Where November went

I lament a disastrous November and aborted Nanowrimo campaign, while flying to Sydney for work. Man...I'm looking forward to the holidays!


Where November went

Cover Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

As I write this, I’m on an aeroplane bound for Sydney. It’s unusually turbulent but the young woman sat beside is falling asleep on my shoulder. Meanwhile, the air-hostess — or customer service officer as they are now called — has just handed me a mini coconut bread cake thing. I don’t like coconut.

Coconut bread...cake...thing
Coconut bread...cake...thing

The trip is for business rather than pleasure, and there’s nothing enjoyable about it. I hope at least it marks the beginning of the end of what's been a tough couple of months.

At least this time I was in a nicer hotel!

View from my hotel room
View from my hotel room

And the view from the office is always worth it.

View from my employer's Sydney office
View from my employer's Sydney office

November is traditionally the start of my writing year — at least it has been for the last five or so years. As is my custom, I prepared and planned a project for NaNoWriMo, taking off quite a bit of leave for the big event.

Alas, November coincided with an election — not the one the world talked about mind you, but the Victorian state election here in Australia. Ordinarily, that wouldn't have mattered, but this time my wife got a job working for the Victorian Electoral Commission, the body that runs and oversees the election process. It's an essential part of our democratic process, and I’m very proud of her. It was an excellent chance for her to ease back into the workforce, of which she’s been absent for several years on account of raising our children.

So, with this sudden development, my carefully laid plans were in tatters, and the leave I allocated went into parenting — something that's much tougher than my day job, for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain.

I actually started my Nanowrimo project, but after a few days, I realised that reaching 50,000 words was untenable. So, I decided I would refocus on merely completing one book instead of two. That also became impossible when I committed to completing a website for a dear friend, and two sample documents for an education publisher looking to commission me for some coursework for Australian school kids.

My Nanowrimo 2018 results -- absolutely piss-poor
My Nanowrimo 2018 results -- absolutely piss-poor

At some point I decided I had to abandon Nanowrimo, posting the worst result since my youngest was born in 2013. Life throws curveballs as the well-worn cliche goes.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to holidays — not just for the chance to recharge and spend time with the family, but to take stock, reset and look forward to a productive 2019.

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