Letters from Camp NaNoWriMo, Day 6 — Reality Check

Caro Kinkead
2 min readApr 6, 2022

Goal: 10000
Actual: 14110

A chair in a back yard by a fence.
Photo by Levi Grossbaum on Unsplash

Dear Dad,

I did a touch above 2,000 words today, but while I’m happy with the words themselves, I am not happy with the writing of them. Today is one of those days when the real world intrudes into my writing bubble.

I need to track down a prescription which has gotten caught in the system. Plus, I’m going to need to call a washer repair man because it doesn’t look as if the leak is going to be a quick fix. I now understand why Mom would mutter “Eyee, krega, kill,” under her breath whenever she got the bill for fixing our old washer.

We also had to take my father-in-law for a bank run. Since his comprehension is not what it was, this is neither easy nor fun. Then he decided he needed his hair cut at the SuperCuts by the bank, something he did not mention before leaving the house. This means the husband is with him and I’m writing this in the Starbucks further down the row. By the time we return home, the rest of the time before dinner must be devoted to other tasks.

When I worked in the corporate world, writing would be snatched in small bites. Get up early and try to generate some words between feeding the cats and cleaning up any messes. Write at lunch, about thirty minutes once I walked to the lunch place and put in my order. If not brain-dead, I might grab maybe an hour after work.

I managed a two-hour window most days, perhaps a little longer. Now, I produce my words in sprints totaling 90 minutes to two hours. The same amount of time and I’m producing many more words. Because it’s not the actual amount of time, but the pressure. Writing is my job, what I’m supposed to do each day. I use NaNoWriMo events as a way to encourage discipline and shake things up.

Back when I worked a rent job, every moment I spent writing felt as if I were stealing time. Words instead of quick wipe down of the kitchen counters or putting things in the dishwasher. Eating quickly to focus on the story. Spending time with my computer rather than my husband. Sometimes it isn’t the amount of time, but how much space we have. Today has thefeel of those old work days, hurrying to finish because there were other obligations.

I’m not whining. Well, not much. Today was a reminder of what I left behind three years ago. When I complain because my schedule is disrupted for a day or even two, I need to remember when the only time I had was stolen.

Miss you,




Caro Kinkead

Writer of words, knitter of yarn. Owned by two adorable cats. writes slightly steamy, slightly sweet historical romance.