So I ‘won’ NaNo.
The inverted quotes are because I got the 50k (and for the 10th time in November) but if I look back at my intentions post, I didn’t really get what I wanted.
“my primary motivation this November is to try and find my joy again.”
“I wanted to feel excited to write it, I wanted to obsess over it, to have my mind wander to that world – like it used to years ago.”
That’s what I wrote. That’s what I wanted. That is NOT what happened.
NaNo usually follows a pattern of sorts. I have zero days, and then I have high word count days to make up for it. While there was some of that this month the graph was actually more stable than I think I have ever seen it – consistently a little below par. Usually when I approach the end I get a real whoosh and my final day is a downward hurtle to the finish line. I’m pretty sure on almost all NaNo’s I finish before Day Thirty due to that headlong whoosh. Well it was Day Thirty and it was a double day (3k) because that’s what I needed to scrape the 50k and so that’s what I did.
It was a total slog, and the only thing similar to the downward whoosh is when I got a “fuck it” mentality and just embraced the crap. There wasn’t any moments of joy, there weren’t any moments where I felt it flowed well. I had one brief moment where I felt I might have captured one characters voice, but that lasted for a single writing session and hasn’t repeated.
The only moments where I felt any kind of ‘magic’ were when I had to plan. I did like the idea generation for the episodes. Starting with nothing and then coming up with the episode plot and I think I came up with some cool stuff. It’s implemented very badly but there’s some cool ideas there I think.
I ended up with basically discovery drafts of the first three episodes, plus the first couple of scenes and half an outline for episode four. So I have something to build on I guess.
I knew going into this that joy was a state of mind, and that my lack of it isn’t really related to the writing – it’s me. So I know I shouldn’t be surprised at this result, and I’m not I mean I flat out said in the intentions post that I doubted it was possible to find the joy, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. I really would have liked to enjoy this month. I really, really, REALLY, wanted to remember why I do this writing thing, to feel some smidgeon of hope again.
I wish I had something more positive to say in this NaNo wrap-up but right now this is how I feel. In December obviously I need to think about my goals for 2024. Finding joy is likely to be my top priority but I really don’t know how to do that. It’s not about what I write, it is about me, and I don’t know how to change me. I really wish I did.