NaNoWriMo Fail!

Okay…it has become ridiculously clear to me that this novel is NOT going to get finished by the end of the month.

Three weeks into the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, I discovered something crucial for a writer. I don’t have nearly as much time to myself during the day as I thought I did.

I could put the blame entirely on SisterFriend Jenise, who becomes Philly’s neediest child the minute she gets home from work, requiring 100% of my attention. I could say that her interruptions while she’s at work cut into my creative flow at home. I could also say that ever since I helped her to start her ministry, the best of my creative expression has been used exclusively to make her look good.

All of that is only partially true.

The part that I am reluctant to admit (even to myself) is that when it comes to consistently using my gifts and talents for myself–not for the church or for friends who need my help, but for my own advancement, enjoyment, and/or entertainment–I am out of practice. Fifteen years out of practice. My time management stinks, even when Jenise isn’t demanding the bulk of my time. Doctor appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and (now that we have a car) shopping…that’s what really gets in my way. And it also doesn’t help that I have other creative outlets, like customizing my fashion doll collection, crocheting blankets, and making gift baskets. Why fight writer’s block when I can build my own Okoye doll?

I know…conduct unbecoming an Artist.

On the upside, I have gotten further in my novel than I ever have. I started it in 2008, 2009, and 2010, never getting further than 50 pages before restarting. I ended up scrapping my old outline and all of the previous drafts. When I actually have the discipline to sit my hips down at MS Word, the story flows much better than it did before. And I know how it’s going to end…but that’s for another post.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I get another chance to stir up my gifts for my own cause. I’ve gone too long thinking that my creativity had an expiration date. Thank you, Mother Maya Angelou, for reminding me of the opposite.

And now, back to work. Happy Holiday!

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