It ends tonight. The novel does not. I attained about 12,300 words, some 10,000 of which I believe take place before the beginning of the book.
At this point my frame should be wracked with the pain of my soul being torn, my face in a rictus of torment as I tear at my hair and cry to the heavens in a voice barely human, “What went wrong?” Then I fall to my knees, my back suddenly bowed forward and shaken with sobs, my face cast down and bathed in tears. And, y’know, just the whole cliche.
Honestly, I’m too tired. And don’t feel all overwrought. Hell, I don’t even feel wrought. I am, if anything, underwrought, if there is such a state and it carries the entire lack of trauma that I credit it with.
So, in a calm, casually interested voice, I ask, “What went wrong?”
Well, nothing. I wrote 12,300 words. Most very good ones, even if they aren’t part of the book.
Last year I did Nano because I needed the pressure to demonstrate to myself that I would, in the end, finish a book. I did. Good. Then I finished another. Also good.
(Okay, I actually finished two first drafts, which isn’t the same thing at all, but bear with me.)
I think that this year I was looking less after daily word counts and bludgeoning my way through at all costs (shouldn’t that have been in italics? Let’s try it: at all costs. Oh, yes, much better) and more about sustainable practice.
That is: I don’t want to work myself to death to keep my job, work myself to death to support my lifestyle, work myself to death to write my book, work myself to death to blahblahblah.
I want to have my life and have all of those things and other things as well (like sleep), which means that I may only have moderate amounts of any of them at a time.
Lord, I hope this doesn’t mean I’m growing up.