Just like that, November is over.
Which is good, because I don’t have to hear people complain that Christmas decorations are up “too early.” Maybe I’m in sync with mass commercialism, but stores are supposed to sell things. Who cares if their displays are up early?
The thing about the end of November that I regret the most is that it’s the end of NaNoWriMo. You know, that whimsical festival of words where thousands try to complete a novel in thirty days or less. I’ve attempted the proverbial ‘party of the pen’ three times. My first attempt eventually yielded my first novel, “High Desert Run.” My second attempt, the time wanting to create a superhero novel, eventually gave birth to the short story “Silverstreek” after I gutted over 40,000 words from the original manuscript.
This third attempt wasn’t nearly as successful. After mentioning that I was hard at work on my fifth book and second novelI thought that I could combine efforts and have a first draft completed by the end of November. The results? Currently I have about 10,000 words to my name (one fifth of nanowrimo’s accepted word count and about one seventh of normal sized novels) and the notebook I (hand)wrote it in is mocking me. If there was one month where having writer’s block would be detrimental it would be this one. NaNoWriMo turns missed word count deadlines from mild annoyances to mountainous levels of failure. Or at the very least, I thought so.
Then on November 27th, I had a moment of zen. Maybe this novel wasn’t MEANT to have a first draft completed in thirty days? It took Twain seven years to finish “Huck Finn”, and James Joyce spent the better part of a decade to write “Finnegan’s Wake”. It makes you wonder about what these artists would create if they were around today. Probably a spin-off of the “Sex And The City” novels or some big tentpole movie novelization.
To those of you that have completed your manuscripts during NaNoWriMo (also dubbed “winning”) congratulations. If you’re like me and are nowhere close to having your novel finished, keep writing! Like their tagline says, “The World Needs Your Novel.”