Other writers were signing up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), and I wanted to be part of it. All year I’d looked forward to participating. Ever since I finished the draft of my first novel in May I started plotting the second, the one I wanted to write during NaNo.
It sounds like so much fun, sharing progress with other writers, encouraging each other to stick to the word count goal and be serious about creating a work of fiction. Not to mention the prizes for all the winners.
Then life happened. I returned to St Louis to care for a relative in hospice, along with her handicapped daughter. I was sure the care giving would wear me out and keep me busy. Add to that my birthday and wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving. It will be a challenge to find writing time. I read of people with small children or full time jobs who win NaNo, and think I don’t have more going on than they do.
The daughter is in an adult day program. While she’s gone, relative rests a lot, and watches TV. When she has the energy, we talk. She’s not eating much, so cooking isn’t taking up a lot of time.
As NaNo approached, I thought, “why not?” I might even have a shot at winning. It wouldn’t be that hard. I drafted the first novel in 18 days. Surely with 12 extra, I can make the 50,000 word goal that would qualify me as a winner.
So I’ve spent the last week, in the hours I do have in between giving morphine and doing laundry and taking care of business, plotting and pacing my novel. I’ve even been able to rough out a few character sketches.
I may be crazy, or overly ambitious, or overly optimistic about how much writing time I’ll have in the weeks to come. A major life event could change my plans. But in the meantime, I’m going to learn from the example of my relative and use the time I have to count for something.
So this morning I began. I got 528 words done in 40 minutes, then my husband called. One percent of the way there, and it’s not yet 8:00 am. Stay tuned to see if I can hit that 50,000 word mark by November 30!