Another attempt, another year I didn't quite meet the goal for NaNoWriMo.
I'm not disappointed in that fact this year though. Yes, I didn't make the goal of 50,000 words in a month, but I managed 33,000. That's nothing to sneeze at, and to be frank, it is more than I imagined I might write in a normal month.
There's the important part. Since I wasn't starting a new rough draft this year, I decided to just count up the words in my usual creative writing load for the month. Between the weekly articles, blog posts, flash fictions, and what I added to my longer stories, I didn't do too bad.
I managed an average of 1,100 words a day. That does seem a bit low, but I did have about a week and a half, verging on two weeks where I was unable to write at all.
First my girls and then I contracted a nasty cold in the middle of the month. Being a mom, I couldn't lay around in bed all day, so I doped myself up on cold meds and kept going. That's okay for housework and all, but I'm one of those folks for whom even non-drowsy medicines puts them in a stupor. Have you ever tried to write something while doped up on pain or cold medicines? I wouldn't advise it. It tends toward nonsense, which is why I avoided writing until I no longer needed them.
By the time I'd recovered, I was about a week away from the start of my holiday sales. This was a problem because I still hadn't restocked after the two conventions I worked in October. I'd planned to restock slowly over the course of the month, but I have a policy of going nowhere near my soaping supplies when I'm ill. No matter how many measures I take to ensure good manufacturing habits, the idea makes my skin crawl, so no soaping unless I'm healthy. Therefore, I needed to make several dozen soaps in a matter of days, which meant roughly sixteen hours a day in the kitchen. That didn't leave any time for writing.
I finally ran out of ingredients the day before Thanksgiving, and I returned to writing a couple of days later as the holiday preparations and festivities wore down.
All things considered, I probably managed to write about twenty days out of the month. When you correct the daily word count average for the days I actually managed to write, the number comes to 1,650. That's only sixty-seven words off from the daily goal needed to write all 50K words in thirty days.
Some writers might not consider that a "good" word count for a day, but I do. If I'm honest with myself, I'm a part-time writer. Yes, it's part of my job, but so is soaping, perfuming, sewing, and crocheting. After all, without the sales over at Contented Comfort, I wouldn't have the time or freedom to write for more than a few minutes a day. I've done that before, and it's why it took two decades to finish Right of Succession as much as the bad habits of draft jumping and never ending edits and rewrites.
So I'm glad I participated in the spirit of NaNoWriMo the way I did this year. I might not have reached the goal, but it showed me how productive I am on the regular, year round.
I don't know whether I'll participate again next year or not just yet. But, if I do decide to give it a try, I'm going to have to remember to finish restocking after the yearly October shows before November 1.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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