I'm happy to say that I crossed the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word finish line on Saturday.
I'd hoped to get there a day early, so I could avoid that "all nighter" feeling, but I didn't know if I'd make it. So close to the end, and suddenly I felt I was swimming through molasses. Then I was seized by a strange surge of energy, wrote twice the daily quota, didn't even think to check my word count. And when I did, I'd crossed the finish line without even knowing it!
Then I wrote another chunk, more like my usual daily quota, on Sunday. I ended up with a grand total of 52,000 words.
I didn't find this month especially stressful, physically or emotionally--until the very end. On Sunday, I felt as though I'd been battered. Strange pains in my left hand/thumb, and on my right side. (I wonder if it's because my protagonist had just survived a near-strangling with a nasty device that involved a fiddle bow!)
Now my band has a gig tonight--and I feel physically a little the worse for wear.
Here's what else I noticed. Just as they tell you on the NaNo site, when the month is over, it is tempting to crawl back into the cozy space that your novel creates. It is hard being back in the world! Not that I ever left. I kept up my work schedule, played music, hosted Thanksgiving, spent time with with my husband.
But here's what I didn't think about too much: my "real" book, the one that's coming out in January! Part of my reason for doing NaNoWriMo was to keep a sense of perspective, to remind myself that writers write. All the time. They don't just fret about what's going to happen with the book that's on the way. Or worry about what else they could be doing in the way of promotion. Writing this crazy music camp mystery was such a pleasure! It was playful, hard work, and a retreat, all rolled into one.
And the final product? Well, as a first draft I don't think it's half bad.
But now I have to face the music: Accordion Dreams is coming out in a month. A little less. So I really do have to let the NaNo novel rest for a little while, as they suggest. I miss my characters and the little world I created. I hope I get back there soon.
Causes Blair Kilpatrick Supports
Louisiana Folk Roots, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Habitat for Humanity/Musician's Village New Orleans, Doctors Without Borders