Today hurt a little bit. It ended up a good day, really, in part due to the decision I made earlier that felt pretty bad at the time:
I’ve quit NaNoWriMo. Things were going well and I had 38,000 of the requisite 50,000 words and I was so close. But in no way do I wish obfuscate the main point: I’m a quitter. Quitting hurts. It hurts me, anyway. I have tendencies of, “don’t try unless you KNOW you can succeed,” because failing is kind of a worst nightmare (I’m going to skip over the fact that the whole novel was an exercise in FAIL, as in an assed-out terrible piece of reading, but anyone who’s written a novel knows this is typical for a first draft or Crap Draft as I’d prefer to call it). I don’t blame any circumstances or anyone else. I chose to stop and it was a measured, calculated, agonizing decision.
I quit because A. my husband been having a rough two weeks which has, unfortunately, translated to him not supporting me in the household stuff as much as I need, but perhaps more relevantly: B. my daughter told me I was spending too much time on the computer. And no, I don’t do whatever pops into my kids’ little noggins. My decision comes down to the knowledge of my daughter: she is more apt to swallow frustrations, to become hurt and resentful, to not ask for what she wants. In a fight earlier in the day I asked her why she’d been glaring at me so much? And this is what came forth from her. And I thought about it, and when I sat at her feet and told her she was more important to me than my book, and I wanted her more than my book, her whole demeanor changed. She was surprised – she did not expect I would change my behavior in any way based on her expressed feelings – and impressed and her eyes opened and her body language softened. She knew how much the book meant to me – she remembered last year when I did the same thing.
So today I got back to cleaning, cooking, and being with the kiddos more. And that’s that.
If you’re interested, you can read (most of) my aborted novel here.
don’t think of it as “quitting.” you are choosing to not continue. 🙂
i get what you mean about listening to your daughter. i have told my boys they can always let me know if something i am doing bothers them. (i sub at their school. many teens would be mortified) i told them that i will always listen to their concerns, but the final decision is ultimately mine and it’s not always about them. (honestly, it usually is all about them, but i don’t want them to know that. 🙂 )
Hey! Now I don’t have someone running faster than I am. I’ll have to find motivation from within I guess. Doesn’t Sophie know that sacrifices must be made for art’s sake?
Thank you for your supportive comments. It’s funny: in movies, kids always tell their parents SO CLEARLY what they need, and then there’s an upswell of music and a big happy moment and the parent is SUCH a good parent and then the kid is happy and skipping in the park, lah-dee-dah…
In real life… sometimes we have to read between the lines. Yesterday was challenging because even though I know I made the right decision, my daughter’s behavior continued to be troubling all day. I didn’t get the instant “reward” of the happily adjusted kid or anything. I’m happy to report today was much better and I feel better about my decision… I’m about 85% of the way to completely letting the novel go.
J., you seem to be writing your
smutrespectable novel JUST FINE, and you won last year so I’m guessing your “motivation from within” is going to pull you through. Seriously: good job, and thank you for posting your excerpts again. I wish you the best!
Thank you two for your comments!
I’m not calling my slow down of writing quitting. In fact, if I don’t finish it in 30 days, so what? I’m still writing and that’s what’s important. I guess I just don’t think of it as a failure at all. I embarked on this journey and I’m going to keep writing and to me that’s all about growth and change and if that’s what NaNoWriMo did for me then I’m pretty happy. It got me thinking about writing and excited about writing. I don’t need a 30 day time frame to limit how I see success. You don’t have to let it limit you either. If you choose to see it that way.
I have long known I’m never going to stop writing. I guess I’m lucky to know that.
I only found out about NaNo 14 months ago or so, and this was my second time doing it. And yeah – I’ve grown a lot in writing 1 3/4 novels! It’s pretty amazing, and I will be trying it next year.