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Out in the country

Out in the country

I took the picture of this fixer-upper a couple of weeks ago. Since I haven’t been blogging much this month, it is the first chance that I’ve had to use it.

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I’ll bet that title caught your attention. This was actually the fourth title that I considered. My first thought was to title this post “Abject Failure,” but that seemed too harsh. My next thought was to use the title “Total Failure,” but since I’m writing about myself, that stung too much. Then I thought. “Failure Most Foul,” but let’s face it, that is just over the top. So I went with the simple, yet emphatic, “Failure.” You’ll see why.

When I tried the NaNoWriMo challenge last year, a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, I finished it with a couple of days to spare. Not this year. I was on target with my writing goals through the first ten days, but after that, Phttt, as they say in the cartoons.

I could say that I was distracted too much this month, and that is partially true. Unfortunately they were self-administered distractions. I started working on side projects that were related to my novel this year, but they weren’t actual writing on the novel. Perhaps I’ll write about those side projects at a later date, but for now you’ll have to accept that they came up.

No, the true reason I failed to finish my novel in time is that I didn’t sit at the keyboard each day and grind out the text. That is something that I could have done, but chose not to do. When I did write I found that I was spending too many words on areas of the book that didn’t need to be explained so much, and that kept me from getting to more important plot points. Perhaps I was sabotaging myself so that I wouldn’t have to take on the more difficult aspects of the story. And maybe now I’m being too grandiose, concerning my writing. I didn’t finish it. End of story. For now. I can’t knock out 20,000 coherent words in the next 10 hours.

I plan on finishing the novel. whether it is 50,000 words, or more, or less, I’ll finish it. I think the story is fun, and I want to see how it turns out. But I won’t be finishing in the near future. We have a party to throw this weekend. We’ll be getting together with family and friends. And I’m sure a few other things will happen. When it is done, I shall share it with a few people who have expressed an interest, and I’ll announce it here. Let me know if you want to see a copy of the finished novel. Most people seem disinclined to read 50,00 words anymore.

Speaking of reading, that may be my next failure. I set myself a reading challenge this year of reading a book in each of seventeen categories. So far I have only completely read thirteen.

With only a month to go I am not sure that I can get the final four in. I haven’t given up completely, but as I pointed out above, December may be as busy a month as November was.

I don’t have any real excuses as to why I haven’t already completed this challenge. As of July I was on track to complete my reading assignment by October. Then I slipped from my list and read a few books that didn’t fit any of my needed categories. If I had been more on task, I could have ended successfully a month or more ago. Not I have to sprint, and my wind isn’t that good. I’ll write a summation on the challenge early next year. Until then, wish me luck.

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