… or why I’m A-OK with being a “failure” this time.
So today is November 30th, and I am currently sitting at 18,800 on my NaNoWriMo word count. Considering to win, I needed to have written 50,000, I’m definitely not where I’m supposed to be. I may or may not break even 20k by the end of the day. I’m writing today, sure (and this blog will totally count towards my word count – oh yeah I’m a rebel! LOL), but it’s still going to be a bit more than I’ve written since oh… the 23rd? *checks writerly spreadsheet* Yup, that’s the last day I’ve written. A solid week ago. Considering I had a four day weekend for Thanksgiving and was actually home alone for most of that – I would have thought I’d have blown past 20k at least by now.
Most years I would have. I’ve won NaNo more than once. In a normal year, I can totally do this. But, 2015 was NOT a normal year for me.
On a completely non-writing related scale, I started a brand new job, and there was definitely some adjusting to get used to the new schedule. In some ways, it was awesome: I discovered my hour before work is some of my best writing time. In other ways, it sucked: using the hour before work means I’m getting up at 5:30 which is the earliest I have EVER had to be awake for the day job. While I am a morning person, anything before 6:00 AM just feels like torture. We also had some complications with my man’s mom’s new house. We ended up spending a lot of our summer weekends in another town, helping her look at houses to start and then once she bought one, helping with all the little (and not so little) fixes that needed to be done before she moved in.
On the writing front, the Herding Cats group released a new charity anthology, which while totally awesome to have been a part of, was a MASSIVE undertaking for myself and my partner-in-editor-crime, August Clearwing. We were easily working a minimum of 10 hours per week each on it from about February straight through to June. I’m thrilled with how it turned out, but it was exhausting to balance the creative and administrative juggling we both had to do.
And then, oh holy hells THEN, I was selected for Pitch Wars. I already did a full blog on that, but just to remind you all, that took over my life from the Submission round in the beginning of August straight through until the Agent Round in the first week of November. It was a solid three months of diving into my supposedly finished novel, and honestly by the end of it, I was full on brain-fried with next to no creative reserves left.
I still signed up for NaNoWriMo because I’m a writerly masochist apparently, but I knew from the get-go that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to pull off a win like in prior years.
And sure enough, I didn’t. However, I made a TON of progress, in my opinion. I mean, I have nearly 20,000 words. In a single month. Looking back again at my trust spreadsheet, I find I have OVER 100,000 words for the year. That’s a pretty lengthy debut-novel-worth of words right there, and quite frankly, I’m pretty sure it’s the most I’ve ever written. And I still have December in front of me.
The fact is, I know that I can write 50k in a single month. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again, I’m sure. But this month, my success wasn’t measured in that word count as much as I might have hoped I’d get there, despite the post Pitch Wars brain drain.
I succeeded because I wrote. Period. I now have a backlog of blogs to post, gift fanfics for friends just waiting to be revealed, a short story I feel could be a blast waiting for revisions, and yes, more words my current novel WIP.
All of those words are more than I started out the month with, and that’s the important part. Even if I wasn’t writing as fast as I wanted to, I managed to put at least some words down on paper (and really more than some – 20k is a lot in any month that isn’t NaNoWriMo lol).
So yeah, my “failure” this month was really more of a success, and I’ll do my best to keep reminding myself of that.
How are all of you doing? More successes than failures? Tweet me your progress: @C_L_McCollum as per the usual. I’m always game to cheer other people on as they make their way along their own journey at their own speed!