November is National Novel Writing Month, AKA NanoWriMo. I finally hit on a project that I wanted to work on and that had potential to be a longer work. In the days between leaving my job and November 1st, I even managed to get an outline together, as well as a character list and some specific scenes down. When November 1 got here, I was off and writing.
I kept up with the necessary pace (sometimes exceeding word count minimums) for a good week. Then, life started happening. First, there was the Urban Homesteading Conference, then the book festival, and then Bill and Hillary Clinton came to speak. So, it was three weeks of traveling back and forth to Little Rock. In the meantime, I had a book review and article due for an upcoming issue of Physician Family.
By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, the November novel had taken a backseat to a short story that barged its way into my brain (and that had a deadline of December 1). We went to see Mom and the sisters that weekend, and now here we are in eight days into December and I haven't gotten back to the novel. But, my total for the month of November was right around 21K. And of that 21K a good half of that writing was sent out for publication.
I call that a win.
For now, I'm reading The Story Grid and getting back to the November novel and the other manuscript in a desk drawer. The other one used to be called Elegant Freefall, but it may be getting a major overhaul, complete with a new title. And, that's ok.
Even though I had declared this year I was going to win (winning is determined by writing 50K words in the month of November), I realize that for me NanoWriMo is about getting started more than anything else. Perhaps for me, this is Narrative November Write More. Or something.
This week I also realized that I need to do less at my computer and more with a pen in hand. Teaching online for 13 years programmed me to always be at the computer. I was basically shackled to the thing. Over the last month of not teaching, I've had some grand moments where I didn't use my computer for an entire weekend. When I stayed in Little Rock for the Book Festival was one of those weekends, and when I was at Mom's for Thanksgiving weekend was another. While those were two weekends of not writing they were also pretty glorious.
Today, I'm going back to writing in my notebook every morning, first thing, before email or dog walks or anything else. This morning's writing session led to the start of a story about an woman who is thrust into motherhood when her identical twin commits suicide. Totally off the path that any of my other current projects are on, but interesting none-the-less. And, it felt good to get my journal out and write the date and "Day 1" at the top of the page.
How was your NanoWriMo? Any revelations on your end? New habits or writing resolutions?