are still a few more days until the end of the 2015 NaNoWriMo season,
but I have finished early. No, that does not mean I hit the 50,000
word goal and received the coveted purple banner that declares me a
winner. It means I have accepted defeat, and bowed out.
wasn't at all prepared for NaNo, but I had a basic plot for a small
fanfic lined up and ready to work on. I even left a friend's
Halloween party early so I could be home in time for that mad
midnight sprint. I was ready to pump out those first three hundred
(or so) words and charge out of the gate. But, ten minutes into
November 1st, I was sick to my stomach. I attempted a
quick 10 minute word war (a short sprint to see who can write the
most words in a specified time frame) to see if I could still crank
out a few hundred words. No dice. My war resulted in 47 words
written. Being physically sick had sucked out the creative energy I'd
had when I sat down in front of my laptop. So, I did the only thing I
could do: I went to bed. I was still feeling a bit unwell when I woke
up, but I went down to the first write-in of the season at the
Toronto Reference Library. I churned out a couple hundred words
there, but I fell very short of the daily 1,667 words needed to keep
on track. Instead, I only wrote 643. Yup. I was 1,000 words behind on
the first day. And I never recovered. I met or exceeded the daily
word count goal a couple of times, but the majority of my daily word
counts were quite measly.
spite of that, I was an active part of the Toronto NaNoWriMo
community as a chat room moderator and event host (and co-host). I
hosted the Friday write-ins – which I continue to host all year
long –, co-hosted the Monday write-ins, and a few special events
like the Kick-off, Halfway Party, and the Overnight Writing Session
(followed by breakfast at Fran's Restaurant). I will be co-hosting
the final write-in session on the 30th, and the TGIO
(Thank God It's Over/Terribly Glum It's Over party on December 2nd.
And, even though I've hung up my pen for a while, I will be an
over-exuberant cheerleader on the sidelines, cheering everyone else
still in the race to the finish line.
confidence took a major hit early on when I was unable to meet the
needed daily word count goal, and trying to pick up the pieces was a
task much easier said than done. Despite the many people cheering me
on, par got further and further away. Looking back now, I realize I
probably wasn't in the best head space when I began this challenge.
(I was also physically sick twice – the first day and at the
Overnight writing session.) I've had a rough year, and after
depression had me down for the count back in February/March, it's
been a long, steep, rocky road back. I'm still not 100%, and I don't
know if I ever will be, but I've been inching my way to as close to
it as I can get.
last setback for me this month happened yesterday (on the 26th).
While bracing myself to sit in a chair, I injured my thumb (the joint
locked and then unlocked a couple of times in too quick a succession
for my tendon/muscle to keep up). A writer relies on all their
digits, and when one fails, the others have to over compensate. This
has made typing a wee bit awkward. It is darn right painful if I
continue to use my thumb to hit the space bar. The injury has also
aggravated my tendonitis, which flares occasionally throughout the
year but more so when November rolls around. So that, coupled with
the knowledge I won't be making the 50,000 words needed to win, I
decided to get my word count to 25,000 and leave it there. That's
what I did.
be back next year, and, hopefully, I'll be more prepared than I was
this go round. And with any luck, 2016 will be a much kinder year.
those who have already hit 50k: CONGRATULATIONS!!!
You deserve every ounce of that win!
those who are still fighting the good fight: KEEP
GOING!!! Even if you don't get that coveted purple banner, you are
awesome, and your words are amazing! Regardless if you finish the
month with 50 words, 100 words, or 20,000 words, that's 50, 100,
20,000 more words than you had a month ago!