It is November. October, month of the dreaded Novel Writing Challenge, is over and done with. So here's what I know:
I DID IT! I am very proud of myself for this simple fact.
Trying to write 50,000 words in a month is HARD. Harder than I ever realised. If (like me) you have a full time job and try and have any semblence of a social life/exercise in the evenings/etc then it is really sodding hard. Forget about having a clean house, any ironed clothes or any food that takes longer than 20 minutes to prepare. My basic problems are that a) I'm not organised enough to plot things out before I start them and b) I don't write that fast, so doing 1600 words a day of original thought takes me 3 hours+. Trying to fit that in around your normal life is incredibly difficult, hence the lack of blogging/reading/sleep/doing anything fun.
I wouldn't have managed it without Char to constantly witter to when I was behind on word count and having stressy moments (and in one instance, nearly an actual panic attack) about my complete inability to get any words on the page. I love you missus.
I would probably have gone slightly nuts without my amazing Twitter pals as well. Some of you were excellent at telling me to get off there and write the bloody book. I have cried laughing on more than one occasion when talking to Steph, Chloe, Char and others about quivering members. Sarah gets a special mention for making me snork by reminding me of this lady:
(it's not that dirty a book, honestly)
But slightly gushing thank-yous aside, the main thing is that I really like writing again.
I am under no illusions whatsoever about the quality of the novel. It's not in a state where I'd be happy that anyone else read it. I know that certain parts are not good at all. This was never about quality though. It was about finally stopping procrastinating and getting these characters out of my head and down onto paper (or a netbook screen if we're going to be very fussy). I haven't written any fiction for years. There's a half finished loosely fan-fic inspired piece knocking around somewhere but other than that, I haven't done anything for a long, long time. Yes, I write this blog and my diary and all the web content and newsletters for work, but that's different.
Writing at a pace beyond my usual comfort zone was never going to be conducive to producing my best work but the main thing is that I've completed it. And you know what? I don't hate it. I know bits are duff and I really need to work on some technical elements of it but there are parts that I've reread when scrolling through and thought "oh, that's not bad." It's a good feeling.
I'm having a week off and then I'll go back and look at it properly. After a bloody good edit, will it be good enough to even consider the next step down the line? I hope so. Even if it doesn't; even if I only ever write for myself, that's fine. This has given me so many more ideas and I'm going to allow myself the indulgence of following them up instead of automatically assuming I can't do it.
ps - if you're interested, the ring at the top came from MerCurios. I absolutely love her jewellery.
pps - Go and sign up for the Bloggers' Secret Santa that Char is organising. You might get ME as your Santa. I buy great presents, even if I do say so myself.