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National Novel Writing Month Is Over for 2023

NaNoWriMo and the 50,000 words are complete!

By Denise E LindquistPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - December 2023
National Novel Writing Month Is Over for 2023
Photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

Almost every day I would ask myself, why am I doing this again? And I would answer that it helps me with my writing discipline. To meet the goal of 50,000 words it is only about 1700 words a day. 'Only' is not the right word for it, however!

That is a lot of words each day and it takes more than discipline.

I couldn't imagine starting a new book, so it's a good thing that I did want to finish something I had started and didn't finish not that long ago on NaNoWriMo. Something that I write about all of the time. Could I? Yes, I can and did.

I decided to write a book on my favorite topic this year - Aging!

I pulled chapters together based on my previous writing and then included stories already published on Vocal Media and Medium. I have more material than I needed for this project. To the tune of 56337 words. I passed my writing goal without writing all of that in one month.

What it amounts to is a book of short stories about my life and others on becoming elders. It is complete with poetry/rhymes, family, marriage, cancer, dementia/Alzheimers, invisible illness, aging women, tips and interviews with others.

The idea for interviews with others came from writing buddies as I watched what they did when interviewing others here on Vocal.

By Scott Graham on Unsplash

I thought that others' experiences and memories of aging today would be interesting. Then where they expect to be going in the future would be helpful. A few could be retired and are still working part-time as I am. Then a few others are looking forward to full retirement.

And the big question is, will I like retirement as much as working?

I answered that by saying, I work part-time and I think it would be a good idea to gradually have elders work less and less until retirement. Before retirement, my job was too stressful to continue working there and thankfully I hit age 62 and decided to retire.

Working part-time can become more when I allow it. The best thing is I have a choice about what and where I am working. Sometimes I hang in there longer than I plan to. I have found the best replacements for positions I was ready to give up.

A teaching position and a couple of weekly youth groups at a crisis shelter were those positions. I found the perfect people to fill them. Now it is time to find a replacement for the adult crisis shelter I work at weekly.

I decided I didn't want a weekly commitment. Training counselors is what I choose to do now and that is okay to be a monthly commitment. After all, I will be 70 in January.

By Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

One interviewee said that she loves her job. She has older co-workers who are all close to retirement except one coworker. She said that she has been in her position for 25 years as have many of her other co-workers. Her brother works there as well and she sees him every day.

We talked about some aging issues and how her co-workers talk about hip replacements and all the different aches and pains that can accompany aging. It is fun comparing when doing the interviews. We had a fun conversation and our catching up was long overdue.

She is considering retirement at 65 and she believes that is when she thinks old is for her. She stated that she has begun to get in touch with her feeling like an old person when it comes to walking on the stair master at the gym where she is more self-conscious.

Then when out of breath, she will often just stand there, until her breath comes back.

Her daughter moved in with her recently and she is helping her to eat healthier and start doing 30-day challenges with Adrian on Facebook. She believes that is helping her, even though it wasn't her idea.

By Kelly Newton on Unsplash

Some of these interviews are way more interesting than some of the things happening in my life! And I can even learn something and get encouragement to try yoga. Although I have tried it on retreats. I already heard I could get my height back. That wasn't enough to get me started!

Then I know it helps lower my blood sugar and that should get me doing it regularly! No, it doesn't. So what will? Friends and families encouragement? She said, now that I have a grandson, I want to be around for him as he grows up.

Well, maybe that! And she added it is about 15 minutes a day for her right now. Then she told me that there are all kinds of videos from the very beginning yoga to more advanced yoga.

That was just a small part of one interview. Wow, what I learned about my cousins and other family and friends. NaNoWriMo is something I am not ready to give up. Next year I am going to write a book of fiction. I am open to suggestions.

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About the Creator

Denise E Lindquist

I am married with 7 children, 27 grands, and 12 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I write A Poem a Day in February for 8 years now. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. I write on Vocal/Medium weekly.

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  • Naveed 3 months ago

    Well done! Keep pushing forward with your excellent work—congrats!

  • Phil Flannery3 months ago

    It sounds like you had an interesting time putting this together. My wife keeps reminding me that I'm not old, but talking to people my age and older, I'm starting to get the feeling I'm not far off. A friend is getting knee replacement surgery soon, others with ailments I don't want to know about, and I am starting my journey toward carpel tunnel surgery. Thanks for sharing this story. Congratulations on top story.

  • DEUXQANE3 months ago

    Congrats on finishing NaNoWriMo, and I just wanna say that to know there's someone out there writing about aging is incredibly interesting to me. Hell, even the interviews that you had the chance to do probably provide a wealth of information about perspectives on life and how to operate when our bodies just simply can't do what they used to do. Whatever the case is, thanks for writing this. I can't wait to see what you put out!

  • Amethyst Champagne3 months ago

    Congrats on finishing NaNoWriMo and getting top story!

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    Congratulation on getting 50,000! Your book sounds really fascinating and I am sure it will speak to alot of people. Ageing seems to be one of life's largely unspoken mysteries x Congratulations on Top story also! 🤍

  • Natalie Wilkinson3 months ago

    Great story! And congratulations on meeting your goal for November. I failed spectacularly although I did make some improvements to a story I’ve been working on and researched for one chapter. I think your idea of a graduated work load for seniors is a good one. My husband runs his own business and is turning 65 this year. He really feels the need to slow down suddenly, so closing it will probably happen gradually over the next two years.

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Wonderful. Congrats on completing Nano and congrats on the TS.

  • Heather Hubler3 months ago

    Oh I love that this is what you've chosen to write about this year! It's such an important issue to talk about and share with each other. Congratulations on meeting your goals and enjoying the journey. I hope you find someone to pass the torch to. Wonderful work :)

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    I'd love a fiction story where the main character is an aging woman. There seem to be so few of those. Pratchett did it well with Granny Weatherwax, and she's my absolute favourite!

  • Wooohooooo congratulations on 56k words! That's a hugeeeee achievement!

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    Denise your dedication to writing is admirable! The discipline to meet word goals and delve into topics like aging through personal stories and interviews is truly commendable"

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Congratulations on writing and meeting your goal!!! Your topic and chapters sounds great!!! Sending positive vibes and virtual hugs!!!💕❤️❤️

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