Another one bites the dust. NaNoWriMo has come to an end, and despite my rush of enthusiasm at the beginning, and my best intentions throughout the month of November, I did not finish my 50 000 words. Instead I got taken up with music exams, choir practice and obsessively playing the Sims on Facebook in order to avoid having to think of something to write.
My animals have also been extremely helpful this month in encouraging me to not reach my goal. The cat, Madala (‘old man’ in Setswana) has adopted my desk as his favourite place to sleep and chill out during the day. This has made me feel that I can’t even get started until I have cleaned the layer of cat fur and cat-imported dust smattering off my desk. But there are times, many times…most times, in fact… when I have lost the will to disturb him after I have been repeatedly mewed at to feed him, or pay him some kind of attention, mostly at 5am. Not the time of day when I am most inclined to clean up after him. Or get started with work.
Then there is the dog. Nala, our delinquent Boerboel/goat sleeps on the paving outside my office window. Every time there is a slight movement outside the gate, she barks suddenly, and I accidentally hit backspace and lose the last three sentences. Or put down a word that I don’t want to in Scrabble. Scrabble becomes a wonderful distraction. I can justify playing Scrabble because it’s a word game and therefore it is working…sort of. It’s the same with Word Chaos. I tell myself that I am exercising my brain and my vocabulary by thinking of as many words as possible in 30 seconds, or making up new combinations of letters in Scrabble in an endless quest to defeat my grandmother once and for all, and then entering them in the Scrabble dictionary and discovering that my interesting combination is actually a real word with a totally obscure meaning.
So you see, there are real reasons that I didn’t finish my novel. None that would make sense to to anyone else, or be meaningful in anything other than an ‘I just didn’t get round to it’ sense, but at least there are ways to justify it to myself. And there is always next year. So, oh well… And on to the next project – Christmas….