I was so excited to be part of National Novel Writing Month! I came up with a story idea on November 1st. I started writing every day. 1700 words a day. I slacked off when it came close to the 8th, when we were getting ready to go to New York.
Working ten hours a day and trying to keep the rest of my life running (clean clothes are a must) was the most I could do on some days. Writing is for people who don't have to work for a living.
I made great progress on the plane coming home from NY. And that's the last bit I wrote. My total? 11,496 words. The goal was 50,000 words. I scored about twenty percent of the goal.
I'm not sure how I feel about this: while I didn't "win," I certainly don't feel like a loser; I feel a bit of real achievement. The program worked by just getting me writing; it was invigorating to be part of a worldwide effort by writers from all backgrounds and abilities, all working toward the same very personal goal. In that respect, it worked brilliantly--it got me writing a new story and I was writing every day just to get that story out, not for it to be perfect.
But writing every day in November? For me, there could hardly be a worse month. I really had no time to even read a newspaper, much less two hours a day to create a novel from nothing--no plot, no outline, no character development--nothing but a blank page. Writing is for people with the luxury of time.
I'm not disappointed in myself. It would be nice to have been able to write 50,000 words in November, but I just couldn't. It would have been possible only if I took that time away from my family and work obligations. How haughty and self-centered that would have been. Can't imagine it: "Sorry, Mom, I'd love to visit with you but I must write. See you in a couple of hours." Maybe that's how some writers do it, but that's not me.
So now what? I'm going to make January my own Novel Writing Month. There is so much less going on in my life in January (I think). Maybe I'll try on that haughty writer's persona, shut the door, and practice the following: No, I'm sorry, I can't. I have to write today.
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