Preparing for NaNo. Wait, no, I think they're preparing for battle. NaNo, battle, same, same.  (artwork copyright Arvid Blomberg)
Preparing for NaNo. Wait, no, I think they’re preparing for battle. NaNo, battle, same, same. (artwork copyright Arvid Blomberg)

Last week I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. Yay!! My first year! So exciting!

I had it all planned out, too. The final week of October, I’d finish up an editing contract. During the evenings, I’d work out the major plot points for the novel I planned to write. My blog post and University of Iowa’s MOOC assignments I’d squeeze in when I could find time. Somehow, I’d also pull off a massive neighborhood Halloween party, take care of the children and spend time with my husband.

This week, the madness would begin! A trail of half-empty coffee cups would lead to my desk, where bits of paper with scribbled notes lay scattered all over the floor. The frantic keyboard tapping would drive my cat crazy and he’d hide under the sofa until I left to get the kids from school. Dinner conversations would sound something like this:

‘How was your day?’

‘Horrible. Shea jumped into the realm of insanity.’

‘That’s nice. More juice?’

‘You don’t understand! Now one of my main characters is bonkers. It throws off the entire plot. She’s wearing a hedgehog on her head and mumbling about the sacred rights of bananas. Honey, she’s supposed to dine with the Duke in two days!’

The kids would laugh and my husband would ask for more potatoes. Each day I’d post my word count, across multiple social platforms and smile with pride.

Right.

Here’s what really happened:

Either one or both kids have stayed home sick every day for over two weeks. The client’s manuscript I’m editing sat untouched. I spent all day Thursday at the hospital, all day Friday curled up beside my son’s bed. On Saturday and Sunday, I worked like crazy to catch up on the editing contract, the blog, and the MOOC assignment, while my husband took care of the kids. I saw him when he snuck into the bedroom with plates of food. Sunday night, I discovered my client’s manuscript, the one I saved multiple times, vanished into the black hole living inside my computer. I had to start all the editing work again, from scratch. I’m not sure if you’ve ever done that, but when you look at each line, knowing you’ve already edited it and left detailed comments, you don’t want to do it again. That second time around? Yeah, not as fun as the first time.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are booked solid. Which leaves Thursday and Friday to finish editing a 100,000 word manuscript. Not happening.

Now I’m sitting here wondering when I’ll get a chance to write anything for NaNoWriMo. Is it possible to finish? If I’m lucky, I might, if everything works out smoothly, start two weeks late. Two weeks to come up with 50,000 words. Hmm. Do I look at this as half full or half empty? I haven’t decided yet. I’m hoping the tiny warriors in the picture will give me inspiration.

One thought on “Committing to NaNoWriMo

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