Finish the Race

snail on leaf

NaNoWriMo began at a snail’s pace for me, and I’m already a slow AF writer. I swear, November is the worst month for me to have this challenge—it’s short, there’s Thanksgiving to prepare for, and I have to create the picture calendar for the next year (in order for it to arrive in time for Christmas). And this year is even more congested than normal.

I talk to my 96-year-old grandmother every day, and with my move from Texas to Virginia, I haven’t seen her since February 2022. We wanted me to fly out to the west coast for a visit before the end of the year, but the only feasible time was…you guessed it—November.

Because the month wasn’t already crammed enough, Thomas decided to injure his knee while we were out trick-or-treating with the kids. Okay, maybe it wasn’t his choice, but that made it sound funnier, so I added that little detail as poetic license.

busy

He’s okay, BTW, but for a short time we were wondering if I was going to have to postpone my visit…and that was NOT a conversation I wanted to have with my grandmother. LOL! But with preparing for my trip, me chauffeuring Thomas and his injured knee around, and a bunch of last minute stuff getting added to the calendar, there’s been little to no time for this slow-poke writer to work on her manuscript.

Now, I said last week that I knew from the get-go that I’m not going to achieve the 50K-word NaNoWriMo goal, and that’s all well and good, except…I kind of have a deadline to finish my manuscript by the end of November—and I have about 30K words to go.

So, what’s up with this deadline?

When I moved to Virginia, I wanted to get plugged into the local writing community. I was introduced to James River Writers. Fast forward several months, and I found myself as the volunteer travel coordinator for their annual conference. That translates into me booking flights and arranging local transportation for any speakers who need it.

I guess one agent was impressed with the job I did because even though he doesn’t rep YA (the age category I write), he invited me to send him blurbs and the opening chapters for both of my manuscripts to share with the agents in his company that do rep it.

WOW! I was floored when I received such a generous offer! There’s only one small problem: one of my manuscripts isn’t finished, yet (d’oh!). No, I didn’t pretend it is—I’m not that crazy. He told me to send him the requested material and to let him know when I expect to have it finished. I told him my goal is to have it done by the end of November.

No, he’s not holding his breath, refreshing his email every five minutes in anticipation of me notifying him it’s done, but I do want to be able to tell him, “It’s finished!” ASAP. If it doesn’t happen, at least I’ll know I tried my best and will still get it completed as fast as I can.

Yeah, you can argue (correctly) that I only have myself to blame for this little bind. Touché. I knew November is busy AF, and I could have chosen any date. But I wanted to show that I can do it…or at least get super close.

If things don’t work out, oh well. Life goes on. The sun will still rise and set. And even though I’m further behind than I expected, I’m not going to let that discourage me. All I can do is my best, and regardless of the outcome, I know I’ll grow from it.

metal cyclist

So, if you’re behind on a project or goal, don’t let that stop you. Press forward no matter what. Who cares if the deadline passes? It doesn’t matter when you finish the race, what counts is that you do.

‘Til next time!

Amélie

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