NaNoWriMo (A recap)

It’s official. It’s over. (For me, anyway.) While there are still a few hours left in November, I’ve clocked and verified my word count for the very last time and logged out of my account for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The results are…. not pretty. Pretty shameful, really. In fact, here is a comprehensive list of things that are longer than my NaNoWriMo attempt for 2015:

  • My to-do list for December
  • My next credit card statement
  • This blog entry, probably

I started off strong, even earning a few badges for consecutive writing days and hitting a few milestones (hello, 10,000 words) but in the end, I fell far, far short of the 50,000 word finish line.

I have no regrets, except that I have two regrets. The first is that I didn’t realize there were only 30 days in November until yesterday. The other is that I let myself off the hook before the month even began.

If you recall, I wrote a post at the beginning of the month congratulating myself for simply deciding to participate in NaNoWriMo. I had already given myself a pat on the back. Just for showing up. I immediately opted out of the commitment of reaching 50,000 words because I was afraid of falling short. I didn’t want the pressure. I didn’t want the deadline.

But I do have a deadline. It’s January 4. I need to write as much as possible on this project by the early new year to make the most of an exciting new opportunity. And with all the craziness that December brings, November was supposed to be my cabin in the woods. It was my moment to write like no one’s reading and type like no one’s constantly stepping on my keyboard with her kitten paws and pleading purrs. (Ok, I’ll admit, kittens are always a welcome interruption.)

Things got busy, and day after day my focus slipped away from writing and onto other things. I’m happy I tried, I’m happy I wrote as much as I did, but I have much more to do. And things will only get busier.

I guess this is just one more in a long list of lessons for me (yet another thing that is longer than my NaNoWriMo attempt for 2015), and that is: the story isn’t going to write itself. (You’d think I would have learned this already.) I have to be accountable to myself, because no gimmick, no mentor, no husband/cheering squad can bring pen to page on my behalf. These words belong to me.

And the kitten. (Although most of her typing didn’t make much sense, she did clock a higher word count than me.)

So, here’s to December.

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