I don’t know what it is about this format of challenge, but the idea of National Novel Writing Month—setting a writing goal for the month of November, usually 50,000 words—is working out really well for me. So much so, that I finished my goal this year in just 23 days of writing, making it two attempts at NaNo and two successes.
On November 1 this year, I started a brand-new project and really got into my rhythm straight away. The words were flowing, the story was unfolding itself, which will continue now even after I’ve reached my goal of 50,000 words. Since the daily writing was going so well, I decided to set another goal: to write (my novel, specifically) every day this month. So even though I’m technically done one week early, I will continue to add to this book in hopes that I will be that much closer to a finished first draft by the end of the calendar month.
Writing every day has definitely been a challenge. I was lucky that Maverick would have a nap nearly every day before I had to pick Archer up from school, which would allow me at least an hour, most days closer to an hour and a half/two hours, to write.
I am grieving that set time because Maverick has slowly been growing out of his daily nap. For me, the time when Maverick was napping was more than just writing time; it was time that I was able to dedicate to myself. I think the balance we are striving for here is getting Maverick to have at least an hour of “quiet time” in his bed and I’m hoping that with the encouragement of getting to play with toys and have books with a soft light on, he’ll be able to spend that time alone and I’ll still get an hour to spend on my craft.
To be honest, I’m not that optimistic about it. He is a child with his own agenda that really doesn’t like to listen. But as Brad pointed out (and it’s worth it to note that he is optimistic that Maverick will stay in his room for an hour), he was staying put even when he wasn’t sleeping lately. So, I guess that means there is hope.
Longing for the past ... but maybe not?
When I think about this time last year, when I was doing NaNoWriMo for the first time, I was so privileged to have time, every day, to myself. Uninterrupted hours of writing, cleaning, blogging, taking care of odds and ends, and don’t forget that old audiobook project I started and have yet to finish. Maverick was at day care four days per week, Archer was in kindergarten and Brad was working at the office.
What I wouldn’t give to get that time back. And I can’t help but wonder where my books would be if the pandemic hadn’t gone all world-wide on us. I had initially planned to start shopping my Romi story around to publishers and agents by the end of this past summer, but now I am hoping to get to that phase of her publishing journey in early 2021.
Now that I’m thinking about the what-ifs, I am confident that everything happens for a reason, so far as the delay goes, not necessarily the death and illness that comes with Covid. The idea for my current book—which I summarized here, if you haven’t read it—only came to me a couple of months ago. And if we weren’t in the place we currently are, I don’t know that it would have come together at all. It’s such a big part of my identity now, and I truly hope one day to share that story with the reading world. And everything will be as it should be.
I guess that would be the main thing I am grateful for, a positive thing that has come out of this pandemic for me. Not only the achievement of writing every day, but also this next book. A story that I am passionate and excited about.
Your turn: tell me what you are passionate and excited about. And, if you feel like it, what is one positive thing that has come out of this pandemic for you?