The honeymoon is over … but I’m still hoping for a happy ever after.

Pigeon Wishes

Photo credit: Stuart Hines / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I loved NaNoWriMo in the beginning, truly worshipped and adored it in those early heady days. It was a whirlwind romance (complete with pre-wedding nerves). Days 1 to 4 were a glorious haze of eager scribbling (and even more eager word-counting). I woke every morning thinking: today I get to write! I thought it would last forever.

By Day 6 the cracks were starting to show. Nothing specific, just niggling doubts in the back of my mind. Can I really do this? Is it worth the effort I’m putting in? Am I destined to become just another statistic? A non-winner? (I don’t like the L-word.) I had the NaNo Blues. But I brushed aside these negative thoughts, cuddled up close to my NaNo and wrote.

By Day 10 the honeymoon was well and truly over. I wrote as I had done every day since Day 1, but it was different. It felt like a chore. I found myself staring at the ceiling and waiting for it to be over.

We almost split on Day 11, me and my NaNo. We need a break, I said. I need some space. It’s not you, NaNo, it’s me.

I went for a walk along the seafront to clear my head, and I passed an old couple huddled on a bench sharing a portion of fish and chips. That was when I realised I couldn’t just throw away everything I had with my NaNo. I went straight back home and picked up my pen.

So I’m working at it, taking it a day at a time. And hopefully by Day 30, me and my NaNo will be like that couple at the seaside, knowing that the first flush of romance can’t last forever, but still holding hands.

Either that or I’ll be joining this girl on the train tracks 🙂 :

Day 371: It\'s Cool to Fake Romances

Photo credit: amanky / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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11 thoughts on “The honeymoon is over … but I’m still hoping for a happy ever after.

  1. Oh, I know!!! I’m struggling today. My story has dwindled and seems pointless. I’m laughing as I type this. Why? What happened? No one ever said it had to be one continuous story. I’m thinking about starting another and connecting them at the end. Could be interesting….Best of luck!! Hang in there. To FIsh and Chips!

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    • I was tempted to start again with a different story but have decided to stick at it. I like your idea of joining two stories together though – sounds interesting. I read today’s NaNo Pep talk which says it’s normal to feel like this at this stage, so at least that’s some sort of consolation: turns out we’re normal!

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  2. Yes, it’s like that. Don’t let your inner critic take over! Just keep going, even if you’re writing some horrible garbage. There will be a lot of good stuff in there – and all the editing won’t start until Dec 1.

    I felt the same way you did when I did NaNo last year. Still I kept at it. I wrote some truly terrible prose, got timelines totally off the track, my characters started confusing me. And at one point I considered giving up. But that feeling of accomplishment when I hit the 50,000 word mark was euphoric, because honestly, I’m a short story writer and didn’t think I could write a novel, even one as short as 50,000 words.

    This year I know what to expect, and there are days when my characters just are totally silent. So I just keep plodding along; behind on the word count; with absent characters. But just when I decide I’ll find new characters; or kill off the current batch one by one, slowly and painfully, they suddenly show up eager to get on with the story. NaNo is a sprint, not a marathon. One month. That leaves eleven months to edit, or write something else, or write nothing at all.

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    • Thanks Ruth. I especially identify with your character issues – I realised today I’d left one of my characters behind on day one, mentioned her once then forgot all about her! Poor Trudy the Librarian is still stuck in the library waiting for her cue. She was originally going to be pivotal to the story but (and don’t tell her this) I think she’s going to end up on the cutting room floor.

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  3. I’m feeling that too. I’m well ahead so I think I’m okay as far as word counts go but my characters refuse to listen to me. They are off doing what they want. My story has reached a lull and I can’t decide how to give it that energy boost. Red Bull maybe. Or maybe just bull.

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  4. I can sympathize. I truly can because the last few days have been terrible! Today I finally found a thin thread in my plot I decided to pull and came out a winner! Hope it holds. 🙂 Good luck to all of us!

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  5. I felt the same way. I don’t know what I’m doing with my story once I’m done, which makes it hard to power through. But, it gives me something to write everyday when engages my brain goo to make other stories. I can live with that. 🙂

    Great post!!

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  6. I take my hat off to all the brave ones who are even attempting NaNo – you’re really something. Thanks for sharing the experience – it gives a good sense of what you and others are going through. Best of luck with it!

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  7. I was so glad to read your post because I’ve been feeling the same. The first week was so exciting and I looked forward to writing each day, and now my word count is slowing down. Took yesterday off and am hoping to make up for it this morning and tomorrow. We’re almost halfway! We can do this!

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