Monday, December 01, 2008

Winning and Losing

For the most part, I feel like I lost in November. I didn't write the 88k+ I was aiming for, and the half of the book I did write is the worst I've ever written in my life. I finished the month feeling like my skills are diminishing. Many years ago, I worked at a nature center, and I led nature walks during which I'd educate the classes and tourists on plants and stuff along the trail. By the end of the summer, when most things weren't blooming anymore or had changed their greenery, there seemed to be fewer and fewer things I was confident talking about. Over three months I'd forgotten much of what I'd been taught, and when I led a hike, I felt like a fraud. That's how I'm feeling now, where my characters are superficial and unemotional and their actions are rote and the plot is boring and going nowhere.

Losing sucks.

That's why I started with that, so I can end this post on a high note. I did write 50,309 words of fiction as well as 3755 of nonfiction (marketing text and biographies). I also revised the 20-page nonfiction report I'd written in October, proofed 116 pages of text of various sorts, critiqued 288 pages of fiction for friends, read through an 88k manuscript while taking revision notes, edited several interviews for my chapter newsletter, and spent Thanksgiving in the ER*. That's probably three times as much as I did last year, so I should feel pretty good about the month overall. I will frame and hang my NaNo winner's certificate with pride.

*I was not the one needing treatment; the one who was is fine now, and it wasn't a life-threatening situation. I only mention it because I want the sympathy we deserve for missing out on Thanksgiving! :) No need to mention it, I'll just assume you're offering it. *g*

Now, on into December, traditionally known as "Writing? What's That?" month.

FYI, both my kids won NaNo, too. Number Two reached her word count goal on Saturday, I think. Number One was a little more complicated. She reached her original goal of 20,000 words halfway through the month and opened another account for another book idea, which she abandoned shortly thereafter for Another Shiny New Idea. Combined, she met her second word goal of 10,000, but felt guilty combining them, so she stayed up late last night finishing 10k (total) of the third idea, which she plans to keep going on now. I mention this partly out of pride and knowing headshaking (Shiny New Idea Syndrome! We all know about that!) and partly as inspiration and taunting for those who need such. :)


Vicky B said...

Whew! You may feel like you didn't accomplish what you wanted, but you did a lot. That's something to be proud of. So smile. You did well. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Bix!

Ava Quinn said...

You blew me out of the water with your word count! Here's some out loud sympathy - Sorry you spent Thanksgiving in the ER.

WV-unmate - too easy

Natalie J. Damschroder said...


Whoops. I just realized I called you Mandy on your blog. You can delete that comment if you want.

Ava Quinn said...

You and Vicki both do that. It's not like anyone else besides you two read it. So it doesn't really matter.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Maybe we're the only ones reading it right now, but that may soon change, so I should cut that habit before it gets too ingrained!

Cindy Procter-King said...

Natalie, you did great. Take December and refill your well, then go back and take a fresh look in January. You'll be surprised at how well you did. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Cindy! That's usually how it goes. I get NO fiction done in December.

This year, I plan to do at least SOMETHING, but what it is depends on circumstances. :)

I can't wait until the end of the year when I can collect and catalog all my stats for everything I did this year! :)