I have had a good size glass of celebratory wine tonight. Some kind of chardonnay, Hess maybe? I don't drink Arbor Mist or anything, ok anymore, but I'm not a wine expert. I like white. I picked some kind of white, but not a Zinfandel, so that's a step up, right? Just so you know this going forward. I am impaired. And I've used all of the decent, funny, creative words up in the last month. I think I'm only left with crappy words like panties, salve, moist, tuber, refudiate and meme. So I apologize, you might be getting the tipsy dregs tonight.
I finished my 50,000 word National Novel Writing Month project today! (Check out that winner icon on the side there, I'm proud of that thing!) I don't know quite how it happened though. 50,000 sounded like a lot on October 31st. And it was. Someone said to me in early November,(I honestly can't remember who it was, but thank you) when I was complaining about how much 50,000 felt like, they asked me, how do you eat an elephant? The answer: One bite at a time. So that's what I tried to do.
I took little 1,200 word bites at a time. I tried to write at least a little bit every single day. There were probably three days I didn't write at all. And I felt guilty on those days. Guilty and stressed. So I might as well have been writing. But little bits at a time and then a big push on the last two weekends, and I made it. I think the last 5,000 words kind of wrote themselves. Do I remember what happened in those last few pages? Not really. I just kept typing and the story went in a direction I didn't expect. And that's exciting and a little scary.
I think this novel is only about half way finished. I'm going to print out the 100 pages I've written so far, leave them alone for at least a week and then I'm coming back to them. I need an outline, I need to readjust the structure, fix some characters, figure out what to do with the first 20 pages that now seem totally disconnected from the rest of the story. And mostly I need to get to editing and rewriting. There is a lot of editing and rewriting to do. Oh, so much, that it might take until next NaNoWriMo to finish. But I began the month intimidated and frightened and excited. And I'm ending the month invigorated and satisfied and proud.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. And I challenge you to tackle something you've been dreaming of doing. Something vast and creative and intimidating, something that you can take little bites of over a tight amount of time so that you'll be thrilled with whatever you've produced at the end, because it's yours and you persevered. Something new, straight out of your genius little brain, something original and fresh that you can be proud of having made from scratch. So what's your elephant?