Tuesday, October 18, 2016


It’s mid-October and some of my associates are considering NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month.  Last year I managed to convince myself that shadowing the NaNoWriMo contest concept was for me.  I would write a novel in the month of November.  50,000 words.  It could be done but it certainly takes focus and dedication – every writer needs both. 

I found this essay written at that time. 

Slugging it through this misbegotten project has been hard.  Plain and simple, I’m not cut out to write a novel.  This is not my Moby Dick.  A novel is not this writer’s Holy Grail.                     But I’m not ready to quit the project yet.  I committed myself for the month of November and I will stick it out.  I knew that going in, and made the public declarations of intent that would force me to keep this promise.  If nothing else, I thought, I would learn something in the process.  In short, I have to dig deeply into my bag of tricks.  Long view, I have to find the elements of success that I will take forward.  I am learning how to push through some of my stall points.  I am adjusting my goals to accept those stall points, or to challenge them.  I am slugging it through.   I’ll report my December 1st evaluation.  Then I’ll go back to short stories, my first love. 

This year, again, I attempted a large book project – non-fiction and via the blog method.  It definitely was a challenge.  Liz’s Lymphedema Logbook is the result.  It’s smaller than I first envisioned.  It was harder to write than I first thought and it certainly took longer than a month.  But I made it through and I discovered more writer stamina, and strengthened my tenacity.  I know more about commitment and organizing my time and energy for a project.  I could maybe consider attempting a novel.  However, I still love my short stories, so no NaNoWriMo for me this year.  But the best of luck to anyone participating. 

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