Time to breathe a sigh of relief. November just turned into December and the month is done. NaNoWriMo is over, and for many that means pens down, word documents away, and computers abandoned.
Not so for everyone, however. There are some of us who see the end of NaNo pass us by and think, well, that’s the writing part done, time for some editing. I am included in that. Writing over, editing started.
Of course this year has been the strangest NaNo ever.
Not only did I write 51233 words in 24 hours, but I haven’t done much more than that. For me, despite a final word total of almost 70,000, I don’t feel like I won. This is my fourth year of doing NaNo, my lowest word count out of all my years, and the only year where I didn’t complete a whole novel.
I started Platinum Skies, and lost the plot half way through the 24 hour write in. As luck would have it, I had written down the plot, but after so many hours staring at the same words, the emotional strain took everything it could from me. That left me sitting around and cringing at the thought of going back to it.
For those of you who know a little about me and my work, you will know that I wrote a book earlier this year. Ten days to write it. Ten to edit it. And then it was submitted. It was written on a tight deadline because I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass, and didn’t have any other manuscript ready.
So why is it that I didn’t finished Platinum Skies? Ten days is a lot longer than 24 hours. And when it comes to the ever changing emotions of characters, I need the break between the chapters. I need to be able to step away from the computer and get some distance. Otherwise it takes everything out of me with no chance of getting anything back.
Of course, I have other projects on which to work, and that was great. But having written so much in such a short time, I didn’t even want to do those.
It wasn’t until the end of the month that I started really writing again. A romance, which is new for me, and one that, had I wanted to, would have been due by December 10th. It was more than doable. Except for a couple of slight snags: the first being the subject. Romance is new and strange and I am too used to killing my characters off every few chapters. Secondly; I managed to catch my finger on the fridge shelf, which turned out to be sharp metal. Cut, blood, pain. Plaster stopping me bending the finger. And it had to be the one finger I used most. The shift and ctrl finger. The one used to save and do speech marks and capital letters. As a touch typist that really threw me. It’s either all fingers or none.
And lastly, the other thing that I missed this year; the meet ups. They are fantastic, great for motivation and meeting people. And this year I went to none.
Sure, there was the kick off party… where I sat and planned and got bored. Then there was the press meeting for promoting the write in. Where I sat and planned and got bored. And there was the write in itself, where I went slightly crazy and wrote far too much. Other than that, nothing.
It’s the first year where I didn’t organise any meet ups. It’s the first year where I didn’t get through to Durham. I haven’t made it up to Sunderland either. And without that network of meet ups and fin and challenges, NaNo really hasn’t been the same.
But it’s over now for another year, so let’s hope things look up next year.
And congratulations to everyone who completed the 30 days of NaNo. Whether you wrote 5k or 50k, it’s the taking part that proves group psychosis exists!