Saturday, December 1, 2018

NaNoWriMo Almost Complete

At least I got to try all the Starbucks holiday drinks I wanted

NaNoWriMo is as much an exploration of me as it is of any creative content I produce. I learn as much about myself as I do about my novel and about the writing process.
This year’s NaNo proved especially hard for factors I hadn’t really anticipated but should have. It may be a sign of things to come.

While I set out to write 50,000 words for a novel in three parts, by the end of the month I had only written 42,000 words for two parts of the novel, the third one left untouched. It was not a frantic scramble at the end. I basically gave up with several days left in the month.

What happened?

1.     I was 7 months pregnant and the third-trimester fatigue stated to sink in.
2.     Demands from the business were harder to set aside in the evening.
3.     The flu: this is what sealed the deal. I got a terrible flu the day after Thanksgiving and it wiped me out for a week. I couldn't’ even write in bed and by the time I felt better I would have had to pull an all-nighter to meet my goal. Maybe in a non-pregnant body this would be possible, but my pregnant self can’t stay awake past 11:00pm.

All four versions of the holiday cup

I am proud that I was able to get to 42,000 words though. That’s nothing to laugh at. I also learned some valuable lessons about myself and my relationship to fictional writing amidst building a consultancy.

1.     I already have to write A LOT for my business: newsletters, articles, emails, and jus the act of writing all day in that setting makes the act of novel writing exhausting. In my other jobs, the hours of my day were occupied by meetings, simple emails, teaching, and doing endeavors I would otherwise not consider creative. But with my business veery act of writing is an act of creation, and I only have so much energy to create in the day. If I had a less creative job, I would look forward to novel writing more and more, but that’s not the space I am in now.
2.     I don’t like working at cafes anymore. Wow.  A big shift for me. Cafes used to be my writing haven, but perhaps because of pregnancy and fatigue keep me home more often. I wrote most of my NaNo words from the dining room table or my office. Getting dressed and going out to a café to order a decaf latte just seemed like too big of a pain when I could just write form home.
3.     I don’t like Starbucks anymore. Since I wrote there in November, I avoided the dreaded Christmas music. This year, I did sample all 5 of the drinks I wanted to try, but I found them all too sickeningly sweet and lacking in quality. Starbucks coffee itself is pretty bad.
4.     My novel is no longer the BIG thing I want to accomplish in my life. It has taken a backseat to my business and my baby. Priorities, priorities. I love my creative work, but right now I don’t have the mental focus to devote to this endeavor. I need to get my business going and get ready for motherhood. It does’t mean I wil never finish my novel or write again. It just means that this will project will have to live on the back-burner while the other areas of my life flourish.

Day Date Place  Goal Words   Actual Words 
Thursday 1 living room table  1,000  705
    living room table    1,013
Friday 2 Starbucks     618
    Starbucks    331
Saturday 3 14th Street Café  4,000  666
    14th Street Café    1,360
    Astoria Coffeehouse    1,094
    Astoria Coffeehouse    886
Sunday 4 Blue Scorchers  4,000  1,072
    14th Street Café    878
    14th Street Café    725
Monday 5    1,000  -  
Tuesday 6 Starbucks   1,000  489
    Starbucks     579
    Starbucks     198
    Starbucks     94
    Starbucks     287
Wednesday 7 Little T  1,000  76
    Little T    761
Thursday 8 office  1,000  158
    office    217
Friday 9 office  1,000  3,343
Saturday 10 office  4,000  1,386
    office    2,996
Sunday 11 office  4,000  1,461
Monday 12    1,000    
Tuesday 13    1,000  -  
Wednesday 14    1,000  -  
Thursday 15    1,000  -  
Friday 16    1,000  -  
Saturday 17 living room table  4,000  917
    living room table    200
    living room table    797
    living room table    1,868
Sunday 18    4,000  -  
Monday 19 living room table  1,000  2,087
Tuesday 20    1,000  -  
Wednesday 21    1,000  -  
Thursday 22 living room table  1,000  1,180
    living room table    286
    living room table    1,457
    living room table    1,240
Friday 23 living room table  2,000  1,740
    Good Coffee    195
    Good Coffee    1,428
Saturday 24 living room table  2,000  831
Sunday  25    2,000  -  
Monday 26 Good Coffee  1,000  375
Tuesday 27    1,000  2,500
Wednesday 28    1,000  -  
Thursday 29    1,000  -  
Friday 30    1,000  
 50,000  41,866

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