Noble Attempts: NaNoWriMo 2017

It’s the middle of NaNoWriMo and the third year I have attempted to get the same sci-fi story out of my head and into Scrivener. The last time I spent a significant amount of time researching for this novel, I was sitting in Widener Library at Harvard University enjoying rare time alone while my husband was teaching a class across the yard at Harvard Law. I was excited to have obtained a library card and been allowed to research in the library. While I’m not affiliated with a university anymore, I am listed as an author in the Library of Congress, and apparently that is proof enough that a person is qualified to take a seat. But that was two years ago.

Trying to write a novel, work on book binding, or do anything that requires longer than an hour of uninterrupted time continues to be a challenge at this stage in my life. It is a conscious choice I make to devote more attention and work to my young children than to my own endeavors. When I do take time for a bookbinding class, silent meditation retreat, or to read, I share what I’m doing with my children and they are encouraging and supportive. Sometimes I even get the sense that they are proud of me. By showing them I am taking some time to seek continued education and knowledge and practice my skills, I believe I am setting a good example. Although, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the freedom of being able to be creative and work when inspiration strikes rather than cobbling together leftover time after everyone else’s needs are met.

Today, Scrivener ran into a problem with the new version of Google Drive’s backup and sync. I lost much of my novel’s organization, but was able to save the draft and most notes, out of order, into a Word doc. While I’m grateful to not have to type on a clunky typewriter or have all of my work saved on a single piece of easily lost paper, I don’t like the dependence on software or needing wireless to ease my worries about lost writing.

Considering how little time I have to write, spending more than half of it on the software is frustrating. I know someday soon I will have much more time to research, read, book bind, and write. But for now my priorities are the little people who depend on me daily. I believe my efforts to continue trying to get my story out during NaNoWriMo each year are noble, even if somewhat futile.

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