Flag on the Play

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon at Flickr

I love analogies.

I think that’s how my brain works, you know, finding a comparable item or circumstance to better understand or explain a situation. Perhaps my stint as a teacher developed the links or maybe parenting did. Who knows? But analogies help prove a point… and more.

Yesterday as the TV rattled on, I started thinking about how NaNoWriMo is like a football game. You see the 100 yard field, that’s the final 50 K word count.  And the suggested daily goal of 1667 words represents the four downs offense has to move a total of ten yards (minimum). Forward progress is critical in this game because forward progress gets you across the field. And you can’t score until you cover that distance (one way or another).

Sounds simple, huh?  To win NaNoWriMo, I have to keep pushing for first downs. Getting those words on paper gets you closer to the goal of finishing. I came out of the gate strong and then…

I had a flag on the play.

But this was not a yellow flag with penalty yardage. And it wasn’t a warning. It was multi-colored celebratory flag accompanied by glittery confetti and a few fireworks. (Okay, maybe just in my mind.) You see, on Monday of this past week, I signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills for my debut novel. (I know, squeal all over again.) Thrilled beyond words, I suddenly found myself holding a list of items that took priority over NaNoWriMo.

(On another blog, I’ll share what I learned about editing and polishing a ms.) At the week’s end, I find myself yards behind where I need to be. So, am I out? Am I throwing in the towel? Is it game over?

Of course not. I’m still playing the NaNoWriMo game, but I’m in a field position that’s farther from the goal than I want for the eighteenth day. I will have to gain more yards (or more words) per day. And it may just come down to a hail Mary pass, but whatever it takes, I’m still in the game.

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