The traditional post-NaNoWriMo navel-gazing post

It must be done: there was a month I dedicated to writing a whole novel, and now I stand back and reflect on the experience like a farmer surveying her field. My verdict? Eh.

I got a full draft out of A Private Gentleman, which is wonderful. It’s not yet readable, and it’s not fully fleshed even by a long shot, but it has a frame and a setup. Of course, that’s the novel I started before November, so it doesn’t really count. I got 60,000 words and some change on Better Than Love, the story I did start on November first. I didn’t get it finished. I didn’t even get a frame. I have ideas about how it should end, but I don’t have a draft in any sense of the word. Which is a big bummer. I won technically, but not personally.

I also struggled to help Mia through the last days of her life, helped her end it, and mourned her loss. I dealt with one of the worst pain periods I’ve had in a while. I planned and hosted my daughter’s ninth birthday party. So, yeah, things were pretty busy and unusually challenging.

A lot of people are focusing on the fact that I did two novels at once, totaling in 110k between the two. And yes, that is awesome. The problem is that without realizing I’d done so, I’d set my expectations on having the ride of another Double Blind experience, which is what happened last year. Full novel of 140,000 words, almost perfectly executed in draft one. I was okay for it to be a lot less formed, but I did want a full novel. Now I just have two messes.

And so I am taking a small break. I’m cleaning my house, which is epic not for the usual reasons but because I must be extraordinarily careful to not hurt myself as I do so. It’s aggravating because I have to wait for Dan to be home to do many, many things, and even boring things like cleaning out closets must be done in small doses and with care. I tried to clean my bathroom myself, and did fairly well, but I hurt myself anyway and had to have Dan finish. There’s a lot of sadness this brings up in me, the fact that I can’t even clean my house. I’m admitting to myself that the long term situation will need to be that we hire someone to clean the house. Monetarily that’s not an option now, but it doesn’t work for Dan to do all this by himself, and I clearly can’t do it. Tidying, yes. Cleaning, not so much. Sigh.

I suppose there is some Zen lesson in this, that much like the cleaning, I must learn to move more slowly through my writing, to let things happen in stages, blah, blah. Well, that might be true. Will it stop me from always trying to hit a home run with every swing?

Fuck no.

So that’s my NaNoWriMo summary: Eh. And fuck, no.

Coming up soon will be a newsletter. I have it planned out, and I just need to write it. I’d like to do more blogging more regularly, but right now I’m focused on getting Christmas set up in a way that is calm and casual and not stressful. I REALLY want to get back to the Goodreads m/m group.

Honestly, I think much of this could be solved by some cabana boys. They could clean, help with the Christmas wrapping and baking, and they could massage my shoulders and hips when they get out of line. And they could do other things, to me and to each other. And provide inspiration for writing. Yes. Yes, I believe this is the best solution of all.

*sits back and waits for cabana boys to appear at door*

28 Comments on “The traditional post-NaNoWriMo navel-gazing post

  1. Pretty much what you said. Going back to my pain doc today to schedule another round of RFA and she’s leaving the practice in two weeks, so that’s a multi-level argh if I ever had one. No kitty or 9-yr old birthday to handle this month, thankfully. I bow to you babe.
    As for the house stuff – Anna is plenty old enough to start handling more of the chores and acting like a proper house elf. No, it won’t necessarily preclude getting somebody in to clean on a regular basis, but – homework permitting – she’s such a sweetie I’d bet she’d love to have something she can do to help keep Mom from being in pain. Plus, get her trained right and she can keep the cabana boys in line 😉

  2. Pretty much what you said. Going back to my pain doc today to schedule another round of RFA and she’s leaving the practice in two weeks, so that’s a multi-level argh if I ever had one. No kitty or 9-yr old birthday to handle this month, thankfully. I bow to you babe.
    As for the house stuff – Anna is plenty old enough to start handling more of the chores and acting like a proper house elf. No, it won’t necessarily preclude getting somebody in to clean on a regular basis, but – homework permitting – she’s such a sweetie I’d bet she’d love to have something she can do to help keep Mom from being in pain. Plus, get her trained right and she can keep the cabana boys in line 😉

  3. Finishing the novel you started before November totally does count! (Otherwise that’s my Nano failed too 🙂 ) The fact that you also got the better part of a second book out of it is amazing, particularly if you’re dealing with the emotional toll of loss and pain.
    Can you pay your children a small sum to help clean the house? When I was bad, earlier this year, I paid Rose £1 per task (hoovering was one task, washing up the evening meal another etc). She was glad to augment her pocket money and I reckoned that if she worked she deserved to be paid.

  4. Finishing the novel you started before November totally does count! (Otherwise that’s my Nano failed too 🙂 ) The fact that you also got the better part of a second book out of it is amazing, particularly if you’re dealing with the emotional toll of loss and pain.
    Can you pay your children a small sum to help clean the house? When I was bad, earlier this year, I paid Rose £1 per task (hoovering was one task, washing up the evening meal another etc). She was glad to augment her pocket money and I reckoned that if she worked she deserved to be paid.

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