NaNoWriMo withdrawal

Friday, December 3, 2010

I love a good challenge.  There is nothing that gets my blood pumping faster than trying to accomplish a seemingly insurmountable task.  Or just a plain difficult task.  Or even a fairly simple task.  In fact, if I'm being completely honest, I just love that feeling of self-satisfaction of setting my mind to do something, and then doing it.

This year was the first year I had ever participated in NaNoWriMo, and it did not start off so well.  By Thanksgiving, I had barely dented my word count, and I was starting to get quite down on myself for not being able to finish.  It seemed hopeless.  I wanted to quit.  I decided that before I could throw in the towel, however, I had better give it my all.  I spent nearly the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend locked in my bedroom, chained to my computer, forcing myself to continue typing.  And eventually, miraculously, I got to 50,000 words.

I won!  I could barely believe it.  My wrists hurt, my back creaked, and my eyes felt like sandpaper, but I did it.  I was so excited I wanted to announce it to the world, as if I had just birthed a child.  Nothing could match the sensation of achieving what had seemed so impossible just a few days before.

Now that the long, hard-fought battle is over, I find myself feeling a little morose and empty.  The excitement has worn down, most people have already heard the news, and now I'm stuck with this beast of a novel that may or may not pan out to anything.  The manuscript and I are locked in an awkward silence at the moment, each of us unwilling to reach across the divide and try to move forward.  We liked things back when they were exciting and rushed and new.  Now, we're shuffling our feet and clearing our throats and wondering if we were just caught up in the moment or if we truly have something special.

I'm feeling that loss of the challenge, as well.  Do I take up NaNoFiMo?  I could write an alternate ending.  Or perhaps Plot Whisperer's International Plot Writing Month? Or how about Story Siren's 2011 Debut Author Challenge?  I keep searching for new things to keep me busy.  Maybe I should just keep challenging myself until I am all challenged out.

There are lots of good things coming up just in time for the new year.  I will update here with the new challenges I accept!  Until then, I'll continue my standoff with the novel.


Tabitha said...

I know what you mean. NaNo can be such a motivator, but when it's gone it's easy to stand around and feel kind of lost. :) Then you have kids and you have to protect your writing time the same way you'd protect your kids from a grizzely bear. :)

But, dude, keep writing cause your story rocks.

Mary P. said...

Well call me impressed! Nice work, lady!
That feeling of finishing something you're excited about and didn't think you would be able to do - well it's a pretty amazing feeling. Congratulations on the novel and that feeling of accomplishment!

Also, welcome to the blog world. You're officially added to my reader!

loganeturner said...

I really appreciate the support. You're kind of becoming my idol. :)

loganeturner said...

Thanks Mary! I added a link to your site in my About Me section since I'm wearing your awesome hat in my profile pic. Got to spread the love!

Tabitha said...

Wow...I think that's one of the best compliments I've ever had. :)

Holly said...

I think it has been scientifically proven somewhere (not really) that the hardest part of writing a novel isn't writing it at all, but revising it. ;) I've proven it with my own manuscripts anyway. Give it a rest for a while then just go back and read it. Once you read it, get that red pen out and have a field day.

loganeturner said...

Holly, I am starting to agree. Banging out a crappy novel is nothing, which is why thousands of us can do it in a month. But oh my am I having the hardest time figuring out if I want to stick with the story, change the story, write a new story, etc. Being a writer is tough, man! :)

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