National Novel Writing Month

Here I sit at 6:16pm on the last day of November. Every year, this date creeps up on me. It marks the last day of National Novel Writing month. And once again, I did not partake.

Those who did participate are probably celebrating their success with popped bottles of bubbly. I’m staring at this blog post with a spoon of crystallized ice cream in my mouth. (It seems like I haven’t had time to run to the grocery store, never-mind write the Great American Novel.)

Every year, I’m envious of those who cranked out a book in November. Not only is November the best month to write a novel (no skiing, no gardening, only dark afternoons and cold mornings) but it also sets up the holidays with a bang. If you write a novel in November, it gives you an excuse to do nothing but drink eggnog and build gingerbread houses in December. If you don’t, you’ll feel guilty every time a kid writes to Santa and you’re reminded that you haven’t picked up a pencil in a while.

Yep, today is a reminder of what could have been. And while I could lie and say I’ll do it next year, I know I won’t. It’s the equivalent of the weight loss conundrum…always saying this will be the last pumpkin muffin, but indulging again the following morning.

Yet, I know my failure is not because of a fear of commitments. I like working toward goals. (For heck’s sake, I ran a marathon.) It’s just that I like making commitments on my own schedule. I like writing when I want to write. I like taking days off to do everything but write.

In Spanish, the word for the”sloth” animal is literally translated as “lazy bear” (oso perezoso). If there’s one thing I am not, it’s a sloth. I cling to productivity the way that a sloth clings to a tree. I like being busy.

But National Novel Writing Month never seems to align with my internal productivity calendar. And once again, November slipped through my fingers. But cheers to those who made it to the final page. I applaud you.



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