The days after I crossed the 50K words mark, and thus became a winner of NaNoWriMo once again, it was very hard for me to motivate myself to write anything—or do anything else, for that matter. I puttered around the flat, thinking of all the useful things I could be doing, and not doing them. I could be practicing czech. I could be doing laundry. I could be going out and walking around my new city. I could be taking pictures. Most of all, I could be writing. I did manage, on the last day, to crank out a fast-forward version of the second half of the story, and I’m glad I did. Not so much for the illusion of “closure” that people find so important these days, but just because I proved I could overcome inertia and shift my lazy ass to keep working on a lame-duck novel. To do it just for the doing of it.
It’s an odd sort of melancholy I have, triggered, ironically, by success. Having devoted so much of my brain to such a prodigious output, especially considering that this year the first week was pretty much a write-off because of travel, and having parts of the result that actually didn’t suck, I am overall pleased with the work that will now vanish forever in the “to be finished” bin.
Every year I feel a letdown as the feverish energy leaves me, only this year the fever left early. Maybe that means the post-nano period will end early as well.
Now comes the time for me to prove my theorem that I have what it takes to be an independent writer/programmer (in that order) here in Prague. I have set goals for myself, just as real as the November ones, but without thousands of other people shooting for the same goal with a great forum for sharing victories, woes, and whatever else is on their mind. November is the Boston marathon; the other eleven months are a solo run around the world. Maybe not solo—slowly I’m finding other people who are doing the same dumb thing, and I’m trying to learn to let them help me and help them in return. I’m so accustomed to doing this thing alone, though, that’s it’s a slow adjustment.
I have a tradition now that on December 1st I read a book as a way to get away from any sort of creative activity after the full-court-press that is November. This year it was A Million Open Doors, by John Barnes. Bill loaned me the book, and it’s pretty good. Interesting characters, interesting culture clash, and people who can change and grow. Overall, a good read.
Now I have to get back to The Monster Within. One sure way to beat the blues: finish something.