Hey, so I’m not going to write a lot today because I’m tired and you know what? I’ve already written a lot today. When I finally decided (after two years of having nothing to write about, but WANTING to write) to try NaNoWriMo this year, I thought I’d have to cut back on the blog, but I didn’t. And I finished a major quilt at the same time. And I think I averaged over 5 hours of sleep a night (this is a vast improvement over last year at this time, trust me).
So in late May, this idea for a book started poking at me…a plant/animal hybrid. And what that would look like. And what might happen to it. And being able to make your own FOOD! (which only works if you expose yourself to the sun, I realized as I was writing). And I probably was watching WAY too much X-Files, because of course the government would be involved and not in a good way (I don’t really trust government, which is funny, because technically, as a teacher, I work for the government). The idea niggled and poked and prodded, and finally, sometime in June, I started writing. I wrote about 25,000 words during the summer. I wanted to do more than that. I had a plan of 10,000 words/week, which totally didn’t happen, and once school started…well, sheeet. I barely wrote at all.
So I made a plan, a goal, to do NaNoWriMo, which if you don’t know (and can’t use The Google) stands for National Novel Writing Month, taking place in November, wherein a writer makes a goal to write 50,000 words in a month. OK. I do that, and I almost have a completed book. Sci fi books are usually between 75,000 and 100,000 words. Plus I would need to edit, right? So if I did 50,000 words, I’d be pretty damn close to a full novel. And if I failed, hell, I would still have more words than I did before.
So I set out on November 1st to do the recommended 1667 words per day that gets you to 50K on time. And most days I did that and more. Mostly at night, after dinner, before art time. I had no outline, no plan. I have a Google doc with the original 25,000 words, another one with the words I wrote for this month, and a third one with all the character’s names and details, just so I can remember them without going back through the rest of the story. And I haven’t done that: gone back through. Occasionally I skim through for a specific detail, but I haven’t read the whole thing since August. The doc is called “justwrite” and that’s what I do. I just write. I read the last few sentences from the night/day before and I pick up from there. And a few times, I was so tired that when I read the two sentences from the night before, I didn’t even remember writing them. I think I wrote them with my eyes closed. Or trolls came in and wrote them for me after they carried me off and tucked me into bed.
And it still makes sense as a story. I think. I won’t know until I finish. So yeah. But I did finish the 50,000 words tonight. On November 26. And NaNoWriMo has a little video of some of their staff cheering for you once you validate the word count. And then they cheer again. And again. And again! Because you know why? It’s pretty fucking amazing that anyone would be able to write all those words in one month, a month where they worked their butt off, and went on 5 or 6 hikes, and flew back from Houston, and sat through staff meetings and IEPs and parent-teacher meetings and hours of professional development (seriously, this month, it was fucking hours). And graded papers. And made a piece of art, not a small one or an easy one, but a significant piece of large art. And wrote her blog almost every day. And fought mood swings and cranky uteri and lived in a house with a teenager. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: No Wonder My House Is Not Clean. Do not judge me. Look at what I DID do.
And still. I wrote. I wrote my heart out. My head. My brain. Vomited all over the screen, my fingers going tippity tappity as fast as lightning. My fingers knowing how the story went before my brain ever caught up.
Dammit. I earned this.
Look. I can do things. I can do cool things. And yes, I do have to keep telling myself that.
Sure. I’m going to keep writing this story until it’s done. It deserves to get itself the fuck out of my head. And then I’ll edit it. And the next story, which is already there, lurking, giggling, wanting to be written…I’ll start it too. Oh yeah, and I totally got the T-shirt.
All the words? They need to go somewhere. They can’t stay in my head.