Well, November is over. And thank god, too, for I no longer have to feel guilty for not pounding out 2,000 words a day to meet my National Novel Writing Month goal.
‘Cause, if truth be told, I kind of, sort of blew it off. I just wasn’t in the mood. Or maybe it just wasn’t the right time. Or maybe, you know, I got caught up in other things and wrote other stuff and my NaNo goals faded to the background.
I’m still bummed about this. I’m disappointed in myself.
Because I started out so optimistically. I was going to accomplish so much! I was going to finish my next novel! I was going to start another one after that one! I was going to write like crazy and not bathe and live on pretzels and carbonated water and fully embrace the life of a demented writer.
I’ve never been a conventional person, though, and I’ve always bristled when it comes to rules. So knowing that I was supposed to write 2,000 words a day made me want to do anything but write 2,000 words a day (actually, it wasn’t quite 2,0000 words, more like 1,700, but no matter).
The thing is, I did a shitload of writing in November. I just didn’t do it consistently. Instead, I wrote in long, jagged stutters, staying up all night writing one night and then not writing again for three days and then writing almost non-stop for the next two.
And so, without further ado, my November stats:
Wrote 40-page hybrid memoir for a chapbook contest
Finished two essays and submitted both
Six chapters of a new young adult novel
Two chapters of my feminist scary novel
Finished four poems
Edited and submitted a 72-page poetry manuscript
Read eight books (eight!!)
So I wrote, a lot. But as most everything in my life, that writing was scattered and unfocused. Is this a good or a bad thing?
But now it’s December, which is a new month with new goals. Of course I haven’t made any goals but still, it’s a new month with 28 more days filled with 28 shining possibilities.
It’s also a month of darkness up here in Alaska. We’re down to about five and a half hours of stingy daylight and we’re still losing around two minutes a day.
Still, the darkness can be a blessing for a writer. There’s less distraction, less temptation for long runs and long hikes and long walks on the beach. Instead, there’s a long stretch of darkness, and the coziness of a quiet house and the dog snoring by my feet and, of course, hours and hours of writing.
There’s also this, the beauty of the sunset in mid-afternoon.
Big hooray: Congratulations to Luanne Castle, whose poetry collection Doll God won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. You go, Luanne!
Another big hooray: And also a very warm congratulations (and big hugs) to Alaska’s very own Caroline Van Hemert, who was named a finalist for nonfiction in the Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Awards.
Van Hemert and Farrell completed an impressive 4,000 mile human-powered journey from Bellingham, Wash. to Kotzebue, Alaska, a few years ago. Read more about their adventures on their blog, Northern Limits.