I bit off more than I could chew in November. Moving and Thanksgiving would have been enough. But I also decided not only to do Nanowrimo again, but also to write another book this year. Never mind that it was late October when I made the decision. Never mind I’ve never written a whole book in under six months before. Getting the book done by New Year’s Eve would allow me to make 2014 the Year Of Rewrites. It would give me four books that need attention. Three months per book, and by September I’d have at least two ready to pitch at the annual ACFW conference.
The first two weeks went pretty well. I knocked out word count, most of the time before lunch, leaving afternoons free for packing and sorting. There were a couple days I had to pick up some words in the afternoon. Then I had to add a few after dinner sessions. By week three, I was behind pretty consistently, and no wonder. I had to get ready for company to come for Thanksgiving, and even though they’re all bachelors, there are still things to do to get ready for them to come: make beds, make sure there are clean towels, clean the bathrooms, stock up on chips and soda. Something had to give.
Last week I decided to drop out of Nanowrimo. I’ve “won” several times in the past. It’s not as if I’m going to get anything more than an e-mailed GIF and 50,000 messy words. It was more important to spend my time with my friends, even though they would have been all right with me disappearing for a few hours a day.
I’m writing this not because my specific choices are important. I’m one person. What I do will not change the world. But maybe someone out there can learn from my choices, maybe make a conscious effort to unplug from the hype, decide to be a little less perfect, love a little more. We all know people who have lost loved ones in the last year, or maybe have a friend holding onto life by their fingertips. But really, none of us knows how much time we have left. If this were my last minute, I’d be at peace with the unfinished book on my hard drive.
Christmas has taken on a life of its own. We feed the monster when we shop on Thanksgiving, or max out credit cards to buy things our friends and family don’t need. We all need to figure out what’s most important and learn when to say when.