If you have an exhausted-but-still-happy-looking friend, coworker or family member in your life, chances are they just completed a grueling month of frantic writing. They have experienced moments of utter despair, creative highs, possible crying fits in solidarity with their characters and much, much more.
I am within these ranks, having finished my novel on November 29th – and while this will be my 9th novel written via NaNoWriMo, the feeling of finishing is indescribably delicious and delightful. It is second only to finishing a final draft (If you’ve never done this, you need to. The creative high is out of this world!).
It is difficult to explain the FEELING of NaNo, so I’m not going to. I’m going to visually display the various emotions associated with this month (that many of us have, successfully if not narrowly just survived).
The It-Sounded-Good-At-The-Time feeling
This most commonly occurs when you haven’t slept in 20 hours, write feverishly, sure of your brilliance only to sit down the next day for a writing session to find out you cannot possibly write yourself out of this mess.
The emotional wreck because 50,000 words might as well be the same as climbing that staircase from Ace Ventura Nature Calls feeling
Coming back down with that slinky is so much more fun.
The I-Just-Wrote-A-Line-That-Cracked-Me-Up, and then realized I didn’t have anyone to brag to feeling
Self amusement is not just about delirium! Sometimes it really is good!
The Eye-of-the-Tiger moment of writing so much you broke the daily limit three times over feeling!
The being so tired but pushing through anyway feeling
It’s all gonna be worth it at 50k!
Not understanding why your characters won’t cooperate feeling
I can’t work with these people!
The feeling of guilt as you once again hide away from family, friends and obligations to write feeling
Because this is important, damnit!
Being filled with joy and sadness as your novel comes to an end
At the end of the day, NaNo takes us through some of our highest highs and our lowest lows when it comes to personal challenges. This is universal across all writers – young and old, new and experienced. We’re all in this together, we all feel a lot of the same things, we all push ourselves in similar ways and it’s a unique experience that should be proudly worn as a badge of honor.
As we wrapped up this NaNo year, many looked on in astonishment at the very first novel they had ever created. Others honed their craft and built on the years of experience they have put into the craft. In the end, we’re all winners for stepping up to the plate.
So here’s to you, fellow Wrimo, you are awesomely tenacious and genuinely courageous! Embrace all of the feelings of NaNo!
Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot. You can visit her website at www.somenerdgirl.com.