Summer Update

I’ll hopefully post again soon (maybe with haiku!) but first a confession: I have barely written a word since my kids started summer vacation.

If I start to talk about my feelings on this topic, there will likely be tears involved, and I’m not in the mood. Perhaps I’ll post about it later.

hotrod die cast model on board

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

However, I did write something right before school was out, and it ran in Tablet Magazine last week. “Game Over” is a personal essay–a nice, short read–about playing board games on long, summertime Shabbat afternoons and how a recent losing streak revealed a bit more of my inner ugly than I would have expected. You can read it here.

I’m a NaNo Loser and Proud of It

It’s now four days into December, and NaNoWriMo is all wrapped up. The goal was to write 50,000 words, and I will tell you straight up: I did not make it to 50,000 words.

But, the good news is, I wrote about 39,000. That’s great! I’ve never written a number of words anywhere near that big in any other month, ever. I’m glad I signed up for NaNo, because had I not, I’m pretty sure I would have written zero words of that book.

I’m hoping to work consistently on that manuscript throughout December. If I do that, I should have a complete first draft around January 1st.

Working through the ups and downs of NaNoWriMo taught me a few things, and reminded me of a few others.

  1. When I’m going “off outline” and start to panic, if I keep writing, sometimes I come up with something better than what I originally outlined.
  2. Forcing myself to write daily meant that sometimes I wasn’t in the mood or was distracted or was just plain tired by the time I got some time to sit by myself and write. But occasionally, those very “I’m not in the right headspace” moments turned into my most creative. Weird-but-cool stuff would come out that if I’d been calm and in my usual efficient state of mind, I probably would never have dreamed up.
  3. That little “Project Target” widget in Scrivener is priceless. All I wanted to do from the moment I clicked on it each day was watch it turn from read to green as I approached my targeted word count for the day. Also, I can see that the Project Target is getting closer and closer to green, and it’s making me persist past November 30th.
  4. Pushing forward without editing is helping me just keep chugging along. It’s so hard to fight the desire to just fix, fix, fix to perfection as I move along, but I’ll never finish that way.

Anyway, I’ve got a few short pieces I’ve been wanting to work on, and I think I’m just pushing them off until January (excepting those due back to my normal employers, because: deadlines! paychecks!) so I can finish this novel. I have a bad feeling that if I stop now, I’ll never, ever finish.

Now, some questions for you:

-Did you do NaNoWriMo?

-If yes, did you “win”?

-If you didn’t win, what lessons did you learn?

-And if you did, what’s your next step?

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com