Today, November 30, is the last day of NaNoWriMo. Thank heaven. When this month started, the thirtieth day seemed comfortably far away. I got off to a good start and was on track to finish NaNo on target with at least 50,000 words. After the first week, it became clear that I hadn’t prepared myself for the commitment – that is, keeping the calendar clear, eschewing social and other commitments, participating in word sprints and other NaNo exercises to stay motivated, and generally focusing on writing rather than life.

In my last blog post, I observed that whoever decided November was the best month for NaNo was delusional*, thinking that as winter approaches people have nothing better to do than bang out a 50,000-word novel. November is a terrible month for me to put aside living and focus on my Great American Novel. My volunteer activities all have an end-of-year reckoning in November, if not an ongoing commitment (like DAWGS every Friday afternoon during the school year where Fergus and I spend a few hours being read to). There’s Thanksgiving here in the US, and, this year, I prepared for two celebrations, so there went a week.

And then,

Among other matters and objects that slid into failure mode with me and required repair or modification, both my laptop and my tablet decided to go on strike. Hard to write anything significant without a computer, and I rely on the iPad for internet everything, including research. After a week of frustration and lack of productivity, everything is fixed or replaced. And, best of all, I didn’t lose any of what’s already been written of Winter’s Thaw! Panic averted.

I can’t say whether K R Brorman or S A Young sprinted to a successful NaNo conclusion, but it doesn’t really matter. I know that they, as did I, made marked gains on their works in progress. I’ve written some major scenes for Winter’s Thaw – necessary story “beats” to get me farther down the road to “The End.” So that’s how I’m defining success.

Finally, I’ve decided to make a different month my personal NaNoWriMo – CC’sNoWriMo, if you will. January, or February at the latest, should work well. Those winter months really are more down time for me – holidays are over, no long road trips, Fergus napping in front of the fireplace … maybe we’ll get snowed in.

Gratuitous pic of Fergus catching a sunbeam while I try to type one-handed …

*Actually, I hypothesized that it was a man who came up with the notion. I’ll let you decide if delusion plays a role.