Redefining Win

At least, for me. 

As you may have read before, NaNo is something I look forward to all year. It’s something I have “won” seven years (my only not “win” was when I had had a baby 2 months before, and that was more of me realizing on day 2 that it wasn’t for me). Anyway. 

This year in the month of November, I had honestly so much to do, other people started asking me if I had elves in my pockets and how I managed to get any sleep. And because I have a very strict sleep schedule (sleep disorder management), and because almost 33 is too old for all-nighters, the truth is, I’ve dropped a lot of balls. 

The first to go, about 8 days ago, was NaNo. At first I was too busy to really be upset, mostly because my attention was focused on getting the second edit of my novel done, which was just a *thing* because I was really, really stuck on fixing some pacing and structure issues. And this was thing #1 of about 10.

A couple of days ago I posted on another blog that I just didn’t know if I could finish NaNo. Yesterday I was actually actively upset. I was 10k words behind and I know I am just so busy the rest of this month picking up the other balls I dropped that I could not do it. 

The other really hard factor here is that I am suffering from a lot of hand, wrist and elbow pain. It’s actually debilitating: it hurts to do everything, my fingers go numb, I can’t even hold a remote or a phone or drive a car by the end of most days. 

So yes, extra typing just felt like an insurmountable obstacle. Yesterday I decided in my heart I was just going to give up, put NaNo away and be done with it. 

And then I remembered how much I love the story I’m telling. And then I spoke to two of my very best friends and then read this post by my amazing editor and friend Annie, and they all really got me thinking. 

I can throw in the towel because I don’t believe I can get to the 50k, or I can keep plugging away and know it did my best and that I fucking rule for trying my hardest despite the number at the end. And yeah, I want to get to the 50k, if only for the sake of a winning streak and a competitive spirit I have re: myself. If I get it? Happy birthday to me. If not? Happy birthday to me. (Literally. My birthday is Dec. 1st).

Yesterday and today I managed, through crazy pain (IDK what’s wrong with me), to make it to my new daily goal to catch up (2300 words each day). I have about 90% certainty I won’t be able to write Thursday – Saturday, so I might have to define a new normal. Or write 50 words and be proud of myself. 

It’s okay. All of us who are in this crazy mix, especially those of us who are behind or swamped or just struggling — we’re fine. There was a story inside wanting to be told, and we started telling it. 


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