There was a veritable Emmy-nominated thank you speech to all who supported me and cheered me on during my first and possibly only foray into NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month), I imagined there would be lots of tears and hugs and all manner of cheers as I hit the virtual town with all of my electric friends and we held a celebration in the etherverse that would rival the ringing in of 1999, as it were.
When I took my lunch break from my day job to finish up this afternoon, I had 440 words left to reach the required 50,000. From my point of view, after having written roughly 7,000 words yesterday alone, 440 was almost a vacation. I got them done, saved and backed up my novel, and posted it to the NaNoWriMo site to verify word count. I stared at the 'Congrats!' message for a long time, my breath coming in tiny little gasps as the full impact of what I had done finally got through to my shocked brain: I had written a 200 page novel in 30 days.
I printed out my official 'you wrote a LOT in one month, congrats!' certificate and have it proudly displayed on my bookshelf as I typed a few more words to round out my last day, and then I made the phonecalls to announce my accomplishment. No one was home. *blink*
Yes, I finally did get through to family and called my hubs, and got the obligatory kudos, but by then I was already throwing myself a personal 'yay! you did it!' party. I think a lot of people are under the impression that all a writer has to do is sit on the toilet, and out comes a book. Not so!
For the truly dedicated writer it's more like we stand at the sink and open up our veins and BLEED that book out. Our blood, sweat, tears, cheers, and curses fill ever sentence of every page of everything we write. It's NOT easy to be a writer or any creative type, as what we do is generally seen as being 'fun'. Yes, to an extent, it is fun to create an entire world, but come on, give us some credit: we just created an entire world! Last time I checked, religions get made based on that ability.
But back to the BFD of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. That equals 200 pages. In 30 days. In the month of November, which is perhaps the very worst month to decide to write an entire novel. For one, it's a short month. No luxurious 31 days here. Second, holiday angst. Oh yeah, we sit around and say how thankful we are, and believe me, I AM thankful for those awesome friends who cheered me on when I was losing faith in myself, but I'll get to that in a minute. See this post? Right now, I'm clocking in at 530 words, to give you an idea of what that looks like. For sanity's sake, we'll round down to 500 words. Now multiply this portion of the blog post by 100 and you have a novel. Kind of puts things in perspective a little: I wrote 100 of these blog posts during one of the busiest months of the year.
Here's where I get to get a little sappy and do my thankyou's. Because seriously, I need to send out some serious love to folks.
First and foremost: I'd like to thank my son. Yes, he's officially a toddler now (he turned 1 on the 20th). I think without his smile and laugh for the last 30 days, I might have gone completely over the edge.
I'd also like to thank my husband and family for looking mildly impressed when I said I was writing 50,000 words in a month, then actually being impressed when I translated it to page count. :)
A huge thank you to my electric and in-person friends of Facebookland, who cheered me on and fed my ego as needed and who were kind enough to say they missed my Facebook posts while I was trapped in the NaNoverse.
And finally, last but definitely not least, a very special thanks goes out to Mr. TW Brown. I've never had a mentor until this past month, and it was a great feeling to know someone was out there who cared about my success. When my word count would lag, I could count on a message in my NaNo mailbox telling me not to give up and to keep going. To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I would have finished the novel if I hadn't gotten those messages. It's in my nature to more or less slack off after the majority of the work has been put in and worry about polishing the project up at some (distant) future date. Those NaNo messages and my fellow writing buddies' progress kept me on track and on time.
For the month of December, I was going to hibernate, but then I got the edits back from the publisher on another project I've been working on, and it looks like edits for some other stuff may be coming down the pike in the near future.
No rest for the weary.
~ Suzi M