I didn’t win NaNoWriMo. I don’t want to say I lost because, to me, I didn’t. I just didn’t win it; I didn’t achieve my goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. And you know what? I don’t mind. I am proud of what I have achieved. I have won three times in the past, I know I can do it. In the past I have pushed myself to do it. But this year, I didn’t. I didn’t want to. Which is strange in itself as the build up to NaNo, the excitement and impatience I feel every October was the same as ever. I tried to stay up until midnight on the 31st October, but it didn’t happen (as I knew it wouldn’t happen). I wrote 600 words on the first day. I wrote about the same again over the course of the weekend. I had a lot to catch up on but after my slow start I was writing anything from 2000 to 3000 words a day. Yet I was still behind. I pushed myself, yes, I took part in online write-ins for the first time ever and they were a wonder for my word count. Yet, I never seemed to catch up. On the 15th November I had 23,000 words. Catching up was in sight. But, I stopped. I just stopped.
The thing is, I took a pregnancy test on 31st October. I’d suspected for a week or so anyway, so it was just for confirmation. I’d told myself I wouldn’t let it affect NaNo. When I think of all the things I juggled when I was expecting Harry I had high expectations of myself; I couldn’t fail, it was impossible. But tiredness and nausea overtook me in a blanket that stole away my motivation. When I try and put it into words, motivation isn’t quite the right word for it. Suddenly, things that seemed important weren’t so important anymore. The story, the third in my series, no longer wanted to be written. It wanted to linger in my head a while longer. There were points that were developing nicely, albeit incoherently, on paper, the story gradually unfolding though still not quite whole. When I stopped on the 15th I had the words in my head for three more chapters and they are still there.
I think part of the problem was that even before November began I was having a change of heart about book 3. Not the story, just how it fitted into the series. I was starting to consider whether it would make a better trilogy after all, for I’ve always had books 4 and 5 in my head as one book too. So, if I combined books 2 and 3 as well, then I would have a trilogy. It all depends if I want to leave book 2 where I left it with something of a cliffhanger.
So since NaNo, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my writing. I have now heard back from all of my round one agents and have sent out queries to the second round. I should hear back (or not) by Christmas. So over the next week I am going to prepare my next lot of queries ready to send out in the new year.
As for the new year, I want to get my act together. I set writing goals at the end of last year and refined them considerably over the course of the year to concentrate on completing book 1 and doing the first draft of book 2. But with the opportunity of maternity leave looming next summer, I want to get organised. I want to get myself more established, actually write more, read more, blog more, enter competitions, try harder. Because right now I don’t feel a very good writer. Not in terms of my writing. In terms of my discipline. My discipline sucks. So I am setting myself a plan, a calendar, and I must find myself some sort of reward for accomplishing it each week/month! (By the way, Thursday evenings have already been assigned as my ‘blog day’ as James is away so I have computer to myself and peace and quiet! So, I will be checking back next week! :-))