Oh, thank fecking Gawd, the end is nigh.
This is the first NaNoWriMo ever that I have managed to stay on par the entire time. I’ve taken it down to the wire on many, many nights, but I always manage to eeek above par by 11:59.
I didn’t finish last year – life – and death – got in the way and I simply didn’t have enough fucks left in me by the end of November. Basically I’ve spent the last eleven months wondering if not finishing last year had set a new precedent in my brain – “I didn’t finish last year and nothing bad happened, so what’s the big deal if I don’t finish this year either?”
Friend, nothing bad happened, but nothing good happened either. I got nothing new published – I didn’t even get anything new submitted. I didn’t even get anything old resubmitted. I farted around all year trying to fix that novel.
It’s not that I think not finishing caused me to fail all year, but it set a tone for me. There are no rules about quality for NaNo. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be. And I didn’t manage that. And then I didn’t manage for the next eight months, either. Somewhere around July I realized that the book and I needed a break from one another.
And it’s been blissful.
So, my advice to you is this: Take a break from your NaNo novel after NaNo is done. Give your brain the break that it needs – whether you need a break from not finishing, or a break from inserting missing hyphens and contractions, take a break from your NaNo novel.
I’ll see you in December.