it, I’m getting this done.
I also stopped pretending a broken outline was anything less than a barrier to progress, and “wasted” words outlining a bunch of scenes and marking a bunch of original scenes as worthless. The outline isn’t quite finished, yet, but I’ve got enough scenes to take me close to the end of NaNo. If the book doesn’t roll for me at that point, I’ll stop again and outline more.
The holidays ended up working out beautifully. My son likes to sleep in, so I talked to him late into the night, wrote once he went to bed, and rose late. Then they went to his fiancee’s parents, and I wrote my tail off, leaving me hardly behind on my new schedule at all. My friends showed up in the late afternoon, after I’d all but finished my count. Even Thanksgiving happened in the middle of the day, letting me get a writing session before and another after.
The fates aligned to make this happen once I committed to the project. Words flow better, time magically appears, and with it energy (okay, that last part comes from chocolate, but whatever works).
I am not out of the woods. I’m still some 15,000 from the 50k when I should be sitting pretty with only 8,000 to go. However, 35,418 looks pretty good considering seven days ago I had 17,213 and little hope. It’ll be tough, but I have a plan, and I have determination to carry me the rest of the way. It helps that yesterday I poured out 4,040. Another couple days of that, and I’ll be coasting.
So are you with me? If you’ve already crossed the line and are just waiting on your purple bar, congratulations. But if not, it’s time to fish or cut bait. And really? Though I’m not much for fish, slimy worms are worse.