Well, November came and went. If I close my eyes and listen really hard, I can hear the chance of winning NaNoWriMo whoosh by. Scratch that. NaNoWriMo left skid marks in my driveway. For those of you that don’t know, that weird looking collection of letters stands for National Novel Writing Month. This is when crazy people like myself, otherwise known as writers, take up the challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel. Here is the link if you want to check it out: NaNoWriMo
That’s a big deal.
Unfortunately, I did not accomplish my goal this year. Normally, I get pretty down on myself if I fail to meet a goal. I’m a Virgo, after all…
But this year, I’m giving myself a pass. And I have five reasons why.
- Grad school. I’m in the throws of a PhD program, and I had three, 10-page papers due this week. Plus the reading. ALL THE READING.
- The election. I know, lame, but hear me out. I am in charge of teaching about 200 students critical thinking and writing skills in my day job. I had to keep up with all kinds of sources so I could field questions and comments in a fair and unbiased way. Again, all the reading. And speaking of students…
- Teaching. Despite what our future president-elect’s choice thinks about public school teachers and how we earn our pay (I know, not unbiased, but this isn’t my classroom), there are multiple lesson plans, papers to grade, tutoring sessions to lead, meetings to attend, and the list goes on. Normally these things don’t dissuade my writing, but when combined with the other four, they suddenly seem relevant.
- Thanksgiving and three birthdays. Admittedly, I didn’t cook the big holiday feast this year, but the holiday takes up time. The birthdays took a little time. You all have family. You understand.
- Gilmore Girls Revival. And that’s all I have to say about that. Well, that and maybe poodles.
Sometimes I don’t get to everything on my list, but I feel pretty good about the things I did get to. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty tired of having to be good at everything, all the time. Plus, I’m a fan of mixing things up a little. Who’s down for a little December NaNoWriMo? Because I will be writing in December, working to finish two projects I have going on.
What are they? I’m glad you asked. One is a non-fiction project that I’m putting together for the high school where I spend my days. I’m trying to put together a grade-level, Common Core standards based writing guide for the 9/10 and 11/12 grades. Hopefully, this will be something the students can use to get better at writing through even their basic courses in college. The other project is a modern retelling of Hamlet through Ophelia’s posthumous view. My beta readers keep hounding me for more chapters, so I’m taking that as a good sign.
Do me a favor. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed with all the things listed on your To Do list, take a moment and list all the things you HAVE accomplished. I’m willing to bet you do more than you think and should be proud. If that’s the case, I’m happy to initiate you into my Loser’s Club.
We take all kinds.