Derailed – A NaNoWriMo Update

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I didn’t write anything over the Thanksgiving holiday .  I feel pretty bad about this, but I don’t think I could have done anything about it.  Here is what happened and from that you can determine if I should be cast aside in a deep pit to think about my failures, or forgiven and allowed to sit at the great table of writerdom.

My writing output seems to be greatly influenced by sleep, or lack thereof.  This Thanksgiving was the latter.  We spent two nights away from home, and our poor daughter had a rough time.  She was great during the day, smiling and cooing and impressing all of her relatives, but at night she had a hard time.  We would get her to sleep and gently place her in her Pack and Play, which is supposed to be a portable play area and sleep area, but doesn’t seem to be good at either.  The moment her little head hit the surface, she would cry hysterically until we picked her up.  She would then immediately fall asleep in our arms, only to wake again when placed in the Pack and Play.  Continue this for eight hours two nights and you can see why I was too exhausted to write.  I maybe got three hours of sleep each night.

Thankfully, she was so happy during the day.  Otherwise I would feel even worse about travelling.  It was nice to see our extended family, some of which we hadn’t seen in a few months.  Our daughter even waved at her Great-Grandmother while eating her Rice Cereal.

On top of all of this, the Stillers ( that’s Pittsburgh Steelers to you non-Western Pensylvanians) got shut out by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, ending any hope of a Super Bowl repeat.  And yes, it was painful to watch.

I am going to try to work on my NaNoWriMo project every night this week, just to see how many words I can wind up with.  Then, I will put my trusty notebook away for a little while and work on some short stories.  Eventually, I will revisit my little notebook, with the hopes of revising the story into something worthwhile.  We’ll see.

9 thoughts on “Derailed – A NaNoWriMo Update

  1. I think you should sit at the table of writerdom.

    It’s not your fault your little daughter didn’t like sleeping in the pack and play.

    Nor was it your fault that our Stillers went scoreless…that game was just too horrible to watch. But watch it we did…

  2. My wife went into the attic this weekend to get our Christmas decorations down and discovered some home videos shot when my son was 1 to 3 years old. We sat around and watched one of them last night. He was 14 months old in it and very cute. I miss that cuteness quite a bit now that he just turned 9. But what I don’t miss is how incredibly demanding he was. I was exhausted just watching. Everytime the camera scanned my wife I could see how exhausted she was. Luckily I was filming, so I couldn’t see my harried self at all. Every second of the 35 minutes of the video my son was asking what something was or whether he could have something or asking one of us to do something. Every second.

    So I think it is a miracle anybody with a small child, no matter how well-behaved and perfect, can get anything done, especially if it takes some concentration.

    I applaud your NaNoWriMo efforts, strugglingwriter.

  3. Paperback Writer – It gets worse, too. Hines Ward is having knee surgery!

    Caveblogem – We got a video camera for this very reason. I am amazed already looking at videos from the beginning of her life. She was so immobile compared to now.

    Julia – thanks!

    Karen – I was actually able to get some writing done throughout the month, but the wheels fell off at the end of the month here.

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I hate making excuses, but I guess that is what I did. I wouldn’t trade being a Dad for anything, though.

  4. When I was in UK, I had a very similar scenario with Kiko and trying to get him to sleep in a travel cot, which, from what you describe, was similar to the Pack and Play. At my brother’s house, I was sharing a room with Kiko. He would seem to go to sleep in the travel cot, then, after about ten minutes, would suddenly start roaring. Of course, in this ten minutes, I had almost fallen asleep… only to be woken up by a foghorn of crying. I was practically comatose for the entire visit to my brother’s house, but it was OK for Kiko because he got to lounge in his buggy all day while we pushed him round!

    Travelling is not easy with a baby-o. Neither is writing. I often feel as if I use having a baby as an “excuse” not to write and that this is “bad”. But you’re not making excuses, this is just reality. Even if you get ten minutes writing done here and there, it’s enough. That’s what I’m telling myself these days.

    Last night I heard an author give a talk. Not only does she have four books published, she has a full-time job as an assistant headmistress of a school, and she is involved in loads of programmes for kids. She was only about five years older than me. I felt terrible, as if I was such an under-achiever compared to her. But, you know, I got the strong impression she didn’t have any children! If she does, then I want to know her secret. I thought to myself: “I’ll do things in my own way. I know I’m not lazy. I’ll do what I can in the way that I work best.” I suppose the moral of the story is, don’t compare yourself to other people or other people’s standards of what is a success or failure. The idea is to write – just write.

    On that note, I better go and follow my own advice!

    I hope your daughter is fine. She’s so cute!! You should send her here to teach Kiko how to wave at his actual family members, not strange old women he targets on the street.

  5. Thanks Helen. I’m glad I’m not alone with the baby not being able to sleep away from home thing. They really should write about that in the “books”.

    That author sounds like one of those people who are constantly on the move. I bet she always complains to family about being too busy though 🙂 .

    Our daughter is doing fine now. Her new thing is to roll everywhere. My wife tells me she will roll several times just to get in front of the T.V. to watch Sesame Street.

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