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Thank God It's December

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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is officially over, and I’ve never been happier to see Dec. 1 pop up on my calendar. November – especially the last week – has been hell. But today, I can officially call myself a “novelist” because with nearly 13,000 others, we reached the 50,000 word count by midnight yesterday.

The beginning of this crazy writing marathon started out with optimism and hope. The goal seemed relatively easy: Write 1,667 words a day – and voila – you’ll have a novel on Nov. 30. As our friend Borat would say, NaNoWriMo is simple >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> NOT.

But things got in the way of creating my great American novel: Life, work, sleep, the Thanksgiving holiday (and the joys of family that come with it). So that left me on Nov. 24 with an anemic word count of about19,000 words – and 31,000 words left to reach the minimum 50k. At that point, I seriously thought about enjoying the rest of my Thanksgiving holiday weekend – Christmas shopping, cleaning the house, paying attention to the hubby or seeing friends – you know, those things I was too busy for earlier in the month because I was “working a novel.” So many other people had quit or given up (ahem, Tony), too, so it would be so easy to do the same.

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But I pressed on, fueled mostly by mainlining coffee into my system and a friendly competition with a friend (shout out to fellow winner: Kathleen), who I'd talked into doing this project with me. And I'd feel terrible if I let one more writing project die on the vine. Spending hours in Panera and Pychobabble (free wifi) and Starbucks (because it's always around) helped me stay away from the boob tube, which sucks the life out of you. Besides, I told myself, that's what the DVR is for.

So now, I am a novelist. And I use this novelist moniker loosely - very loosely to describe the piece of crap that I eked out during this past month. Don't ask me what it's about or the journeys of the characters blah, blah, blah, either. Because I'm waiting for National Novel Editing Month to sort it all out.

Photo by Jeff Kubina via flickr.