I love participating in NaNoWriMo. We all do or we wouldn’t do it. However, each year it gets harder and harder for me. It’s not just the age. It’s the Mama Factor that seems to get increasingly bigger and bigger.
The Mama Factor? All the things that the mamas have to do to get through the day to write a the 1667 words a day that will get them to goal on November 30. When I first started doing NaNoWriMo, my two oldest kids were out of the house. The youngest was in high school but was home schooled so she was constantly home and we took a lot of day trips and excursions to keep her busy and learning new things. (That was when she developed her love of photography. She’s now a photographer. So those were important days.) It gave me time to write. Yes, it put a damper on my writing time but I got it done. It was possible. I used to wonder about the moms that had little ones at home. How could they write? It would have been a problem for me, although when my kids were little, I lived in a community where I had a lot of support. I’m pretty sure I would have been able to leave the kids for play dates with a number of people so that I could have writing time. It would have been done.
Now, however, my kids are all grown. I live alone. There is no husband to demand my time. Yet, it gets harder and harder every year. Let me tell you about my day on this year’s Day Two. I had to get up and out of the house early to drive Susie (daughter number 2) to the airport where she was flying to Colorado Springs for a business trip. I got to her house and she wasn’t ready. It seems she figured over night that we didn’t have to leave so early so she slept in a bit. I didn’t. I didn’t know about the intentional delay. I finally got her to the airport and then had to drive home to watch the two grandboys so their mom could go do a volunteer shift for Gleaners. I got there and they were still asleep so I waited and eventually came home for about an hour while they woke up and got ready to go do errands. I had to play catch up on a few things so I didn’t get to write my 1667. In fact, I didn’t write a single word for my NaNo project. Then off we went for the day (now a half day) of errands. On our very last stop, I got the kids out of the store while their mom was in line because they were starting to misbehave. I got them to the car and strapped into their car seats. When I was getting myself in, I misjudged the distance and smacked my head on the side of the car roof. I hit so hard that I almost passed out. Instant headache of astronomical proportions. My jaw felt like I had dislocated it. There were stars. There was almost blackness. Eventually, we got home but I had to wait at their house because my daughter was going to use my car for another errand and I was going to stay with the boys. About an hour later, she decided not to go out on that errand and I came home. Headache in tact. Jaw pain diminishing. But I’m pretty sure I have a concussion. I ended up sleeping for the entire time from about 5:30 until 10:30. Now I’m writing this and I’m falling asleep again so there will be no writing tonight. I guess maybe I should start counting my blog posts to my word count. Nah. I don’t think I will go that route.
How does this fit into the Mama Factor? Well, it seems that there are certain mamas who just don’t have the time to write. They have obligations that keep growing as their family grows. As much as they try, there is no time for their needs and wants; only for those of their family. Those moms are the ones that perform a miracle every November when they are able to validate their 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th.
No 1667 for me on Day Two. We’ll see if Day Three allows me to write but I will say that while Daughter Number Two is on that business trip, I will be driving to her house to feed her cats. And they have an ant problem so I can’t just fill the dishes and leave. I have to stay while the cats eat and make sure they all eat. This will involve about an hour and a half twice a day, including drive time. I might get a few words written while I wait for los gatos to eat. Might. Might not. Hopefully 1667 will happen tomorrow so I will only have to get caught up by one day over the weekend. If I fall too far behind, I won’t catch up.
So if you know a Mama doing NaNoWriMo, be kind. Offer to help her out or if you can’t help her out, at least don’t be an additional burden to her. Don’t feed the Mama Factor.