In a rather painful decision I took a few days ago, I decided to drop out of this year's NaNoWriMo.
I had not been able to prepare mentally for NaNoWriMo before November, and though I had some exciting YA ideas, I had not done any research. That, by itself, was no deterrent; in the past years I have successfully completed the 50K thrice, and two of these three times was with no prior work. And what's more, I am reasonably satisfied with what I did on all those three occasions. But this year was different. I started one story; it morphed beyond recognition. I continued, and it morphed again. Alongside this, life threw challenges that were just too tough.
And so, rather than ending the month with 50K of an unusable ever-shifting story, I decided to drop out and re-focus on short stories. I have managed drafting a few short stories since then, and polished a few more, and this activity is easier to fit into my current life situation.
My mother's been unwell for two months now. The unfortunate part this time is that she is just not responding to medication. The last few weeks have seen a number of emergency home visits by doctors and nurses, causing me to crystallize my personal priorities. Spending time holding her hand and talking to her is very important to me, given that she still responds to emotions. Introspecting and understanding the nature of life and happiness is important. Working to support the cause of dementia awareness and caregiver community support is important.
And writing is important..but writing a novel is not.
On the plus side as far as my writing goes, I have bumped up my submissions to eight. I also managed a few first drafts, and subbed three stories to various crit groups. A few of the subs are currently in round 2 and I have my fingers crossed about them.
On the not-so-plus side, one submission earlier accepted by Arkham Tales reverted to me because the zine closed...sigh! I promptly subbed off the story to another zine, but frankly, this is not quite the way I want to bump up my submission stats.