Failure? No, not even close.

The best laid plans do not always turn out the way you expect them to. This is a well-known fact, often tested, the results reproduced with alarming regularity. As per this noble tradition of screw-up-ery, November did not turn out the way I expected it to. This is not surprising. What is surprising is the manner in which it did not turn out the way I expected it to.

I went into November with a simple goal: to participate in my 5th National Novel Writing Month. Though I was definitely going to put my all into it, I did not expect to win my 5th NaNoWriMo, due to the working conditions I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog. What I expected was to spend two weeks working out West, writing whenever I could snag a few minutes to keep my word count from plummeting miserably, and then when I returned home for the last bit of November I would write like a maniac to get as close to a winning word count as possible.

In a humorous twist, what I did was almost exactly the opposite. During my days out West I wrote like the wind. I wrote in a notebook during all my breaks, and typed like a madwoman when I got back to my camp room at night. I even scribbled out a few words here and there on buses and in lines for buses, and once or twice I lost an hour or two much-needed sleep because the scenes were just flowing out of me. I made the daily word count every day while I was out West, and even doubled it on some days.

And then I returned home, and I am completely unashamed to admit that I did not write one single word from the moment my plane landed until this blog post. What did I do during those two weeks off? Well, for one, I finished (yes, finished) all my Christmas shopping, cleaned and decorated the house with the help of my husband, decorated the tree with my husband and daughter, and wrapped every single present that was available to wrap (including embellishment with a plethora of ribbons and bows, thank you very much). But even more important than that, I (with a great deal of help from my mother) threw my daughter her second birthday party. She had a blast with her cousin and second-cousins, enjoyed her Sesame Street decorations and cake, and got some pretty awesome gifts in the process. Then we packed everything up and headed home so I could just enjoy being with her for a couple of days before flying back out for work.

The conclusion of this little tale, in case you hadn’t figured it out yet, is that while I’m disappointed that I couldn’t score a 5th NaNoWriMo win after all that frantic writing out West, sometimes there are more important things. And because I was able to accept that, I manged to put myself into a situation where I will have virtually nothing to worry about for Christmas when I get back home in two weeks, and I was able to enjoy my daughter’s second birthday without obsessing over a self-imposed writing challenge. Take that.

And just to make a good situation even better, even though I didn’t win NaNo, I wrote 37189 words of good stuff when I was writing. I’m happy with that, and I fully plan on continuing on with this story while I’m out West for this run. In fact, I picked up a cute little notebook on the way out here specifically for that purpose. I’m going to reinstate my goal from earlier in the year and try to write 1000 words a day. If nothing else it will help pass the time until I can go back home to my husband and my little girl and enjoy Christmas with them. Love you two! See you in two weeks! *kiss kiss; hug hug!*

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