It’s December 1st, and I have lost my reason to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve achieved my goals and there’s nothing left to strive for; the rest of my life will be a sham, a hollow simulacrum. National Novel Writing Month is over. I did it. I’m a winner. My third novel is more than halfway along, the words no longer floating randomly in the vacuum of my skull, but saved on my laptop. And in the cloud. And on an external hard drive. Having had a computer simply break this year, I’m taking no chances.
Yes, NaNoWriMo is done and dusted; my first year of the challenge, the idea of which is that you sit down on November 1st with a blank page/ screen/ mind, and write fifty thousand words in one month. I know several people who have completed the challenge in previous years and I wanted to see if I could do it myself.
The simple answer is that while I managed to get to the 50K word limit, I didn’t do it alone. My wife shouldered more of the domestic work than she might normally, freeing me up to write every day, or at least almost every day. In the end, I wrote on 22 of the 30 days in November, and I learned a lot.
Mostly, I learned that I haven’t lost my competitiveness. I do deadlines – that word count became fifty thousand Swords of Damocles hanging over my head. The thought of not reaching the 50K mark never entered my head, but there are a few things that have become clear over the past month:
Will I do NaNoWriMo next year? I don’t know. Whatever I decide, I’ll go into the challenge with open eyes. Like most things in life, the goal is there to be reached, you just have to put in the effort.