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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

115,441 but not Counting

I thought I would take a break from Middle Passages today, since it is a “write for pay” day, as in, I have a freelance job that involved preparing for and conducting an 80 minute phone-interview, then downloading the information into a professional resume for an unemployed finance executive. After the phone call and a first pass at the CV, I was mentally cooked, so I turned to my photo stash seeking a suitable substitution for today’s blog post. Unfortunately, my pocket digital is broken and I haven’t been lugging the heavy Nikon when I’ve been walking; as a result, pickings are slim. It won't be so easy to extricate myself from the Middle Passages hook that is currently holding me up by the back of my itchy wool sweater.

In an attempt to distract myself from the siren call of this blog, I read my regular writer’s posts, and realized just how many of you are recovering from NaNoWriMo (for those who don’t know, National November Writing Month, and trust me, I didn’t until recently.) According to the NaNoWriMo website, which bills itself as a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing,” the goal is/was to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel between November 1-November 30.

Since I am not writing a novel, or at the moment, even close, NaNo wasn’t on my agenda, but over the 30 days of November, I was in awe of those who jumped in, regardless of whether they reached their word count goal. Reading these aspiring novelists produced a little hole in my belly where envy chewed like a teething dog. All month long, I was in high school again, sitting at the long cafeteria banquet table all by myself until, it occurred to me, I haven't been totally left out. I have a word count. For fun, I took a look.

The Word document that has been the repository of all my Middle Passages posts since last February is now 227 pages long. This blog has prompted me to produce approximately 115,441 words over the last ten months. At this rate, I’ve written an average of 11,544 words per month, which would not have earned me a winning button to post on my blog from NaNo, but feels like a heck of an accomplishment to me. So I’m taking a Rolaid and telling my stomach to shut up.

Until I get my land legs a little more firmly on the ground through www.LCSWrites.Com, it's OK to be the long haired girl in the oversized sweatshirt peering from under her bangs in the corner. Baloney sandwiches still taste good because I'm learning, and success is in the quality. I’ll take my 115,000+ words and thank them for helping me to improve at this craft that I love. I may be stuck at that empty table, but someone from the upper mezzanine has started down the cafeteria steps and is looking my way.

I’m pretty sure I won’t always be sitting alone.

5 comments:

Simon C. Larter said...

Awfully nice metaphor, good lady.

I also was slightly jealous of the NaNo hype, but then I remembered how small my children are, how behind the home renovations are, and how crushing the end-of-year deadlines at work are. I forgave myself.

I had fun cheering, though. And maybe I can do the NaNo thing next year. It'd be a fun experiment, in any case.

Bethany Wiggins said...

Congrats on your huge word count. Who needs nano when you've got an awesome blog? And I'll join you in the cafeteria!

Sharon said...

As a geek-table graduate without NaNo credentials, I celebrate your exceptional blog. Now, I've got to stop listening to that same siren call that captured you and go work on my freelance design jobs.

glnroz said...

I guess I am in awe of those who sit and schedule their writing. I must be coloring outside the lines with mine. Congrats on your past and present projects.

Paula Villanova said...

I guess one of the good things about NaNo is that there's always next year...but then...maybe you don't have to wait that long!