National Novel (Finishing?) Month

My next novel was supposed to be complete and published by Halloween.

Of last year.

But 2017 was an incredibly intense and life-changing year for me, and milestone followed milestone until suddenly it was Spring again, and my novel still wasn’t finished.

So, I pulled the pin of my ultimate milestone out of the map that is my life and pushed it back yet again—to Halloween, again. And then, 2018 became an incredibly intense and life-changing year for me, and milestone followed milestone, until suddenly it’s now November 1, and my novel still isn’t finished.

I could give into frustration and self doubt, as I so often do, but what this novel has taught me is that there never will be a perfect time—an obvious lesson, of course, but one that I’m only now starting to grasp. Better late than never, I suppose. Life will always get in the way, but the only way I’m going to finish this thing is to just sit down and do it.

I’ve only ever attempted National Novel Writing Month once before, and I made it to about 20,000 of the targeted 50,000 words before I gave up. That was years ago, and while it never occurred to me to try again, this November feels like the perfect year to give it a try. My novel is more than 80% complete—I can feel the loose ends starting to tie themselves up, and I easily see the story winding down within the next 20,000 words. It shouldn’t be impossible, if I can just put my lesson into action and force myself to power through it—knowing, as I always have but never acknowledged, that there is no perfect time.

I can’t promise I’m going to finish this novel in a month, but I can promise I’m going to try. I have a lot to do this month, but I’ll always have a lot to do. At least I’ve been feeling more inspired lately than I have been. Shows like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and American Horror Story: Apocalypse are proving that my novel’s genre is having a moment. Black magic and apocalyptic conspiracies—we’re in the midst of a “season of the witch.”

Part of me was upset that I might have missed my moment, but with the current climate and so many thought pieces talking about the feminist themes of these shows—themes my novel might not traffic in, or do justice—I realize that maybe my moment is yet to come. Maybe my voice isn’t the one that’s meant to be heard right now. Seasons are cyclical, and witches will always be in fashion, so maybe my voice will be better suited for the next time we need a witchy metaphor for something else.

I’m not going to update until I start making progress, so keep your fingers crossed that you hear from me soon.