For the last seven Novembers, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is a frenetic November of trying to write at least 50,000 words in a novel–from scratch. On every November 1 during the previous seven years, I sat down at my computer, placed my fingers on the keyboard, and began a new novel. For the first six of those Novembers, I wrote over 50,000 words. I won NaNoWriMo!
But I wasn’t feeling well. I struggled with unusual headaches and an painfully stiff neck. And I was busy. In addition to my regular writing deadlines, I was trying to market Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, which had been released a few months earlier. (It’s available locally as well as online from the publisher and Amazon . Here’s a link to some reviews.)
Then in the middle of the month, A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God was released. Frantic marketing ensued. (It’s also available from the publisher or Amazon. A terrific review of it will appear in the November issue of New Horizons, the denominational magazine of the OPC.)
All through last November, I continued to struggle with physical pain and fatigue as well as a writer’s block that felt like paralysis. A few days after A Month of Sundays was released, I went to the ER with chest pains and ended up in the hospital. After a few months and many tests, I was diagnosed with asthma. It seems mild and I’m able to control it quite well. But last November I didn’t know what was happening to me and I wasn’t able to write much. For the first time ever, I did not win NaNoWriMo.
This year I’ve decided that the wisest thing for me will be no NaNo. It’s a tough choice. I love the energy and motivation of joining hundreds of thousands of people all over the world in writing a novel during November. It’s a rush. It also forces me into a highly structured schedule that includes creative writing, something I normally don’t take much time for.
But I have a promising novel almost completed and a very good start to another. I plan to write fiction during November; however, I’m going to focus on completing these novels instead of beginning a new one.
In other writing news, I sent a devotional manuscript to a publisher yesterday and hope to work up a book proposal for another publisher before the first of November. Now that the devotional manuscript is out of my hands, I hope to get back into a more regular blogging schedule.