For those of us who regularly participate in NaNoWriMo, the month of December can be a comparatively unproductive time. I average 500 – 1000 new words each day, mostly in the form of re-writing and tweaking existing prose.
I find myself cooking a lot and doing some housework. I’m not a great housekeeper but I do like to keep things dug out, so some sort of chore is always on the list. Whatever can be done in one hour gets done. Everything else can be done mañana (tomorrow).
It’s the end of the year and a good time to look back, and see your accomplishments for the year. One of my personal goals this year was to clean out the garage.
Maybe next year. I’m sure it will happen in 2019.
The weather has been dark and dreary here in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve been reading old Agatha Christie novels. When I’m not reading or writing, I like to bake bread at this time of the year. Few things are homier than the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the house.
And, when I have a little urge to write, I find myself in the Room of Shame, taking a look at existing work with a fresh eye and checking for:
- Spelling—misspelled words, auto-correct errors, and homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently). These words are insidious because they are real words and don’t immediately stand out as being out of place.
- Repeated words and cut-and-paste errors. These are sneaky and dreadfully difficult to spot. Spell-checker won’t always find them. To you the author, they make sense because you see what you intended to see. For the reader, they appear as unusually garbled sentences.
- Missing punctuation and closed quotes. These things happen to the best of us.
- Digits/Numbers: Miskeyed numbers are difficult to spot when they are wrong unless they are spelled out.
- Dropped and missing words.
These are things that always find their way into my work during the mad rush of NaNoWriMo. In my writing hours, I’m working on things to submit and don’t want to send out work that looks unprofessional.
I plan on taking it easy for the rest of the month, cooking a little, cleaning a little, and making revisions, but mostly I’m going to spend the dark time of December curled up on the sofa with Agatha Christie, lost in as many Miss Marple mysteries as I can stuff into my Kindle.