A Truant Disposition

"I must be idle."

Post-NaNoWriMo Summary 2015

Written By: Ainy Rainwater - Nov• 23•15

NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-SquareThis was my fourth year to do NaNoWriMo, and though every year is different, this year was more different than others. I completed the rough draft in 20 days (though fast, not unusual for me), but writing it was unusually difficult. I’m not sure I can accurately evaluate how good the draft is right now and how much rewriting it will need. In Bracing For Impact I outlined the stresses I would be facing this month. Instead I was impacted by something unanticipated. The biopsy results for the elderly family member were negative, but by then she had been hospitalized via the emergency room for an unrelated illness. She was admitted on Nov 1 and didn’t get back home until last Tuesday. It was a good thing that I try to write as early in the morning as possible because that evening and into the wee hours of the morning I was sitting in the emergency room. (And wrote my Day 2 scene the next morning while severely sleep-deprived. I was mildly surprised to discover upon rereading it that it was coherent, albeit strangely out of order, as if I didn’t realize I was only on day 2 of the book.) I hadn’t firmly committed to NaNo at that point, but I had planned to start anyway and make a decision after we got the biopsy results. I dithered for a few more days than decided to Do It Anyway.

I probably shouldn’t have done NaNo this year. The upside is that I’ve got a rough draft of a sequel to the book that’s coming out in March, If Wishes Were Spaceships, but writing it was difficult, I didn’t enjoy it, and I’m not sure how good it is. I had difficulty concentrating and difficulty with focus, and I know I made some continuity errors, and veered off-track a little bit at times despite the sketchy plot point outline that should’ve kept me on track. I felt tired all the time…and despite having had a weekend to recover I still feel tired. The friend who was in hospice passed away yesterday morning. This is the second friend I’ve lost to cancer in the past few months. I’ve got holes in my life and an ache in my heart.

There was one good thing this month. One very small good thing. I knitted my first socks while doing NaNo (I’ve knitted lots of sweaters but hadn’t done socks). This was a very relaxing side activity and I think it helped substantially with keeping stress levels manageable, and allowing me time to “zone out” and think about the book. Writers need “down time” not just for the actual writing, but for thinking about story. This is especially true when drafting something at the rapid rate and word count of NaNoWriMo. I posted pics of my progress on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so some of you who follow me elsewhere probably already know that I did the socks. What you don’t know is that I knitted the swatch for the socks while sitting in the emergency room, standing in the hallway, listening to screams of pain and catching snippets of conversations between emergency room staff about various patients, which were mostly about very terrible things usually involving a lot of blood, or a procedure that did not go well. Knit, purl, knit 3, purl, knit, knit, knit… I started the actual sock on the 4th and finished it in 12 days. I did the second sock in 5 days, finishing it at nearly midnight Friday, the day I finished NaNoWriMo. In between Sock 1 and Sock 2, I joined Ravelry, so if you’re a knitter, you can beFriend me there!

I’m going to take some time off from writing (and rewriting). I’ll start back to work on the manuscript (and other works in progress) in January. I’ll probably be online sporadically for the rest of the year, then online a lot doing promotion for the book early next year. I appreciate all your support. I really do!

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