NaNoWriMo: The Day After Hangover

One genuine NaNoWriMo manuscript, awaiting editing in January
Did we really just do that? Did we really just sit down and attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days? Did we worry about making our daily word count? Did we sneak in writing time whenever we could, including a few places that we would normally never consider?

Welcome to December and the NaNoWriMo Hangover. For the first time in 30 days, we awoke without the dreaded word count hanging over our heads. We didn’t have the need to race to the keyboard and start pounding away, squeezing in every word we could in the time we could carve out of our day.

And, like I do almost every year, I find myself missing it.

Writing is generally a solitary profession. I natter to my husband about my plot and characters and he has been known to locate plot holes directly in front of me that I’ve somehow missed — but when I sit down at the keyboard, it’s just me and the voices in my head wanting to be let out. I spend a fair amount of time in the evening holed up in the office working on the current project, coming out only for dinner or the few shows that are absolute viewing for us. Heading off to my monthly meeting of Los Angeles Romance Authors is the only time I’m guaranteed to spend time with fellow writers. Except for November. For 30 days, there are write-ins and words sprints and the very act of writing becomes somewhat social because you’re on Twitter not to mess around, but to get writing done or you’re at a write-in or…you get the picture. It’s one reasons I love this madness, even with Thanksgiving in the mix. And it’s helped me; I finished this year with 76,186 words, a personal best and a speed I never would have even dreamed of before I started doing this craziness.

But you can also have too much of a good thing and even though I miss not having words I feel I absolutely need to write, I also feel the need of a break. I’d like to have a some days where I can commit to finishing the sleeve on the my sweater rather than getting that extra 200 words done. I want to catch up on Blindspot, finish Jessica Jones and rewatch Agent Carter before the second season premieres in January. I’ve given up a number of these things in November and it’s time to take them back.

The manuscript in the picture? That goes into hiding until January 1, 2016, when I’ll start editing. Tonight, I’ve got a sleeve to knit.