I've been awake for an hour on the insistence of my bladder and that of the doggers. I don't mind because I have much to unravel from the knotted plot lines of my novel. My brain is not yet caffeinated enough to dig in fully, but the day hasn't stolen away all of my energy, so I'm not fighting drowsy-brain, either. All week I've struggled to write because I've been the only adult in the joint, and by the time I get everyone settled enough so I can sit down and think it's 10 p.m. and I'm nodding off at the computer.
So... National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) ended at 11:59 p.m. last night. Participants were supposed to hammer out 50,000-word novels in 30 days. I was participating in NaNoWriMo, therefore I was supposed to ring in December with 50,000+ words for my latest novel. Somehow I squealed into the finish line with a blistering 28,036 words, just over half of my goal. On the one hand, I'm disappointed that I fell short by so much. It's not like I had unrealistic goals--I wrote a book in a month last year, so I knew that it was a huge undertaking but something I'd been successful at previously. This time around, I guess I wasn't as interested in writing just to write, and maybe I stifled my creativity by trying to plan things out too much. My second draft from last year's NaNoWriMo novel is mostly unrecognizable from what I spewed out onto the page the first time around, and it took, literally, blood, sweat, and tears to make it into something more, well, less crap-like.
And, confession-time, I rode my ponies a lot more than I probably should have and soaked in as much sunshine as I could before winter hits and the ground freezes and thaws, then freezes all over again. There'll be plenty of hours to write then, hermitted in my house in my bubble of fleece. I welcomed two doula babies this past month and met with several expectant families. When friends asked me to go places and I wanted to take part, I did. No regrets--well, except for missing my goal. Ha.
I'm trying to be more positive about the missing of this lofty goal, telling myself I'll be happier to have taken a little bit more time with it. The process of writing subsequent drafts or revising won't suck quite as much..... but that darn number bugs me a little bit. Okay, a lotta bit. It's just a number, but I knew I was capable of it. I set so very few goals for myself, and fewer that I really care about reaching. To write 28k words on any subject could be considered impressive, I guess. However, the average reader can skim through that many words in the matter of an hour, if they really wanted to.
My new-and-improved goal is to reach 50k (or the end of this novel) by January 1st, 2013, should the Mayans be way off on this end-of-the-world business. This is NaNoTwoMo, and I may be on my own with this, the lone writer striving for that elusive word count amidst the holiday chaos, I don't know.
I will do this. I've got to.