I’ve got a good start on this year’s NaNoWriMo project. I’ve got a plot, characters, an outline. But while on day three I’m at a respectable word count of 2,804, I find myself wondering if I’ll finish this year.
I’ve done, or at least started, NaNoWriMo every year since 2003. I’ve successfully met the 50,000 word challenge three times. And I’ve always managed to do it with other things going on.
This year seems more difficult. What’s different?
For starters my wife just (thankfully) went back to work. In previous years she was working almost, but not quite full time. And in those years our youngest was still in elementary school. Then, about three weeks ago, after a five month “between jobs” stretch, she went back to work full time at a position with more responsibilty and which requires more travel. Don’t get me wrong, we’re digging this paycheck aspect, but it changes things.
Then there’s the 6th grader. He’s in all honors classes and when you reach junior high, that means more homework. Lots of it. Every night. And while he’s a bright boy, he’s not always motivated to get it done in a timely manner. Enter the parental supervision. I’m hoping we’ll get into a pattern and help him develop some good study habits. Right now my wife and I (when she’s home) are re-learning our algebra, social studies and a little bit of Latin.
As for my schedule, I work a 9-5ish job as a government drone. I freelance in the evenings. Different this year is that after nearly a decade of building this up, I actually have paying clients. Sitting on my desk, or in my Droid or on the desktop sticky notes ont the PC are 15 assignments for the month of November. Granted, I have most of the month to complete them, but I can’t wait until the end.
So, this makes the typical evening picking up the boy and going to Tae Kwon Do, soccer or youth group, dinner in there somewhere, dishes, laundry, homework, packing lunches, practicing clarinet (the 6th grader, not me) and then sending him to bed. By then, even when my wife is home, it’s already after nine o’clock. With a goal of getting to bed by eleven so that I can get up and go swim at the YMCA in the morning, that doesn’t leave much writing time.
Add to that our recently remodel, or at least rearranging of our home office and guest room, the general messiness and time consumption of fall leaves, and the fact that the second season of Glee is finally available on Netflix streaming.
Why am I sharing all of this and not working on my paid assignments or Nanowrimo? I’m an artiste, I’m supposed to share my angst.
So, I’m looking around and seeing what I can eliminate. Nanowrimo rises to the top. My wife and I have already dropped out of our church production of Glorious Christmas Nights something that one or both of us has done every year since we first went to WEAG in 1998. As much as we miss it, I can’t imagine how we’d feel right now if we were adding rehearsals to everything else.
This all sort of sounds like whining doesn’t it? I didn’t mean it to when I set out to write.
What I meant it to be was simply a discussion of a decision I have to make. Do I press on with Nanowrimo? Or do I set it aside?
I’m not throwing the towel just yet. I’ll give it through the weekend. But I’m afraid if something has to go, I know what it is.
I took a walk at lunch today to sort some of this out. The only thing I accoplished was coming up with a plot and outline for next year’s Nanowrimo.