Let me start with what y’all really care about: my word count. Even having made things easy on myself, I only wrote a paltry 15102 words. (Plus however many words this post ends up being.) I’ll give you a moment to heap shame upon me.
All done? Okay, cool. Let’s break down why this was such a failure and why I don’t actually feel bad about it.
Like I said in my initial NaNoWriMo post, you gotta know your points of failure when taking on a big project. I planned for accepting that I was gonna write some shitty drafts and that I’d have to post them to hit my word count. I got off to a decent start doing just that.
Then the election happened. I can plan for things I know I can’t control, but I can’t plan for things that I don’t know that I don’t know. Unknown unknowns, if you will. (Ugh, referencing Trump and Rumsfeld in the same post makes me sick.)
The election was a double edge sword, content-wise. It gave me the idea for the Darkest Timeline series, which I’ll be continuing. Letters to Myself will become a regular feature, too. But the thing I couldn’t plan for was how much it would sap my motivation. For every day that I was fired up to write about how fucked up things have gotten, I probably spent five not wanting to do anything at all, let alone write.
So, let’s call those 15102 words (and counting!) a victory in the name of writing in the face of unforeseeable despair. I will, at least.
I end this month with a few more wins for Elizabeth Barcelos, Professional Writer. My editorial internship was set to end along with the year, leaving me with uncertain job prospects. Last week, they decided to keep me on going into the new year. I accepted another regular freelancing gig on the same day. I have pitches that I didn’t have at the beginning of the month, work that I can send out so that I can keep writing about what I know, get paid for it, and see my name in even more publications.
I may not have won NaNoWriMo, but I’ll take my wins wherever I can find them.