50,000 Words

Well, I did it! I wrote 50,070 words in less than 30 days—with four young children, including a five month old. Whew! I took the National Write a Novel in a Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) challenge and, on Nov. 28, I officially finished the cozy mystery!

Now, I’m not claiming this is a masterpiece, or even worth reading at this point. But darn it, I did it. And I have to say I’m a bit proud of myself.

Yes, it was hard. Yes, some days, when I sat down at my keyboard, I would look at the screen and think, “Have I got anything to say? Anything? Hello, brain, get cracking! I only have a few minutes before I have to go to the bus stop or the baby wakes up or dinner needs to be started.”

Some days, I frantically wrote in 10-minute increments. Some days, I had an hour or so before my eyes refused to stay open to crank it out.

But I learned something important about myself and my creativity in the process. Namely, that I can finish a novel-length book. That creative writing can be done in short spurts. That the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write and the better I became at picking up the thread of my novel and getting back into the thick of things. Which is a good thing, if you’re anything like me and time to write, well, anything—even e-mail—is a precious commodity.

Some day soon, I hope to begin editing and refining the mystery, but that probably won’t happen this year. I have several freelance assignments on the near horizon and then there’s this little holiday called Christmas looming up. There will be baking and decorating and fun things with the kids. But come January, I’ll have new New Year’s Resolutions about my writing to contemplate. And having written 50,000 words in a month, I know what I’m capable of doing—and will be able to plan my year accordingly.

Until next time,



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