Post-NaNoWriMo blues

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.

7 thoughts on “Post-NaNoWriMo blues

  1. I had to take a breather for a couple of days myself … started reading Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Interesting correlating information in that to what’s in Golden Prague (actually, that translation of the title is fourth, following Czech, Russian, and German), a beautiful souvenir book published in 1989 — before, but only just barely before, the Velvet Revolution. Ah, what happens when one spends too much time in used-book stores.

    Anyhow, I just got around to revisiting my novel today (OK, well, really, yesterday, but who cares about arbitrary boundaries such as the human concept of midnight?), and I find my characters are on their way to, of all places, Tblisi. Did a Google search to find out more, especially the off-the-beaten-path stuff, and whaddya know, I ran into a blog of an American in Georgia.

    So who knows, maybe your blog will eventually be of assistance to novelists dealing with Prague. That means, of course, that you will have to get going and have more adventures there.

    And if you can’t quite do that yet, try 600+ pages of Barbara Tuchman.

  2. Wow, I’m glad I’m not the only one with NaNoWriMo post-partum depression. I miss the forums! I miss telling people to shove off because I’m busy writing! I miss not having to worry about how badly the story sucks! I felt alive in November and I feel like a corpse now. How does one go back to real life? Or rather, how does one make real life more like nano-life?

  3. There is a group called the Filthy Pikers which was formed out of a core of post-nano depressants a few years ago. They are cool, and I have been very slowly becoming one of them, though I still insist on my December timeout.

    Piker Press

  4. As for me, I haven’t left NaNoVille yet. I’m heading for 100kw (that’s kilowords) by the end of December. The New Mexico forum on NaNo is still going strong.

  5. This year was worse than last year. I was a Municipal Liaison, and so I spent my month writing and organizing things.

    Last year I kept writing frantically until the book just petered out into nowhere.

    This year I picked up beading Christmas presents for family members who celebrate Christmas. I also made a stained-glass angel. I’d keep it, but it’s not my religion.

    Do enjoy Prague. I am too chicken to travel to interesting places any more. I suppose because I have kids and like them more than traveling to the far corners of the world like my parents did when I was a kid.

    Hope Pere Nicolas brought you something nice and Pere Fouettard passed by. Okay, so it’s not the right names, but aren’t St. Nicholas and Black Peter part of Czech Christmas, too?

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