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November is over, and so is National Novel Writing Month. I had set out to try myself in this project and, well.. I tried. I thought I would be ashamed to admit publicly that I had stepped out of the running in the middle of November. But I am not.

When I was working in the corporate world I once watched a retiring Chairman of the Board give a speech. He talked how he had achieved such great success in his career. And the message that I took away was to “quit early”, before you invest too many resources into a project that is not going to succeed. Because then you can invest those resources into another project that may have better chances.

It did not come to me easily to apply this corporate wisdom to my NaNo. Every night I went to bed planning out my next day – what chores needed to be done, when and where I would write. And every day the same story repeated itself – I did my chores, then stared at the screen for a while, did more chores, stared at the screen, moped around the house, stared at the screen, wrote a paragraph and got stuck. I felt guilty, depressed, and just miserable.

After two weeks of misery I broke down and cried on my husband’s shoulder about my “epic failure”. To which he calmly suggested I give it a rest. “You have tried,” he said. “Just focus on your music”.


My piano – covered in stickers for the little students – brings me so much joy.

And at that very moment, I felt a wave of relief. Yes, I tried. It did not work. Better quit early.
Not sure why exactly NaNo did not work for me – too much pressure or not enough planning, or something else altogether. But it just wasn’t meant to be, at least not this year.

Within the next few days serendipity brought me new piano students and a new performance gig. My piano teacher came back from Europe, and we re-focused on my studying for a certification. Life just became beautiful again. I don’t need to preplan my day to include practicing piano. It just happens, naturally. I find myself at the instrument in the morning and when I get up I am starving because I had played through lunch. I am investing my resources elsewhere.

If that novel is meant to be it will happen anyway, in its own timeline.


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