Friday, 23 November 2012

Excuses and Reality

I’ve not written much recently. Despite the NaNoWriMo rush to conquer the highest peaks of the graph mine has stayed resolutely at the same plateau for about a week.

Now I could offer you an almost exhaustive list of excuses,

    • I’m still grieving and this time of year is too hard for me emotionally

    • I’ve had a cold and been feeling unwell

    • It’s so close to Christmas and I have both boys birthday’s to sort out in December

    • As a single parent I have no one here to help me out

    • Other people are so competitive with their 50,000 words written in the first week of November, I prefer to take things slower

    • Some people haven’t even written as much as me, so actually I am doing fine, what else is the 29th for except have a last mad dash to the finish line!

    • I’m procrastinating

    • I’m a rebel at heart

As I said a long list and all true in one way or another.

I have found the last few days difficult. However much I try and avoid grief, put on a brave face and carry on it somehow finds me and wallop I’m down and out for the count blubbing!

It doesn’t help that I have been feeling under the weather.

Oldest son has a birthday 9th December and youngest son on the 20th – such bad planning!

I don’t have someone to help cook the tea, do the ironing or play taxi driver and ferry the boys to and fro to their activities. As it is I am sitting typing this at the local tennis club while oldest son has a lesson – multitasking is second nature.

But the truth is I don’t need excuses, I certainly don’t need to explain to you why I’ve stopped writing for NaNo. This is after all my decision and I long ago came to the conclusion that I know best when it comes to things concerning me.

Many people are already supportive; I have made the most wonderful friends through taking part, including a Facebook group that has grown into an excellent source of encouragement and inspiration. It amazes me what a close group of friends has developed sharing so much and all having this common bond of writing. Kindred spirits who understand.

I have learnt a tremendous amount from the experience too, firstly that planning is essential, I know I didn’t do enough, but never realised until I really got going with the story.

Characters that didn’t even exist in the original book of Esther have appeared in my head and on the page, and my heroine has a back story that I would love to develop into a prequel, perhaps long term this could even be a trilogy?

Because the most important thing is I have over 25,000 words I didn’t have before, I have a viable story and once I’ve ironed out a few kinks I know I CAN write this.

The excerpts I have shared have been well received and I have people wanting to find out what happens next.

Maybe November wasn’t the best time to write etc. etc. – whatever the excuse, the reason, I know this is the right decision for me to take rather than blindly write on regardless.

Ultimately I want quality over quantity and although the NaNo experience has been fantastic for this year it is time to call it a day.

Next year? Who knows … as I said I have a prequel bubbling away.

Now excuse me but I have to go, the room here is noisy, not especially conducive to writing, I much prefer quiet, but maybe I just need space without the children calling me or the household distractions being on hand, whatever the reasons or excuses for or against I am writing because in the end it’s what I choose to do!


  1. 25,000 words is far from shabby! Well done for achieving that, especially at such a busy/emotionally charged time.

  2. It's been an intense month, obviously more so for you. You've done some amazing writing, and it'll always be there for you, 25K is fantastic!
    I would have loved to set everything by and just write this month, but that's goes on and those who rely on you have to come first!
    I've found the huge numbers conquered by some so fast, intimidating too, but we all have different priorities and abilities, so I'm doing the tortoise thing, slow and steady!
    Sarah, we're thinking of you. x

  3. You are a darling and a precious soul - and I know that this decision is a wise one, because it is right for YOU. I've spent the last two NaNos writing on something of a head rush --- this one has been much more slower, and I've found that this year I don't care about winning so much as about making writing a daily habit, and making sure I've got this manuscript going in the best possible direction.

    That said, we should hold each other accountable about our projects; because you KNOW that I want to read your manuscript!! You've got a great idea and I know that it will be properly executed by careful hands and a thoughtful mind. That's all we ask from any author. [[[long distance hug]]]

  4. I nearly ground to a halt last week - I really struggled with it on a daily basis. I think it's tough to write consistently and November is crazy for me too, there being a kids birthday party every other day and a major work event. It's hard to make the time. I've ended up writing on the bus the 30 mins to and from work and some days that's been my only writing time. I find though, that that keeps me emotionally sane - I need writing to let my steam off and put my emotions somewhere. 25,000 words in 3 weeks is an AMAZING word count, really. You should be proud. That's 25,000 words you didn't have before and can continue to work with in the future. Well done. And well bloody done on getting through this month on all fronts, and for keeping your head above water. You've done amazingly. Mxx

  5. For me, July is the intense month...our daughter was 8 on the 8th. Her brother would be 9 on the 13th - but, instead, he died at 12 days old, in the hospital NICU where he lived his entire life.

    The 22 is the birthday of my late fiance, and the day we held his memorial and buried his ashes.

    The 25th is the day Elijah died - and just four days later, my birthday comes.

    It doesn't seem like an excuse to me to bow out. You deserve love, care, and gentleness, and so do your boys.

    NaNo is an arbitrary challenge. By writing 25K, you have gotten halfway through the challenge, and a very good start for you novel.

    That you dared, and that you gave what you had, is something to feel pride in. It shows you have the strength to try.

    It seems that you are a winner, to me!

  6. Oh my wonderful friends such beautiful words - they mean so much - THANKS xx

  7. Sarah - another Sarah here, who also gracefully bowed out around Thanksgiving. For different reasons, I also made the difficult decision to stop trying to turn 18,000 words into 50,000 in such little time. Sometimes, you need to let life interfere and take the stress off. You have such a great attitude - you have all these words and characters and ideas that you didn't have a month ago. That's amazing in and of itself. Stick with it! Can't wait to see when you do finish it, and you will.