I somehow got into my mind that while my husband was in the States fixing up our rental house, I would be here writing like mad. 7 days without our two-hour lunch breaks or our long evenings together = 7 days of 2 x the average writing time, right?
I’ve never been great at math.
The reality was that 7 days without him here to transport the girls to and from school, pick up groceries, straighten up the house, make me laugh, orchestrate the girls’ bedtime routine, make cocktails, or help me unwind = 0 usable hours to work on my book. In the short segment of time he was away, one thing after another went wrong including bronchitis popping in for a visit, and I collapsed in bed far too late every night without ever quite finishing everything that needed to be done. I haven’t worked on the novel since Day 23 when I wondered if I would even make it to 30,000 words. I didn’t.
I’m still weary and battling a throbbing prickle in my airways, and I know this isn’t the best time to evaluate how my first NaNoWriMo attempt went, but I still feel like I should give it some closure. Maybe I should acknowledge how amazing it is that I ended November with 27,435 more words than I started with, or maybe I should admit how disappointed I am in myself that I let the entire last week slip away. I could always wax poetic about that first day of writing when words flowed effortlessly and the whole endeavor felt like being at an all-night party. Alternately, I could express my relief that I can finally prioritize everything else I’ve been missing—catching up with you all, finishing the last chapter of our Highland Fling saga, sorting through this fall’s photos, channeling Mrs. Claus, playing piano, doing crafts with the girls, etc, etc, etc.
On the other hand, I might not need to bother with closure at all. The book and I are going to take a nice break from each other this month, but I fully intend to dive back into it come January. I’m unofficially extending my National Novel Writing Month for as long as it takes me to complete a full 80,00ish-page manuscript. A book. The idea has always seemed unattainable, but now I have a month—actually, let’s just count the first three weeks, shall we?—of proof that I can unwrap a story word by word and watch the pages accumulate. Even from my sluggish outlook right now, the possibility is thrilling.
No, I didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo.
Yes, I’m a little disappointed.
No, I don’t know if I’ll attempt it again in future years.
Yes, the experience was valuable regardless.
No, my book-writing adventure is not yet over.
Yes, I am excited to see how far I can take it.
No, that probably won’t be to the bestseller list.
Yes, that “probably” feels awfully presumptuous.
No, I’m not going to delete it.
Yes, I have a lot of hard work ahead… but now I know I have what it takes to write a book.
Just not in a month.