Wednesday, December 01, 2010
It's Sunday right now here, and at this moment I have about eighty-five edited pages of my NaNo novel parked in my hard drive. I hope by the time I upload this post I'll add a bit more to that*, but I'm not worried about it. I'm devoting these last two days of NaNoWriMo to writing, not brooding.
I do want to shower virtual confetti over everyone who made it to the finish line and their 50K goal. Wherever you are with your writing, you did something extraordinary here. Something most people don't have the nerve to seriously consider, much less attempt. In the process you've probably discovered a bit more about yourself, too. You lived the life of a working writer; now it's up to you to decide if you want to pursue that and see what you can make of it. And if you don't, I hope you'll try it again during NaNoWriMo 2011, because every novel is different, and so is the writing of it. In the meantime, be proud of what you've accomplished, and congratulations on winning NaNoWriMo.
Last night I was thinking about how badly I did at NaNo this year; how many days in November I spent writing nothing but crap, and the handful when I didn't write at all. I won't lie to you, falling down and failing stings a bit. I'm focused, I can create on demand and I finish what I start. I do this for a living so I should always achieve my goals.
The sad truth is, I'm not a story machine. I'm flawed. I react to things like the emotional creature I am, and I haven't yet figured out how to turn my writing space into an inaccessible fortress of ice. I kinda hope I never will, because all the messy and emotional and time-consuming things that drag me away from the work are equally important to me.
No matter how many slapdowns Publishing deals out, the biz has given me the privilege and the opportunity to share my stories around the world. I was able to be there for Jak at the end, and I believe he left us knowing how much he was loved. I never regret anything I do for my family and friends because they're my people and I love them. Life tossed a few more issues and challenges my way, but that's life. I wouldn't trade any part of my November for 50K.
Okay, maybe opening the premium increase letter from my medical insurance company; that hike was more than a little brutal, but the rest? Was worth it.
Now I'm off to keep writing my NaNo novel, which despite all the turmoil and strife surrounding it is turning out better than I expected. I'm also working on two other new novels due next year, gearing up for revisions on a third as well as a copy-edit for a fourth. And then there's my presentation that I need to put together like yesterday.
For every finish line I cross, there are ever more waiting just ahead, but that's okay, too. That's my writing life, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
All right, you NaNo'ers out there, how was your November? Where are you going from here? Let us know in comments.
*My final count as of midnight 11/30: 19,256 words/97 pages