nanowrimo: the bittersweet, not quite end


Nine hundred and fifty-six words left, I thought when I awoke this morning, excited about the prospect of finishing the first draft of my novel. That same sense of enthusiasm accompanied me every day of the first week of NaNoWriMo, but had quickly waned. I became bored with my story, with my narrator, with the setting and the characters, but now that excitement was back and better than ever.

NANOWinner-120x240I thought that nine hundred and fifty-six words would fly by in two hours, but it took a few more than that, mainly because the impending end was so close I told myself I could afford a bit of internet procrastination (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Hours later, I clicked the word count to see 50,328 words, and my arms shot up in the air, at which point I realized that I probably should’ve showered this morning. Yes, my first thought—after “I did it!”—was that I needed a shower, but then I realized that sitting in my pajamas at the kitchen table seemed a fitting way to end a month of intensive writing.

And yet this is far from the end, the end. Over the course of the month I wrote countless tangents that will meet the cutting room floor, yet came closer to the book I’ve always wanted to write with every word I typed. Still, there is so much more to say, and whether it will all make it into one book is doubtful. I’m lucky enough to have a bounty of stories, but with that box of ideas in my brain comes overwhelming doubts—are my stories any good? Am I just writing the same solipsistic shit?

Who knows? And who cares? Okay, okay, I honestly do, but the thing is, I can’t not write. So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in my pajamas at the kitchen table, writing.



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