NaNo Hangover

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Welcome to the morning after. I know some folk probably wrote like mad last night, trying to get the last bits of words in. I cleared some things off my plate, put in my final count (I totaled 36,473, which I’m quite happy with under the circumstances), and relaxed by watching the latest edition of The Fashion Show. Seriously, the show is pure cheeseburger for the mind. Just follow Tom and Lorenzo’s advice and mentally add something to the end of each of Iman’s pronouncements, such as “Or I will kill you” and the whole thing takes on this strange, almost James Bondian-villain aspect.

But it’s now the morning after the madness and the question remains “What now?” The reason I stopped pushing last week was because if I didn’t, I would have found myself going into non-writing mode to clear my mind. I’ve done that before and it’s the last thing I wanted to do at the moment. Doing NaNo is great, hitting 50,000 words is great — but if you stop writing coming December 1 because you’re exhausted, what’s gain? The holidays are around the corner (Hanukkah starts tonight), and it’s all to easy to lose the moment November has brought.

If you were pushing yourself at the end to get 50,000, do yourself a favor: write 100 words today. You can write more if you want or are capable of it, but don’t write less. If you’re between projects, write a 100-word character sketch or scene idea. Just keep the creative juices flowing. Let’s not make the momentum and energy NaNo generates a once-a year thing.

So, accomplishments for month of November:

  • Didn’t cross the finish line of NaNo, but did come to some important realizations about things that I need to change in my life and my writing habits. I shouldn’t have been surprised; after my mother-in-law’s death, the husband and I are struggling to find what “normal” is again, so a lot of things are changing.
  • Did re-discover a old manuscript and decide that there is a story worth saving there — if I figure out why these people are doing what they’re doing.
  • Got back into reading again, which had very much drifted away in favor of DVDs. I read Lani Diane Rich‘s article on Discovery in the September RWR during the middle of November and have taken up her challenge to read a book a week. All part of of feeding the creative well.
  • Finished my Aeolian Shawl, which I began on May 20. Given that this is heavily beaded, the project wasn’t portable, which is one of the reasons it’s taken so long. Now I need to focus on my jacket so I can actually wear that this winter.
  • Out of 30 days, blogged 27 — and after the radio silence and cobwebs that have been hanging around this place, I’m more than a little happy about that.

For a month in which I found myself sick, stressed, and overloaded much of the time, that’s actually not a bad score. Now, here’s the basic goals for December.

  • Write 100 words each day that are creative fiction. The idea is to keep the muscles going.
  • Finish the diagonal jacket I’m knitting.
  • Read four books, which equals out to a book a week.

We’ll take “survive Christmas” as a given, but I think that’s a nice, basic high level set of goals. There are some other things on the list (I’m hoping to arrange the budget to take the upcoming Storywonk “Discovery” class, but that’s dependent on some other factors, so I can’t count that as a goal necessarily), but that’s a good place to start.

Welcome to December, everyone.