Heading into the final week of NaNoWriMo. I've become insensible. People ask me how I'm doing and I tell them how many words I've written.
That number is both a marker of how happy I am and how exhausted.
Over the weekend, I had a few very productive days. Took the Friday off, time in lieu after the conference, and manage to get more than 12,500 words written in three days.
Doing this has been an invaluable experience, and I think I might be able to finish it. I like what I've written, at least well enough. A bunch of it will need to be stripped out, and a bunch will need to be added in.
But it has taken almost everything I've got. I feel hollowed out and paper thin.
I feel a bit bad about that, like a bit of a failure, strangely. A failure with a lot of words under her belt, so not really. I do feel like I must have a weak constitution, though. How do people do this?
Year after year, people do this.
Ten days in, I got a NaNoWriMo listserv email that someone had crossed 50,000. That's 5000 words a day. I wrote about 5200 yesterday, one day, and I thought I was going to start crying when I woke up this morning and realized I had to write 2000.
Dana, an old friend from my just-post Halifax days, was in town this weekend. When he was leaving Raw Sugar yesterday, where I was writing, he came over and said "Well, have fun!"
I started giggling, possibly hysterically.
NaNoWriMo is no fun. It is boring and frustrating at times, it is satisfying and exhilarating at others. But not fun.
I'm tempted to quit, because it is taking a lot out of me.
And then I think of Trevor Bardell. In OAC chemistry, he was my lab partner. In one and a half terms, I had gone from an A+ student in chemistry to a C student in chemistry. I was thinking about dropping it.
"Do you want the credit?" is what he asked me when I told him this. I thought about it for a second and nodded. "Then you're just going to have to do this again next year. It probably won't be any better then."
I hated that he was right, but I knew he was right. I kept going, and I finished. It took a lot out of me, and it was one of my worst marks ever. But I did it.
Do I want to write a novel? Yes. Very much so.
And I have one in reach. So fucking close I can brush it with my fingertips. I've got 32,000 words and enough time. If I don't keep going now, I will just have to do it again later.
It probably won't be any better then.