When I set out to write my novel last year, I never intended to stay away from my blogging for so long. Back in October, I was so excited to start writing my novel that I burrowed myself into a cave for all of October, outlining and brainstorming how my novel was going to take shape. On November 1, I thought I was ready. I was so not ready.
I exhausted every prompt I wanted to write about, every thought that had been neatly planned out. I constantly cringed and wrinkled my nose acknowledging that as part of NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t go back and edit my work. November was just about the act of writing, letting it all flow out, unedited. I probably go through 30 edits before I publish each one of these posts. (I am by no means a perfectionist, I just like to re-read and get some perspective a few days after each entry.)
November started off strong. On Day 1, I was off writing, intensely tapping the keyboard, trying to get my thoughts down on page as fast as they were popping into my head. When my story started changing directions, I couldn’t stop and steer it back on track. Finally, the story and characters got away from me all together and I hit a mental wall.
The problem with writing a novel in November is that it’s the start of the holiday season and that means running around visiting people and Christmas shopping. OK, I know this sounds like an excuse, but it’s true. I had a friend that was getting ready to move across country and I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could before she was gone. I was also looking forward to visiting family over Thanksgiving weekend. This posed a major threat to my word count. I spent every evening trying to overcompensate for all the time I would be losing out to social events. The daily struggle resulted in me not enjoying any of my social activities because I was too busy worried about my word count and stressed that I wasn’t writing enough to finish on time.
By Day 15, I cried. A lot. That was almost the end of my novel writing for the month. It was Joey’s words of wisdom that made me realize that I was taking this challenge all too seriously, “It’s not like you get money at the end of this! There’s no prize.” While he’s right that there was no physical prize or award, there was personal satisfaction, and the gratifying sense that I could complete a novel, and in 30 days’ time. It wasn’t easy and I ran out of steam. I did have a flash of inspiration and tapped out some solid pages while I was on vacation, but I could never make up for all the lost time.
Good News, I am ready to get back on track with more consistent blog posts. I have tried a few new cafés and been keeping busy reading. There are plenty of books I want share with you, either for good or bad reasons, to flock to your local library for or to forever put on your blacklist.
Drink of Choice: Lady Grey tea
Cost: 15 days of torment and exhilaration