The Feel Good Drag/ is a direct product of my 2013 NaNoWriMo venture. For those of you not familiar with the NaNoWriMo process, let me explain. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the goal of it is to produce 50,000 words over the course of the month of November. That is, 50,000 words or in other words, a Gatsby-length novel. That goal translates to over 1,500 words a day for a full month. Granted, it is creative writing so they tend to come a bit easier than research projects, but I mean, still.
So I powered through it – stayed strong even through the famous week 2 slump, in fact. I thought since I was trailblazing as such that I'd have no trouble at all finishing it. All the way up to 17 days in. Then I got sick.
I had a helluva fever and a sore throat like I've never had before. So I took a day off (or 5) to watch every episode of Extreme Cheapskates (entertaining) available on Netflix and then on to Hoarders (just sad).
And by the 23rd I was almost certain I wouldn't finish this year's competition – I wouldn't come out a NaNoWriMo winner. Now, as I'm sure the creators of NaNoWriMo have already determined, November is the perfect month to take on such a challenge. The weather outside is generally bad and so you don't feel any "Heavy Weather" (that is, "ill thoughts" by way of Ben Brooks) because you spent all month indoors.
I went home for Thanksgiving and while my family was working or at school I had nothing to do but ward off other thoughts, so I threw on some records (like 5 in a row) and produced something like 1/5 of the novel in a single day.
Maybe I just needed to think on it, or maybe I just needed a break, or maybe I didn't need any of that at all, but the point is I got back on track in time to finish a full 5 days early.
I got this cool certificate, but way more cooler than that is the novel I rushed out to have printed. As you can imagine imagine, it's pretty satisfying to hold in your hands a 189-page manuscript of your own accord. Much more exciting that simply seeing a word count – like there's suddenly this enormous weight to your words.
But the thing is, it was a rough draft. I'd even go as far as to say the easiest of the work was in November – vomiting unedited and uncensored prose onto page after page. The following 2 months was revision and editing for days. I've read my own book more times than I've read any other and in a period of only 8 weeks. A professor once told me that the revision process never truly ends – there's always something you'll wanna change, but eventually you have to decide it's ready for publishing or you'll never publish it.
Now, I realize 2 months is a lot less than most novels spend in secret, but I was my own editor, and the truth is if you stick with it too long you'll get burnt out and start to hate your own novel. Right now, I still like it, so you'll probably enjoy it at least once, I think. But as a creative and driven individual, I'm ready to start another project and be finished with this one. Don't get the impression that I skimped on it - I'm just ready to share.