Like the kick-off party on Halloween, our local chapter of Nanowrimo’s met for a pizza night to celebrate our month-long efforts, the first of December. It was fun to hear everyone’s stories and experiences as we wrapped up the event and congratulate each other, whether finishing the challenge or not. Every one of us in complete understanding of the effort it took to commit to something so intense.
One challenge I faced during the month was the six-hour (one way) car trips my family made to our hometown, twice. The first was my Dad’s 70th birthday and the other, Thanksgiving. I found out during those drives that the thought people have that as a writer one can “write anywhere” is not true for me. I’m not susceptible to motion sickness, but the confined space and needs of others were too distracting to me. I did find time in the quiet of the late nights, sitting up in bed, to make up some time. Without the challenge hanging over my head, I probably wouldn’t have been so dedicated. Who am I kidding? I know I wouldn’t have because I haven’t done it since so that’s proof enough.
For about two days I felt the let down of nothing to do, once I’d finished the manuscript. No words to write, no goal to accomplish. It was like the hangover when you binge a whole season of TV on Netflix, and it’s over. I felt lost. Thankfully, there was the chaos and frenzy of getting ready for Christmas that took over my time and put those feelings away for me. Another trip to family and all the separate events to make sure you see everyone and just like that, it’s New Year’s, Eve. I started getting antsy with thoughts that the editing process was looming near. How would I be able to polish my work enough to have the well-developed and entertaining story I dreamed? It haunted me. It had been a while since I started a new year off with such a strong idea of what it would hold for me. I have two completed manuscripts. I am a writer.
It took me about a week to clean up, put all decorations away and return to a regular schedule. Then, I did a scary thing. I pulled out the finished (ha ha) manuscript from the first novel I wrote before NaNoWriMo.
Let the editing begin.