NaNoWriMo, the Day After

NanoWriMo Winner 2011Here I am the first morning post-NaNoWriMo and what am I doing? Writing. I really thought I’d wallow in a morning without the pressure to write, and yet here I am.

Hey, it’s a good habit to have, I figure. So, onward.

  • I have a new novel, my first, in a rough (very) draft. **boggles** Check.
  • I have a blog, it needs content. There’s a good place start.
  • My fandom experience is largely conducted via the medium of writing. LiveJournal et al are seriously neglected.
  • And, it’s time for AdventDrabbles!
  • AND I have a Yuletide assignment to write: at least a  thousand words in a new fandom I so far adore.

It looks like writing will continue. But wait, there’s more. I have several writing friends, some of whom need encouragement. I am already inspiring others with my NaNo project.  Stay involved/get involved!

  • Start/Join a local writing group.

On October 30 I went to my old stomping grounds in Crystal City and joined a group of NoVa NaNo writers. Little did I realize that Crystal City would be mobbed by the Marine Corps Marathon, 30,000 participants and all their well wishers. These runners are committed to 26.2 miles, something I cannot even imagine. While we sat and talked writing, we watched the runners, walkers and hand-cyclists — two of them veterans with amputations — stream by. There were costumed runners, young runners, grey-haired runners, fat runners, thin runners, struggling runners, clowning runners,  even a juggling runner!

Leaving the meeting, post-race traffic jammed up in in an underground garage. No cars moved, exhaust smells were rising and I started to feel panicky. I rarely get claustrophobic, but loathe underground parking garages and their desolate mine-like vibe. In my unease I scribbled  on index cards for a while and made my first outline of the book with chapters defined. It became the backbone of my plot diagram.

As I used  the time (and the panic) to work on the book, I watched as people adorned with big shiny medals on a striped ribbon returning to their cars. This year, 21024 runners were awarded medals for completion. They looked just like ordinary people! I am challenged to walk for more than three miles, so this is seriously impressive, watching these ‘ordinary’ extraordinary people walking around as if everything is normal, and they’ve just run 26.2 miles!

Eventually the traffic jam broke, I made it out of the garage, and went home ready (so I thought, heh) to start my NaNoWriMo. It wasn’t until the final weekend of November that it dawned on me: getting tangled up in that marathon was no coincidence. NaNoWriMo became my marathon: requiring persistence, patience, rededication, tolerance of imperfection, defeating the devil of self criticism, setting and meeting small daily goals, sacrifice, dedication, and belief in my ability to ‘get there.’

I would have never signed on for the Marine Corps Marathon, but I did sign up for NaNoWriMo , and I did persevere, and I did ‘win.’  I don’t have a medal, but I have a badge (points at the shiny) and soon, a t-shirt! (man that’s a lot of work for a stupid t-shirt!) and, oh yeah, a draft of a book. And I have the powerful inner magic of being proud of myself for all of the above. I did all of those things, and I would, and will, do them again.

Onward! Daily word count for 2011-2012: 1000 words a day.
And here are 588 for today.

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