Filling Your Niche
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Nearly NaNo

About a week ago I realized it was almost November. And while sane people associate that month with things like turkey, others of us associate only one thing with the next 30 days: NANO

Yep, it’s that time of year again…. Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. If that sounds fun to you, you should sign up. If it sounds nuts, probably avoid it. And those of us participating in it.

Although it’s my third year NaNoing, it’s the first year I’ve really gotten it.

Earlier this year, as some of you may remember, I embarked on a mission to self-pub a bunch of stuff and become officially self-supporting with my writing. Those dozen or so trashy romances I put out are still bringing in about $100/month… which isn’t too terrible, considering each copy sold only nets me in the 30-cents-to-a-couple-bucks range.

Between preparing for the move up here, then actually moving, then getting here, adjusting, and nannying, I have not– as planned– managed to refocus on the self-pub stuff again. It’s never a good time. I’m unpacking, or I’m changing diapers, or driving my own kid to school or sleeping.

Then I thought back to my first NaNo. I spent the first week of November that year nursing my husband after his thyroidectomy. Year two, I squeezed in NaNo among the 30,000 odd words of online articles I wrote. And this year? Just moved, single momming it while my husband’s still 800 miles away, I’m working full time at one job and part-time at a second. Plus learning how to use a Mac.

Clearly not the best time to be writing.

sheer brilliance from

But that– THAT– is exactly what NaNo is all about.

It is NEVER the right time to do what you want to be doing. Never. Real life will not stop long enough for you to pursue your dreams. You have to carve out your own space and guard it ferociously. Push even the heaviest of mandatory curtains aside to make just enough room for your tiny end table and your laptop. Even if you’re scribbling on cocktail napkins during happy hour, you’re working toward something. You’re getting there. You’re doing it, doing it 100% more than if you had no scribbled-upon napkins.

NaNo is the time when I realize how much carpe I could diem in a day. Wait, that’s Latin so it’s probably… how much diem I could carpe. And if I find the time to write 50,000 words in November, I can surely find the time to keep writing the other 11 months.

And that’s what NaNo is for. That novel you always think about starting, but can never find the time. Know what? You never will “find” the time. There’s always something that’s more practical, more necessary, more grown up. You have to make the time.

Our lives are finite. Check your excuses at the keyboard, take November and go for it.

And to all, a happy NaNo.

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Maarit • 10/30/2012

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