Word Count Fails in November

I subscribe to a ridiculous number of newsletters and, of course, I can’t keep up with them: Interview Notes, The Imperfectionist, The Whippet, The Art of Noticing, Claudia’s Many Worlds Vision, Anti-Racism Daily, Feminist Giant, Austin Kleon, Notes from a Small Press, Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter, Intimations: A Writer’s Discourse, I Barely Live in this World, Maery Rose, Cafe Anne, and a few more.

And here’s me lamenting my inability to read all the things I want to read, convinced I’m not the only one, and yet also asking you to subscribe to my newsletter.

I have always loved newsletters. Some of you may remember my story of the newsletter my friends and I made when we were 14 and had to use a typewriter and tape. Everything about making the newsletter–from the writing to the layout–engaged me. In high school for a class project on Shakespeare, I made a newspaper front page reporting on King Duncan’s murder. It even included a weather report. I was super proud of it. My grandmother even framed it.

Most of the newsletters I receive are called something other than just the creator’s name. So, I’m pondering figuring out something to call my newsletter.

My work schedule doesn’t really allow for a lot of thinking to go into a newsletter. I send my out only about six times a year, and I can barely keep up with that.

Also, for the first time in the history of my doing NaNo, I am not going to “win.” I’ve gone through NaNoWriMo about ten times, and I have always hit the 50k mark. But not this time. Between work and everything else, I haven’t had the energy.

Sometimes people advise leaving the dishes and laundry. Chores can wait! And I often agree with this. The Better Housekeeping Seal of Approval isn’t on my so-called bucket list.

But not having something to wear to work or dishes to put food on doesn’t actually help. And it’s more than daily chores, right? It’s making the appointments, arranging to get the old sofa taken away, keeping track of the budget, getting this appliance repaired or that gadget replaced. Don’t even start on the work of teaching. I love teaching, but it will take everything out of you.

Even if I’m not taking care of all the things, all the things are taking up mental space. I know I’m not alone in this. This isn’t a time-management issue as much as a mental-energy management issue.

So, yes, I know there are still a couple weeks left of November. I could have a writing marathon and pull it off. Maybe?

I doubt I’m going to get to 50k for the first time ever. But I have written a very rough outline for the story, Karma and the Bright Full Moon. I’ve worked out where the characters are in their lives and what they want. The month isn’t a total failure. I have written. And I’ve rewritten more of The Fairy Tale Asylum. I’m stuck on a plot point, but the story is coming together. That counts for something!

Why am I even wasting time on what I should be calling my newsletter? Can I add that to my word count?


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