Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winning and Other Challenges


I'm quite relieved to post this, to be finished. All month my graph kept climbing steadily, but it always bowed out and away from the goal line like a stubborn sail,* never really closing the gap until a blur of 4-5K days at the bitter end.

Though of course I'm not finished, not really, not with this story. Sometimes I feel like I wasn't so much writing a novel during NaNoWriMo as I was doing a number of writing exercises meant to demonstrate just how much work this story was going to take in the long run, just how many plot threads would  need to be untangled, just how much I still did not know about this story even after writing over 50,000 words in its world with its characters. And all of that is okay, and I'm sure I'm not alone in it. There is a lot of excitement mixed in with the exhaustion and the overwhelmedness.** It's going to be an ongoing adventure, and I might not be ready for it, and I'm definitely not ready for it today, but I am eager to try soon, and that's enough.

I had a rather blind, overly optimistic faith that I would finish NaNoWriMo no matter how crazy it got, because I'm the girl who doesn't give up on a challenge, especially not once I've told other people about it. That characteristic would be a key item on my Character Sheet, assuming I ever used them. Or wrote one about myself. But yesterday I really thought winning NaNoWriMo was going to mean my giving up on another challenge, despite how very unlike me that would be.

All year I've been doing the monthly version of Write1Sub1, and I meant to have a story in my pocket all ready to go before the craziness of November... but I didn't. So I found myself at 9pm, on the last day of the month, having just validated my NaNoWriMo word count and consumed vast quantities of pumpkin curry and raspberry scones, without a story to sub. And I was going to give up on it, give myself a NaNo pass to not complete every challenge ever, because I refused to submit a story that wasn't ready for publication just to meet a voluntary, "fun" deadline. But it just kept bugging me: I'd gotten through 10 months, and now I was going to give up so close to the end? My husband saw that it was driving me and therefor him insane mildly frustrating me and asked if "those Nano things counted," meaning twitter fiction like on Nanoism. I'd written many before but never let them count for the month; but according to the W1S1 site, twitter fiction qualifies, and that was going to have to be good enough for me. So I spent the evening brainstorming wildly and writing concisely and having long discussions with my husband about Legends of the Hidden Temple (which, alas, never did make it into a story). Before midnight, I'd submitted two little things that I liked quite a bit. It's not my most impressive W1S1 moment, but it made me happy to keep the chain unbroken without lowering my submission standards.

And so now, of course, I'm all pumped up to take on another ridiculous challenge because I have a problem. I am very behind on my Off the Shelves reading challenge. As in, I now have to average a book a day to finish. BUT I'M STILL GOING FOR IT. While also continuing W1S1 and plotting out a novel revision after a short break, hopefully. I'm letting myself change up a few items on my reading list, but only a few, and no cheating with children's picture books or anything like that. I'm going for glory. And crossed eyes and sleep deprivation, possibly. And I will probably need to bring an extra carry-on just for books when we fly home for Christmas. But I LOVE challenges and I LOVE reading (which is much easier and less stressful than writing, after all) so I actually think I'll still really enjoy this challenge and not really want to quit.

Ask me in a week or two though.

And you completely have the right to consider me crazy. 

If you just did NaNoWriMo, are you being smart and resting up, or taking on something else right away?

*My NaNoWriMoBrain isn't really up to making logical similes right now. You understand. 
** It also makes up words. More than normal, I mean.