Twenty-five thousand and seven words in thirty days.
Not in plot order, necessarily, but all from the same story.
This might pale in comparison to everyone who managed a full fifty-thousand , but considering all the Keep Sarah From Writing Events, both scheduled and spontaneous, that were held in November—most of which were my own fault, I agree, hush—I don’t think I could have double my output without quitting my day job, becoming a full-time hermit instead of a part -time recluse, and giving up sleep altogether.
Or the kids.
I’d been working on setting more realistic goals for myself, and twenty-five K was a good one. It was challenging but not overwhelming, and while the highs maybe weren’t as high as last year’s Nano, falling behind that third week wasn’t as devastating as it would have been if my daily goal had been higher.
And I loved the impetus of writing every day and the satisfaction of getting something down, even if it was only a couple of paragraphs on a legal pad, a scene idea scrawled on the back on an envelope, or a quick e-mail typed to myself on my work break.
That part, I’m keeping.
I’m not sure how many of the actual pages I’m keeping—at one point, I wrote a sort of Möbius scene, where the beginning couldn’t have happened before the end and vice versa, but it reads so well. . . but I managed to establish a few plot points and made a few character discoveries along the way.
But story development and a re-established writing habit weren’t the real prizes this month.
I already knew how encouraging my friends are* but I also learned that my family, or most of it, thinks my writing goals are important enough to warrant tolerating my odd habits—up to the point where I’m endangering my health—or, rather, that I’m important enough, which is even better.
This month, I was fed, listened to, left alone, dragged out for walks, sent to bed, woken up, and hugged—a lot. And everyone—even the kids, who honestly weren’t that bad . . . at times—gave me time to do what I needed to do.
I realized yesterday, after my husband took the kids out for the afternoon so I could clean the back hall/do laundry/nap, that they’ve always done this for me, when I let them know I need it.
Turns out, that’s the real Writer’s Life—the Life, full-stop—that I’ve always wanted, right there.
*Seriously, thank you all—not just for this month, either.