Somewhere along the way, it stopped being so scary. Somewhere in the midst of all that racing to catch up to the word count pace, laughing with others along the road, and simply surviving past the midway point, everything started to flow. Maybe I finally managed to starve that inner editor of attention so badly that she keeled over and died (or went to Siberia for a burger)? I’m not sure what happened really, but; the story started picking up plot ideas faster than I could jot them down, the characters actually started doing things that only they would do, and the whole thing just became… well, easier. In two days, I managed to knock out over 10,000 words bringing me to the point where I knew, for the first time, that I actually had this thing. I gained confidence. I became proud of the horrific dreck I had written, knowing it was part of the necessary pain of the growing process. The procrastination slowed to a stop. And I started having to force myself away from the computer to interact with real live folks. The thing is, somewhere in all that, I became something that no matter how much I had always wanted, I was somewhere inside, deeply terrified of becoming. I became, in the midst of this madness, a novelist.
And, the real quirk is this: there’s no going back now. Once you’ve had a taste of that mind-blowing buzz, it’s a part of you. It’s as if something physically clicked over in my brain, and I don’t have the power to turn it off. Not that I’d ever want to. But, my brain is now analyzing movies and books on so many different levels than it did before. There’s something about trying to reverse-engineer the process I suppose that makes you want to take apart all of the other models and see how they tick. And, ya know what? It’s even more enjoyable knowing the pain and agony those authors and writers went through to get to that amazing turning point or the end of the second act. How much it broke their hearts when they let a character die and what imagination and restraint it took at times to just let the story play out. Can you imagine how much it must have killed JK Rowling to know the entire time that Ron and Hermione were going to end up together and not let it actually happen until book seven?
Ok, sorry. Got a little off track there. The point is, yes I still have a lot to do. I have more than a lot to learn. But the process of learning it all is somehow less overwhelming and more enjoyable. I can do this. I love doing this. And not just for the month, or the magical Novembers that will undoubtedly follow, but for the rest of my life. I feel sad for my friends who tried, or wanted to, but weren’t able to come along on their own journeys this month and taste the nectar from that sweet spot that magically appears when you finally start flying. They were robbed of a miracle, and if I could bottle it and give it away, I would.
In the mean time, I’ve got a little more flying of my own to do this month. 3 days left, and 4800 words to go. I’m hoping to finish tonight at the all-night write in at Denny’s. Just me and a bunch of complete strangers brought together by this beautiful, addicting, encompassing…yah, I’m gonna say it… life-changing, thing called NaNoWriMo.
Good luck to all of you on your personal journey to the finish line. I’m rooting for you!