11.20.2008

50,000 Words and 21 to Grow On

Well, I achieved my goal. Tonight I crossed the 50,000 word threshold into the NaNoWriMo Winner's Circle. Let's be clear; The Kingmaker is not done. I still have to write the entire climax, which is not the part I most look forward to writing. In fact, it's the one I usually drag my heels getting to and then attempt to circumvent because it's just too damn overwhelming. It's like staring into the sun or eating an entire Cadbury egg. Sometimes that much awesome can bite back. It's only after I've had my ass properly kicked by both myself and whatever brutally honest soul is reading the first draft that I can go back and put a proper ending on my story. But this experience has been affirming for me in a lot of ways. I'm perhaps not the best example of a person who "can achieve anything so long as I put my mind to it." In fact, I'm sort of the antithesis of that. I'm the one who, after setting my mind to things, doesn't actually accomplish anything. I have to tiptoe past those Elders of Doubt holding eternal conference in my brain. If successful, I can usually do just about anything I want. So I did something different this time. I decided to take my brain completely out of the equation. I put it in a jar of formaldehyde and will have it re-inserted once I'm finished with this book. Actually... I might actually just leave it out. I'll tell you, it's actually been kind of nice not having to deal with those extra few pounds between the ears. Now I know why Paris Hilton looks so happy all the time. But seriously, this challenge ended up being far easier than I expected. I think it's because I've had most of a year to prepare for it. I've written several stories. I've blogged. More than ever, I've just felt ready to "go forth and create." And create I did. The challenge of "50 Thousand Words in 30 Days" just didn't seem all that foreboding to me after realizing that it's really easy for me to plunk down a few thousand words a day without straining myself. I wrote 6400 words today, and that's not even counting this blog. I have words in my brain. Lots of them. And I have very fast moving fingers that can get them out for me before I start to feel fatigued. With that combination, I ought to be as prolific as Shakespeare on a week-long meth bender, though probably not nearly as coherent. I am proud of myself. I've learned that the process of writing a novel is something I actually love, even when in the beginning (at least with this story) it took me time to fall in love with it. I've written stories I loved from beginning to end, and it is those that I most look forward to rejoining with this new accomplishment under my belt. It's an accomplishment that I can now firmly say belongs to me. I wrote a damn novel. I could write "and so they all blew up and died. The End" right now and it would be a complete novel, but I won't. I'm invested now. I care about these guys. I want to see if they make it out okay. I do want to thank my husband Ken for making it possible for me to do this. If it weren't for his wonderful efforts of keeping the kids wrangled, the dishes in the dishwasher, and dinner on the table (after working a full day himself) all so I could spend hours on end with my face buried in my computer screen, I wouldn't have been able to do this. Now, with the press of this crazy deadline off my back, I feel like I can probably go back to being a full time parent again while churning out my literary wares. Or at least I should. I'm sure he wouldn't mind.

4 comments:

  1. I also think I'm partially made of tacos. But then, when you think about it, that's kind of redundant. After all, tacos are awesome.

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  2. I'm just proud to be able to help. Seeing your excitement before, during, and after you've reached your goal for the month, has been very rewarding.

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  3. Fantastic achievement, Allie. And you had a week to spare! That blows me away.

    Kudos to Ken. (The man sounds like a keeper to me.)

    Now... the two of you need to kick back, have a few beverages and congratulate yourselves on a job well done.

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