Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life After NaNoWriMo

For twenty-nine days in November, I ate, drank, thought and slept writing. And somewhere around 6 PM on November 29, I hit 50,000 words and became a NaNoWriMo winner. I walked around the shopping center where I'd been writing all day at Barnes and Noble and I don't think my feet touched the ground at all.

It was a surreal feeling. I'd actually done it. I'd written 50,000 words. And I had no idea it would feel so damn good. At 50K, the book wasn't finished though. I still have two chapters to write, and once I do that, I will have to edit and polish.

I actually skipped a chapter on that last day. It was an addition to the book during the pre-NaNo organizing days and when I got to that chapter and was still short of 50K, I just skipped it because I knew I would dither my time away and accomplish zip. I knew what happened in the next chapter so I wrote that instead.

On November 30, I just enjoyed the last day of having #2 son home for the holidays and goofed off around the house. On December 1, I came down with some horrendous virus and/or cold and spent the next six days in bed or on the sofa watching countless episodes of Law and Order, a couple movies and some Food Network shows I'd never seen before.

The NaNo gods held off the sickness until I'd hit 50K, or at least I like to believe that. If I'd had a week like last week during November, I'd have never made my goal.

Of course, now I'm back amongst the living, the Christmas shopping is almost complete (anybody know where I can get a Mario Kart Wii with Wheel at a reasonable price?) and I've even started on a few things due in January. But I feel like an absolute slacker because I'm not working on the novel. I didn't feel like it last week, but I have no excuse now, especially after the Playfriends helped me brainstorm the missing chapter over the weekend.

We'd all gone to the NaNo TGIO (Thank God It's Over) party and went by the coffee shop afterwards because we just don't get to spend enough time together. When there was a lull in the conversation I said, "I need some plotting help with my book, and I'm sure that's a question you never thought you'd hear from me." Well, they jumped right in and gave me some great ideas and I believe I have a handle on chapter 10 now. I just need to put on my mystical muse beads, light my special candle, put the creativity CD on with the stereo headphones and write, write, write.

Have you ever gone after something really big and then felt a big letdown after you achieved it?

P.S. Here's a little Playfriend fun. Y'all didn't know we were so talented, did you?

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Problem Child said...

My brain is mush -- I think if I'd actually completed NaNo I'd be a complete zombie!

Now go write chapter 10...

Jen said...

That's just such a yuck feeling (wow, how's that for wordsmithing?) when you go for something huge and then feel a sense of letdown..but yeah, it happens. Hey, congrats on accomplishing that. That's a HUGE deal...and to echo PC...write chapter 10 now. ;)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Congrats again, Marilyn! It's an amazing feeling to finish that first book. You're a novelist now. :)

Hey, I think those dance moves were filmed at the Harlequin party. I distinctly remember some of them.... ;)

Smarty Pants said...

I'm usually let down. I guess I build things up too much so that nothing can meet my expectations. I guess that's why I'm always chasing the next achievement, hoping the next one will fill the hole.

Ugh, this sounds too much like therapy. Ignore me - congrats on hitting your 50k! We always knew you could do it, we just had to convince you of it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment - now get started on chapter 10. Loved the Elf yourself - you ladies have some awesome moves!!!!!!

Christine said...

Yup, I feel the euphoric high after a big accomplishment and then it's "what now?" and how do I motivate myself to keep going? After I sent of the GH entry, I was too busy with Thanksgiving to get letdown, but the first week in December was tough! If I hadn't forced myself to write one hour a day, and if I had someone to play with, I'd have accomplished zilch these past two weeks.

Congratulations on finishing the novel. It's a great feeling.

And loved the Elves. Very fun.

Problem Child said...

Interesting...the video didn't show up when I was using Firefox. I had no idea what "moves" ya'll were discussing. I had to click over to IE to see it. Odd

Darling Geek said...

Why is everyone talking about NaNo and chapter 10?

The lack of availability of Mario Kart is much more important!

Unfortunately, there are no good answers there. It seems to be sold out just about everywhere. does have it for sale with a second wheel or an extra Wiimote at retail price, but that is obviously still more than the regular package.

Instigator said...

Congratulations on hitting your goal, PM! We're all so proud of you. I hate to say I told you so but...we always knew you could do it :-)

I often experience the let down when I finish working on a project. To be honest, that's probably why I'm dragging my feet right now. I know when I'm finished I'll have to move on to something else.

And I can't get the elves to come up at work. Boo! :-)


Sherry Werth said...

Congratulations PM! I know you worked your butt off to get to 50K. I tried it but after about 2 weeks things really started to pile up at home. With a full time job and home life it just wasn't happening. I was starting to worry the health department might show up at any time and condemn my house. : )

Playground Monitor said...

Thank you, DG, for recognizing the seriousness of the Mario Kart shortage. But I found one! And I think it's priced right too. I saw prices all over the place, and on eBay folks were paying upwards of $100 for it. I snagged it late last night on Amazon.

I did work on chapter 10 last night -- not writing but coming up with the perfect "date" for my hero to take the heroine on to show he's been paying attention to things she likes and it will push him waaaaay outside his comfort zone. I hope.

Crystal Lee said...

Congrats on meeting your goal! That is most stellar.

Can't see the elves here at work for some reason. I'll imagine them.

Kathy said...

Way to go, PM! You're one determined gal and I couldn't be more proud of you!!

So glad you found the Wii thingie. ;)