So, on my first week (most of a week anyway), I almost kept pace with my NaNo (TaProProMo) goal. I’ve learned that my 9-10 hours devoted to work or preparing for such followed by 3-4 hours being the toddler’s favorite toy leaves me rather empty of any kind of productivity. Try as I might, it’s hard to force myself to be productive with the 2 hours of free time I have left of my day; especially when an impromptu double shift sucks all the energy out of me for 2 days. Even so, squeezing in 15-20 minutes during the second half of my lunch break, and maybe another 15 in one of my breaks does help.

Then at home I can work in 5 minutes here and another 10 there as the toddler is distracted by shiny objects or the cat. Granted, it can take 2 hours to open up a word document on a bad night where the toddler does his best to hinder me by stealing my chair, pulling me upstairs, requiring me to hand him a small square of fruit leather every 38 seconds, etc. Such is the job of a parent with a hugely needy toddler. I’m sure that one of these days he’ll learn to play with his toys for longer than 5 minutes a day.

Friday night a burst of ambition helped me make some very good progress with the Yarn Ball Winder plans. I finally sorted through the 150 odd pictures I have of it and got them arranged in a document. I also started working on the CAD drawings some more, though there’s still a long way to go with those. I’m also considering reevaluating how I’ve segmented my plans. Reorganizing the plans is going to be a bit of a bear, but I think it’ll turn out better and save time later. I’m still giving highest priority to getting this work done, so my productivity time spent at home has been almost entirely devoted to the winder. I project that the CAD drawings (only drawing the wooden pieces) should only take a few more hours to complete… or at least a few more hours to catch up with where I currently am with the project. The reorganization will take a bit longer, both because I’m adding a new section, and it will mean that I’ll have to re-position and renumber all the images in the plans.

The fact that I’ve tackled one of the big hurdles (sorting the images) has got some momentum going for me. I’m fairly optimistic about getting the plans all caught up by the end of the month. I’ll probably be taking my craptop with me when I go hunting this year so that I can work on some more of my projects between dusk and lights out.

As mentioned on my sticky comment, if I hold to this 1.5 hours per day goal, I’ll actually be far surpassing my Nano goal. According to TacoMa’am, she remembers me typing out 1,600 words in like 30-45 minutes on a day where I didn’t have any writer’s block. Usually 30 or less if I hit a really good spot and was on a roll. So my goal this year is very ambitious given that it’s at least twice as much work as actually typing 50,000 words. As such, I’m adding a “minimally successful” goal of 1800 minutes next to my loftier, full goal of 2,700 minutes.

I’m also going to be spending a lot of time wondering why the heck NaNoWriMo picked November for the project. Seriously, in Wisconsin at least, November is one of the busiest months for just about everyone. You’ve got a big holiday, preparations for an even bigger holiday, hunting season, house winterization, finalizing any outdoor fall projects, and football season. It seems like there are just much better months to hold Nano to increase everyone’s chance of success. Like February, May, or June. Nothing really happens in those months. February especially since it’s cold outside and you have all the excuses you need to stay indoors and type.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?