NaNoWriMo 2018 has been extremely successful for me. My record for words written in a month stood at 60,000. In November, I shattered that and wrote 143,770 words. That’s an entire fantasy novel. I’m thrilled, shocked and every other word that means unbelievably amazed. I never knew I could do it. There are two reasons for that:
I’ve never done it before.
Others said it couldn’t be done.
So, how did I do it? I’m not exactly sure, but here’s what I think I did right.
The Writing Stage
The stars aligned in 2018 and after completing several assignments and miscellaneous projects, I was left in the middle of October to complete the draft for Revelation Stones, the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series. I had also started a small assignment from my writers’ group, one I thought would be a short story. However, it turned out to be a full-blown novel, one that ties in to the Castle Keepers series. I predict it will be 100,000 words. I called it Beyond the Myst.
A few weeks ago, I was struggling to meet a deadline. Everyone else in the house was doing their thing: chatting, playing games or watching television. I was at the computer, forming sentences, creating paragraphs and editing to get an article completed.
The commotion in the kitchen – where my make-shift office is located – was more distracting than usual. It was a no-school day, so all the kids were home. Blocking out noise, refereeing arguments and serving meals are the disadvantage of working at home.
My kids don’t go to a babysitter’s or a daycare on a no-school day even though it’s a work day for me. They can sleep in, we can stay home and if we want, we can take a day trip to a museum, beach or visit with family. Storm days, sick days and any other stay-home day are a breeze because I’m already home. That’s the advantage of working at home.
But on this day, the day I struggled to meet a deadline with the noise level continuing to rise, working at home with kids in the house didn’t seem like an advantage at all.
For a moment, I sat back in my chair and took a deep breath. I knew I’d eventually finish the article – I’d done it many times before under worse circumstances – but that day, it just seemed like more of a challenge.
That’s when my youngest, only seven years old, crawled onto my lap. He’d been bugging me earlier about finishing the back cover for the book he’d written and I thought he was going to ask about it again even though I told him I didn’t have time until later. But he didn’t. Instead, he looked at the computer and gave me a big hug. Then he looked up at me and said, “I’m glad you’re a writer.”
He gave me a sweet little smile, jumped off my lap then raced off to play with his older brother. As I watched him go, I couldn’t help but smile, too.
My energy renewed, I returned to the keyboard to finish the article. I was happy, too, that I was a writer and had a deadline to meet and that my kids were at home with me.