NaNoWriMo that crazy month of November where writers/authors try to write 50,000 words in one month. Thirty days, 1,667 words a day. That’s the breakdown. Doesn’t seem impossible does it? That’s cause it is not. Many, many people accomplish it. Some of them do it so far before deadline it is amazing to me. Other’s go right until the last second. That I understand better, that is what I thought I would be doing when I signed up to do it for the first time. I never would have anticipated how NaNo was really going to end for me.
I struggled from the get go. Not because I didn’t have ideas, because I did. Not because I don’t love to write, because I do. But because life intervened. I have two kids. I have three pets. I have a freelancing gig I do on the side. Also, a husband and a house to take care of. These are not excuses, just my situation. Now I know that there are people who do NaNo who have more kids than me. Who work outside the home. Who do other things that take up their time. Yet they were able to do it, so why couldn’t I?
Here’s the thing. I could have. If I hadn’t quit, a week early, with less than 10,000 words left to write, I could have done it. But….and it’s a big but, I hated who it was turning me into. I am a naturally overly competitive person. And I started out behind. So I was fighting to catch up. And my kids became the casualty. Missed tea parties because I needed to get my word count, stories not read because I needed to get that word count, cuddles not had because of that freaking word count.
And when I realized I would probably miss the lead up to Thanksgiving because of the #%^&&$@#(*&% word count, I knew I had to stop. Not because I couldn’t do it. But because with everything else I was supposed to be doing at the same time, my kids were losing out. And that is not acceptable. Now I am not proud of what I became in those three weeks I was doing NaNo hard. And I am in no way bad-mouthing the awesomeness that is NaNo. A bunch of people I highly respect did it, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. And a few others I know didn’t make it either, but hey 30,000 words is better than no words, right?
And I learned something about myself. So I am taking it as a win. Yes I didn’t actually win NaNoWriMo, but I’m still a winner. And that WIP, I will finish it. Not because it’s part of a contest, but because it’s my novel and I love it. Or at least I will after I go and take out all the filler I did, trying to get that #%(^$@$^()%@ word count.