When Life Happens, Change Your Plans

My countryfied water well.  It took all weekend to plumb and test, and in the process threw a huge wrench in my plans.
My countryfied water well. It took all weekend to plumb and test, and in the process threw a huge wrench in my plans.

I had big plans for the month of November.  I was going to finish up the current WIP rough draft and then I was going to crank out a 50,000 word satirical novel for the NaNoWriMo.

Well…life had other plans.

For the past week our water well has been cycling on and off a little too much, and when I went out and banged on the pressure tank I heard not the satisfying ding of empty air but the scary thud of a tank full of water.  Thursday we went to Lowe’s and purchased a new pressure tank, and then Saturday when I went into the well house to investigate further I found that most of the brass parts in the assembly were terribly rusted.

The job that was supposed to take two hours at the most ended up becoming a project that took all weekend.  I am, in no way, a plumber.  I totally respect those guys now, however.  My first attempt failed the pressure test miserably, spraying water everywhere.  (Trip to Lowe’s).  My second attempt was better, but there was one gurgling coupling and one t-junction that produced a pinhole sized stream of water. (Trip to Lowe’s).  The third attempt held, and is now in great shape.  However, because of my well house troubles, I am now two days behind in finishing the WIP rough draft of Come Apart, and therefore two more days in to November and NaNoWriMo.

My new plan:

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo.  I will write blog posts like last year encouraging all of you who are, those of you who are going to get that novel done if it kills you, and will cheer you on with every word written.  NaNoWriMo is really for those who either (A) love the challenge, (B) need an event as impetus to finally write that novel they’ve always been talking about or (C) for those who are just crazy.  I like to think that 99.9% of you fall into those two first categories.  I was going to do NaNoWriMo for the first reason, but really I think that NaNoWriMo is more for people in category B.  If you’ve written a novel or two already, cranking out another one is on your to-do list anyway.

I will spend all the allotted writing time working on the editing of Come Apart so that I can enter it in a major contest in January.  I think that if I give it my full attention for two months I will have that much more of a chance to win.

My best of luck to all of you gearing up for NaNoWriMo.  It begins this Friday.  I hope you have your outlines ready.  I’d loan you mine, but, well…it’s mine.  <grin>

I’ll have my own little NaNoWriMo in February when I get started on that book.  I guess that will make 5 for me.

I suppose the moral of all of this (if there is one) is that indie writers shouldn’t get all bent out of shape when they miss a deadline or a personal goal.  The important thing is that we set our goals and try hard to reach them.  As a full time teacher and father of four amazing children I am always scratching my bald pate that I even have time to write anyway.  I have to make time.  I have to dedicate myself to the task and follow through.  Sometimes if life comes along and side swipes us, we just have to get back on the horse and dig in the spurs.

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

6 thoughts on “When Life Happens, Change Your Plans

  1. I’m in group B. My past 2 attempts fizzled out early because I couldn’t stay anywhere near the daily quota, so I’m considering a personal goal of 15k and I’m going to make myself stick to it no matter what comes up.

  2. Well done on the plumbing, even if it took longer. Can understand your NaNo decision. I was tempted not to do it as going away for thanksgiving and losing almost seven days of writing. But I have a sequel to forthcoming book plotted, and need to write it. So…

  3. Thanks for the heads up and the advice. I’m participating this year for the first time. I did try it once before but didn’t finish. I think I’m ready this time. I’ll let you know if I make it!

  4. Congrats on fixing the problem. If I didn’t have a maintenance office in my complex, I’d have to move every time something broke.

    I think cutting down and focusing on one project at a time is better in the long run (though not necessarily advice I listen to). I usually have a bunch of stuff going and never finish any of it.

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