Saturday, Nov. 30 (or Sunday, Dec. 1, but who’s counting?)
Well, I did it (patting myself on the back), and to begin celebrating I did absolutely nothing. I mean, sure I changed my Facebook banner to “NaNoWriMo Winner”, and bragged about the success of it all. But really, it was so nice to call it “done” (even though you and I BOTH know that it is FAR from “done”, if it EVER even achieves the status of being “done” enough to be viewed by the outside world). I didn’t blog. I didn’t eat cake. Or even drink champagne. I fell asleep on the couch maybe fifteen minutes after getting the kids to bed.
So, how does it feel to be a “WINNER”? Pretty darn good, actually (until Facebook friends get TOO excited about your status update of “NaNoWriMo Winner” and think that you, like, wrote the best novel out of ALL the other people writing novels this month and you don’t want to correct them but feel obligated (after half a day or so goes by) and let them know you are a “Winner” because you finished, which is still a hefty accomplishment but not, like, as good as they assumed, you know?).
Do I think my novel is amazing? Meh. But I think it has the potential to be there if I keep at it. Maybe. Hopefully. It was entertaining for me, at least. And they say, write for yourself not for your audience. So…there (sticking my tongue out because I’m real mature like that).
Okay. So there. That’s it? Feeling relieved that it’s done, but also a little deflated. The excitement. The uncertainty. Would I or wouldn’t I finish? It’s all over. Kids go back to school tomorrow. Life goes on.
Except for my characters. They are stuck in the last moment of the first-draft novel wondering if their Creator will come back someday and bring them back to life. Wondering, is this it? Really? Or is She going to come back and change things around? Some might even be wondering, What is my purpose? Is she going to just cut me completely out of existence? Um, yes to both I’m sure.
Even if I feel like it’s impossible to find the time to work on my writing, completing this NaNoWriMo challenge proves to myself that I can do it, if I really want to. If I make the choice to sit and do something (like write!), I will do it. Of course, this also means there are sacrifices to be made and obsessive behaviors to either let go or adopt (as in let go of the idea of a clean house, and adopting the habit of writing as much (or little) as often as physically possible).
And maybe sprinting is okay in writing. Sure, there should be some regular writing habits (i.e. this blog?), but it’s also okay to just give yourself a deadline and work towards a writing goal in an obsessive sprint to the finish. And then take a little breather.
But the funny thing is, I don’t want a breather. Now it’s like I’m addicted to writing again. And I am ready to jump in and give the manuscript a decent once-over and coordinating to-do list of how to make it better. And in the meantime, without the pressure to write the novel every free second, I can go back to some poetry revisions and submissions. My poetry manuscript is active again, after rejection from a chapbook contest, and since they wouldn’t allow simultaneous submissions I’d put all those poems on hold. Now, maybe they will find homes while I let my novel breathe (after I obsessively go over it at least once!).
What will my next challenges be? Learning “Flowers in December”, by Mazzy Star, on acoustic guitar? Breaking out the pencils and paper (and typewriter and paints and glue and photography) to do some long-put-aside art projects…mixed media anyone (oh I’ve always wanted to do this!)? Let you know after I take a breather (or obsessively revise my novel for the next couple of weeks, wink wink)…