It’s that time of year. The gourds are littering the front entrances to the market, cinnamon and allspice are being piped into the space at every shop in town, and your writer-ly friends are all heavily caffeinated, mumbling to themselves about word counts and singing the calendar song from grade school to see if November somehow sprang an extra day at the end of it.
Yes, this week will bring with it the consumption of succulent eats for all of us American writers (either meaty or veggie–all are welcome at the table). And it will also bring the home stretch of NaNoWriMo.
Many writers start out the month like a shiny new penny, with plot-line drawings and excel spreadsheets of word count / story arc intersection points. And then. . . well, you know. We oxidize.
I found myself swamped with grading and more grading for my courses, a deluge of wonderfully vibrant (albeit hectically scheduled) concerts for my children, and a scraped-up pinky finger from a dog-walking incident that left me slightly handicapped at the keyboard. You never realize how much you use ‘a’, ‘q’, and ‘z’ until you have to experience a shock of pain every time you try to get them up on the screen via the traditional “typist” pose you learned in high school typing lab.
But, I made it through and so did many other writers. Six more days, 7,000 more words, and an ending that allows me to go to bed at night thinking ‘That works’ before drifting off to sleep. Which is the best compliment our subconscious can give us, right?
If you are still in the beginning stages, or right there in the middle–keep going. Nov. 30 isn’t the end–it’s only the beginning.