Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tales from the NaNoWriMo Trenches, Part II (The Emotional Melée)

My first friend made it easy—a sort of halfbreed cross between Inspiration and Determination.  With my lower lip clenched tightly in my teeth, my fingers warm and nimble, I launched into my WIP with a vigor I hadn't seen it quite a while.  This was it.  Time to bang out that novel in 30 days and then spend a few months making it over for the real world.  She carried me high through the first week, nudging me closer to sun with little bursts of enthusiasm.  Of course another mosher was constantly tugging at me from behind.

Hello, Guilt.  Oh yes, this little friend was high-spirited and relentless.  "Ghost Girl, you're neglecting your family!" he shouted.  "The kids can't survive on frozen salisbury steak and applesauce forever!"  I swear he even brainwashed the tater tots who glared up at me from their grease-stained paper plates and chanted "saturated fats...saturated're killing your children!" I covered my ears and pressed on, but that nasty little mosher rallied the rabid dust bunnies to revolt.  But I just closed my eyes and flung myself deeper into the pit.

Aha...halfway through the month, I felt myself slipping, tumbling in a rock slide of dwindling word-counts.  200 one day, 150 the next.  Suddenly, a toady little critter tugged at my pants leg.  Fifty more stood arm-in-arm behind him, salivating through their smug grins. Yes, it was Defeat and his minions.  Their triumphant taunts rang throughout cyberspace:  "I hit 28k today!"  "I'm almost done and I have 15 days left!" "I'm finished...time to revise!"  Yes, there I was caught in the tightly clenched jaws of defeat, clutching my meager 12,000 words in my tiny fist.  A new pile of ENG 1102 essays mocked me from the corner.  Even the Thanksgiving turkey betrayed me!  "Time to write...," they taunted.  It wasn't their fault that others were more on the ball than I was.  

But somewhere in the midst of my grading haze and my post Thanksgiving stupor, another voice sifted through the darkness.  "Look what you did!  You broke through!  You taught your students, fed your kids, and broke through!"  She grabbed me by the ear and pulled my face in close.  "There..." She pointed her bony finger at the bottom of my laptop screen.  Blinking back at me from a tiny grey box was a small but admirable figure.  Perhaps a little lean, but very well-formed and even beautiful in places.   13,340, you're not so bad.  I gave my tiny sense of Accomplishment a little pat and said, "Welcome to the moshpit, now let's go dance..."


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