Every year, I seem to forget that by the time we get halfway through November, it’s a week before Thanksgiving, and the month is effectively over. National Novel Writing Month started off pretty well for me, and then took a nose-dive. I will be revising my goal for this month at the end.
While I wasn’t churning out 2,000 words per day, I was making solid progress on my draft of New Earth, The Herb Witch Tales #2 for the first ten days or so of the month. I saw early on that the 50,000-word pinnacle was slipping from my grasp even as I continued writing, but I didn’t let that discourage me. I was still writing every day, sometimes multiple times per day.
Then, two things derailed me simultaneously:
- My writing schedule got thrown off
- and I got sick
No writing schedule?!
Up until this month, I had been pretty diligent about logging off from my work laptop (working from home) and logging on to my home computer to write for short sessions in the evenings. This worked well, because my wife would pick up our toddler from daycare and start getting dinner ready while I had 20-30 minutes to write before spending the evening with them.
Then, our youngest son, the three-month-old, started daycare, and we flipped our schedules. Because my work schedule tends to be top-heavy with meetings each morning, we agreed that I would pick the kids up from daycare. It didn’t occur to me that this would erase that precious, if short, writing session I could lean on at the end of my work day.
Now, I logoff from work and pretty much immediately have to run out to get the kids.
I try to write at night after dinner, with some success, but I’ll need to find a new way to carve out time from my day. I’m considering writing early in the morning before I logon to work…
…but early mornings have never been easy for me.
I caught a stomach bug over the weekend from my toddler that sapped my energy and basically took away 3.5 days of writing time. I’m still recovering, although doing much better.
It’s completely out of my own or anyone else’s control, but it was frustrating to lose a weekend to being sick — not just because of writing. I missed a family birthday celebration and basically didn’t move for three days.
NaNoWriMo the Second Half
So, here I am just over halfway through the month having written 7,000 words. There is no way I’m hitting 50,000 at this point, and I had accepted that even before I got sick. 7,000 would still rank in the top half of my monthly word count totals for this year, so it’s definitely not nothing.
However, I still want to finish strong. With Thanksgiving being my favorite holiday of feasting and family, I’m not going to have the pressure of writing over that weekend hanging over me. So I’m already cutting four more days of writing time in favor of other priorities.
That gives me about 10 days to eke out a writing schedule and make some more progress on this story.
Revised NaNo Goal: 15,000 words total
NaNo Stretch Goal: 20,000 words total
It’s always good to have a realistic goal and a stretch goal, just to motivate a bit more, so there it is. 15k feels doable to me, and if I’m really disciplined, 20k might be, too.