The NaNo Gods must be crazy . . .

We’re more than halfway through the month of November. Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away. My husband’s beard is getting decidedly bushy, and the NaNo Gods have decided to throw everything at me. Including the kitchen sink. Maybe it’s time to look for a better sacrifice. My time and sanity don’t seem to be cutting it.

On Saturday I had my first failure of NaNo. Despite writing and desperately updating my word count up until the very stroke of midnight, I only managed to log 1,356 of my 1,666 2/3 word goal. Now I could blame it on a lot of things. I could blame it on a lack of inspiration, my own procrastination or a bad impersonation. It’s got to be some sort of ation, right? But no. I lay the blame squarely on the shoulder of my bushy-bearded husband.

My husband is not nearly as big of a fan of NaNo as I am. In fact, he pretty much just hates it. Apparently I spend too much time obsessing over writing, and not enough time paying attention to him. (Forgive me. I’m an addict.) So this year in a blatant attempt to ruin my run at NaNo he went and got sick with pneumonia. Pneu-fricking-monia! Are you kidding me??? I blame it on his beard. Surely the pneumonia organisms wouldn’t have been able to settle in if they hadn’t been able to cling to the unshaven strands that are covering his face.

Needless to say, Saturday was the climax of his illness, which resulted in us spending our afternoon in the Emergency Room (because small town’s don’t understand the need for Urgent Care centers). Thankfully an amazing friend watched the kids so I didn’t have to try and corral them around the hospital waiting room.

The good news is, I have quite a few words saved for a rainy day like Saturday was. Par for today is an even thirty thousand words. I’m currently sitting at 36,673, and I haven’t written today. Well, that’s not true. I’ve written two and a half newspaper articles and this blog post. I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and work on NaNo. But I will find time. I will preserver. And tomorrow and Wednesday I will have a bit of respite while both kids are in school, and the mending spouse is at work. Hopefully I can work my way closer to that elusive 50,000 word target and not give myself pneumonia doing it.

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On the fourth day of NaNo, my novel gave to me . . .

So we are officially on the fourth day of NaNoWriMo, which means I probably shouldn’t be writing this blog post. For the next few weeks, there are two reasons I will be blogging: either I’m taking a quick break from my novel (and hopefully caught up on my word counts) or I’ve fallen hopelessly behind and given up.

Today is the first of those two. Whew! It’s been a difficult few days, but I’m keeping up. I think this year had a rough start because the first of November fell on a Friday. For most people, the weekend is probably the best time to get writing done. For me, it’s the opposite. With my husband and kids home all weekend, it’s hard for me to find time to sit down by myself and concentrate like I need to. And for us, the weekend usually starts early on Friday. Combine that with a six-year-old who is still recovering from a nasty fever, and trying to hit my 1666 2/3 words each day was a challenge. 

On Friday, I managed to get a good start, writing over 2,000 words. But I knew I needed some extra in the tank to save up for later. Saturday we went for a 22.5 mile bike ride, which took most of the day. And yesterday we spent a good portion of the day in the car. It was a bit of a stretch to hit the 5,000 word mark that I needed to reach to keep on track, but I managed.

The story has been moving a little more slowly than I’d like, and I’m not sure I like most of what I’ve written, but that’s the point in NaNo. Sometimes you have to just have to hogtie your inner-editor, add some duct tape across their mouth and toss them in the corner. They can wait there patiently until December first. So that’s my plan. I’ll keep putting down words, and hopefully I’ll have at least a rough story that can be shaped into something better down the line.

As I write this, I’m at 7,295 words which puts me ahead of where I need to be, but there’s a long time between now and the end of the month. There’s no telling what could happen between now and them. So for now, I’ll just keep on plugging along and hope divine inspiration strikes.

NaNoWriMo Eve

As I sit here writing this blog post, it is officially NaNoWriMo Eve. To most people it would be know as Halloween, but Halloween is over in this house. The costumes have been stripped off and left lying in the middle of the floor surrounded by candy wrappers, I’ve eaten more candy than real food, and the kids have finally slipped off to dream in their sugar comas. The last trick-or-treaters have turned in for the night. And I am left staring into the eyes of NaNo.

This year will mark the first year I’ve actually planned on taking the NaNo challenge. I first heard about the 50,000 word race two years ago, but it was already halfway through the month of November, and I had no ideas on new material to write, so I didn’t even bother. Last year, I was (as usual) late to the party. I’d forgotten about it until I read about it on a parenting forum. By then, it was the third of November. Even though I didn’t have the beginnings of a novel in my brain, divine inspiration struck, and a novel was born.

This year, I’ve had time to prepare, and maybe that’s the reason I’m feeling somewhat apprehensive about it. I’m not sure why I’m so worried. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve succeeded once, which makes the idea of failure even less appealing. Maybe it’s the fact that my kids have spent the last week sick, so I’ve had almost no time to myself to sit down and write. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m halfway through a rewrite that I’m reluctant to put aside for the next month. It’s hard to say, but the excitement that I felt a week or so ago has turned to nerves.

It probably doesn’t help that I find myself lacking slightly in the familial support department. My husband seems to think that NaNo made me into a cranky, hermit last year. (You should see his, “Don’t bother me. I’m writing.” impression.) The one big plus here is that he has decided to enter a November contest of his own. He and his coworkers have all agreed to participate in No-Shave November, and they’re going to vote to see who grows the best beard. I think that buys me a little bit of wiggle room. If I have to put up with his bushy beard, he can deal with my need for writing time.

So I’m sitting here, while my husband eats the kids Halloween candy, wondering what the next month will bring. And hoping I’ll be able to find the time to bang out the 1,666 and 2/3 words that I need to get down every day to make my 50,000 word goal. And worrying that I’ll run out of material before I hit 50k. But you know what? Tomorrow I will sit down at the computer, I will hit the keys, and I’ll do the best I can. And I’ll let you know how I do along the way. (Assuming I can find time to write a blog post in addition to my NaNo necessities.)

Wish me luck and may the NaNo be with you!