#NaNoWriMo 2019: At Least I Tried

Final word count for NaNoWriMo 2019 is 26,300. This is far from the winning goal of 50,000 words, which I've hit with satisfactory regularity in the 12 (13?) years I've been doing NaNoWriMo. But it's OK, and I'll take it.

I knew as far back as the spring that this was going to be an exceptionally difficult November, schedule-wise. That, I can handle. Finding time to write in airports and hotels, on airplanes and trains, up early and up late... that I can do, and have done.

But I didn't anticipate that there would be emotional trauma that distracted and derailed everything. I sank low this month, and things that should have been fun... weren't. Although I have plenty of supporters to offset the haters, the calculus of emotional leverage is such that just the effort of seesawing one against the other is exhausting.

In writing my NaNoWriMo for 2019, I originally wanted to do something light and fun and silly, something diversionary. Without my wanting it to, it took a dark, bleak turn, and went to places that were far sadder than I expected. It became real work, and I avoided it. My repeated efforts to turn away from the dark and force the prose into the light were, paradoxically, not helpful, because the book felt - you guessed it - forced.

So I think I need to go into this effort, pull out the sad stuff and set it aside.

"Yes, I WILL write that book," I'll tell myself, "but not now. That is not THIS book. THIS book will be silly and fun and ridiculous. The serious book will wait. I will pack a lunch and some extra batteries for the headlamp and head back into that cave later, explore it some other time. But for now, here on this sunny beach, somebody needs to build a sandcastle. And that somebody is me."

Stay tuned. Or don't. Your call.

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