I am at the point in my effort to write a novel in 30 days where I must admit defeat. The goal was 50,000 words during the month of November, I have only made it to just over 25,000 words. So why did I “fail”? I let other activities occupy my time. Some of these were unavoidable; family, work, and home. Others were just my lack of drive. I could probably analyze the amount of time I wasted on on-line games, watching TV and sleeping in. That kind of analysis is self defeating if you are writing for pleasure. I plan on continuing to work on my novel, hoping to have something for review in the spring. When writing, that is all you can do. Set goals for yourself, but keep going even if you do not meet those goals.

I am fortunate that I have a job that allows me enough actual relaxation time to write. If I had a job with a significant manual labor content, say, a longshoreman, I do not believe that I would have the opportunity to write very much; all of my relaxation time would be to recover my strength for the next shift. I hope each of you has an opportunity to write, it is such a great way to express your creativity with little or no cost.

My leisure time is sometimes augmented by job related travel. I am not much of a partier, so I have plenty of time after hours with no family responsibilities to dedicate to writing. That is the main reason I was able to make the 50,000 word contest last year. Next year I plan on trying again. My long term goal is to produce most of one novel every year as long as I can write. I am going to try to publish, eventually.

I hope at least some of you who were taking the Novel Writing Challenge were successful. Even if you were not, I hope that you had a good time trying. Remember to keep writing.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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