I'd learned about NaNoWriMo the previous year, but since we were in the middle of Moving Hell, I'd put it off. Partly because I didn't yet have a desk or any 'established' writing area, and partly because, I was too darn busy with setting up our new home! But since we'd now been in Vincennes for a year, plus joining the online community and discovering there was a wonderful network of authors to mentor me, I decided to sign up for the challenge.
I'd submitted a scene to three people I trusted, to see if I was on the right track, heat-level-wise. They loved it, and encouraged me to keep going. So when November 1st arrived, I dropped all three kids at school, flexed my fingers, and began to write.
I had to set a timer, so I'd know when to pick up my Youngling from Head Start, then a second one when to pick up my HS child (MS could walk the six blocks). If my word count was still nowhere near the 1600 mark, I appointed the older kids to be in charge of the toddler and set a 3rd timer for when to start dinner. After dinner and clean up, same story.
Week #1 was good; I was enjoying where the story was taking me/
Week #2 began okay, but then the tension escalated. My daughter dawdled in the mornings, and she was constantly late. I even got a traffic ticket one morning, since we'd caught a train and I made a rolling stop through a 4-way. My pleas fell on the officer's deaf ears, and not only did we get a ticket instead of the warning I'd hoped for, my daughter was (you guessed it!) late again, because she refused to get out and walk the remaining two blocks/
Week #3 was a disaster. Arguments with the kids; stress because my word count was falling behind....I even had a meltdown in my daughter's principal's office over the pressure of being a single parent; having an obstinate daughter; and a husband who didn't understand what I was trying to do, and insisting I 'stay off that god-damned computer', and threatening to throw it out the window or even shutting it down in ten seconds if I didn't log off.
Yeah, it was really that bad!
Week #4, I felt a little better after my meltdown, plus my characters returned to my brain. We'd spent Thanksgiving with friends, so I didn't have to host or clean up, and as soon as we got home, I started pounding out the story again. Words flowed. November 30th, I squeaked over the 50K mark at 50, 035. I'd done it; written my 1st full-length novel in thirty days.
BUT, I was now so sick of my characters, I didn't even want to reread it right away. I uploaded my document, poured myself a glass of wine, and called my mom, telling her I was going to email my 'winner' certificate to her, and would she please print it for me? We were currently out of printer ink.
Several lessons were learned through this experience:
-I didn't realize I was that much of a perfectionist
-I didn't realize I could put that much pressure on myself, over what? A self-imposed deadline?
-I turned into someone I didn't recognize; my KIDS didn't recognize; and my hubby was ready to have me committed. I NEVER want to do that to myself ever again.
-Finally, I'd proved it to myself, so there was NO NEED for it ever again.
That magical story? Teacher's Pet:)
Next Month: Birthday and Christmas!
Friend Travis brought me a new MS 7 OS tower! I LOVE not having to wait ten minutes for it to load, or clicking a link and having three tabs open. A new laptop is still in the works, and when I totaled up my word count , it came to just over 5K. Still 45K short, but hey....at this point, I'll take whatever words I've added as gold.
My heart is broken because of the death of David Cassidy on Tuesday. I know; none of us is going to live forever; it's just that he was so young. We also lost Malcom Young (co-founder of AC/DC) and Della Reese this week.
Had a good time last night with my older kids at Karaoke:) I didn't get to do my DC tribute, but maybe on Saturday.
Had a quiet Thanksgiving at home yesterday.
Have a great weekend!