In the few weeks preceding the actual writing part of this challenge, there was a lot of chatter and encouragement online and we were all doing whatever the equivalent is to the locker-room ass slap before a game. It was exciting and daunting and just sounded, honestly, like it would be fun and not really all that difficult. Sure, I was a little worried but then I figured I write every day anyway so how hard could it be? I mean, really, how hard could it be?
And then the challenge started and I threw myself into it thinking I was just going to pwn the shit out of that... well, shit.
Except, I underestimated just how hard NaNoWriMo really was going to be. Like, even harder than Edward's
Jacob's a little pissed about the "hard abs" comment. It's okay. We'll have a pillow fight and I'll braid his hair later. Everything will be fine.
I had good intentions when I started out--I was going to write diligently ever day and spend my spare time developing the characters and plot points and do research on...stuff and...yeah, it didn't happen. Instead, it went something like this:
WEEK ONE - Raced downstairs to my office [aka "The New Lair"] every night and wrote between 500-1000 words a day. Okay, fine 50-100 words a day. Told myself it was okay I was off to a rough start. Groused about characters. Complained about participating. Drank. Yelled at ML when he complained about not having laundry and told him I was busy writing. He wanted to know why writing sounded like the theme song to Law & Order: SVU. Found my headphones.
WEEK TWO - wrote about 20-50 words a day. Groused about characters, who were vaguely starting to irritate me in a dangerous way. Complained about participating. Ditched even more housework because, hellooo, I was writing, and holed up in my office. Watched music videos over and over again. Learned that headphones make it a little too easy for ML to sneak up on me. Changed my underwear. Moaned on Twitter about how I'm never going to finish. May have possibility procrastibated. Drank.
Seriously, the size of his mouth is amazing. Oh, and their music is great.
WEEK THREE - started to feel the pressure. Pounded out about 5000 words in one 24-72 hour period. Can't quite be sure because I rewarded myself with wine. Groused about characters because they are actually the most annoying fucking individuals anyone has ever come up with. Discovered crappy television series that Netflix is streaming. Told ML it was research; he didn't believe me. Watched it for seven hours straight. Complained on Twitter that I'm never going to finish.
WEEK FOUR - HOLY FUCKING MONKEY-DICK SUCKING SHITBALLS!!! I have, like, four days to write, oh, NINE KATRILLION WORDS!! Slapped myself around a little and decided I was going to be a champ, like Rocky-- cannot sleep, cannot drink, cannot do ANYTHING but write my NaNo story. I was going to be like the fucking Jedi master of NaNo and win it. Sure, it was Thanksgiving weekend, not to mention year end for all us finance-y people. I was gonna do this shit. I was gonna conquer it. Hard. Let the countdown begin...
- Four hours later - Ended up at a party lamenting to friends how I really need to get home and write. Went home in the proverbial wheelbarrow.
- Three days to deadline - Actually sat down and wrote. I mean, seriously, really wrote. Holed myself in office for eight hours, alternating between wanting to murder my characters and trying to write them so I don't want to kill them to laying on the office floor drooling. Or pacing.
- Two days to deadline - See above. Add alcohol and about six hours more of the pacing, writing, whining, drinking, laying on the floor, one trip to the bedroom for some more procrastibation, then more writing, mother fucker I am actually writing, OH MAH GAHD I'M WRITING!! I think this is called a breakthrough. Or a breakdown, one of those.
- One day to deadline - Woke up at 9:30 am. Took the day off from work. Was like a writing goddess. I barely ate, drank non-alcoholic beverages, took a shit in the band bathroom [no time to go upstairs to the "real" bathroom], ate a bowl of sour cream and smelled like a homeless person pooped on me but, I was mother fucking writing.
Shitting in this bathroom takes dedication, people. It hasn't been cleaned in eons and there is a Wolf spider living among all the paint cans stacked in the tub...
And then, somewhere around 9 pm., I was done. Well, not done done, but I hit the 50K mark.
Mother fucking success. I congratulated myself with a glass of wine and sat back a for moment, reveling in my most excellent procrastination skills, marveling at the my diligence in finding every single video on YouTube of Man Man and my sheer determination to shirk every grown-up duty humanly possible so I could complete my NaNoWriMo challenge.
With a huge smile on my face, I hit a few buttons and went to submit my 50,230 word masterpiece of mediocrity to the NaNoWriMo verification page.
And my computer crashed.
WHAT THE MOTHER FUCKING DOG-SHITTING-IN-MY-MOUTH FUCK???
I'm not entirely sure what happened immediately after that I'm positive it involved someone screaming, "OH MY MOTHER FUCKING GOD NOOOOOOOOOO!" and that same person throwing herself, very dramatically, out of her computer chair and wailing on the floor.
A few seconds later, I pulled myself up from the floor and re-opened the program because, really, I would have to be a real fucking dumbass not to back up a month's worth of work.
Instead of my word total reading 50, 230 words it now read 2, 230 words.
More screaming and flailing ensued. Then I walked calmly upstairs to where ML was hiding in the TV room. I explained what had happened and his eyes starting darting around, looking for a possible escape route because he knew, he knew, that if those 48,000 words didn't magically reappear in the next three minutes, someone was going to die. And it wasn't going to me. See, ML knows that when I'm eerily calm that actually translates into "ZOMG, SOMETHING REALLY TOTALLY INSANELY ASS FUCKINGLY HARD GOT FUCKED UP. AND IMMA FREAKING."
In general, this is not a good thing.
"Well, didn't you back it, er, uh, I meant... reboot," he bleated, panicked.
"I'm going to take up heroin if that doesn't work," I replied. It seemed like the only viable option and it's not like I ever totally fly off the handle or anything. If I can wait in a line at the Rite Aid with no problem, I could deal with this... fucking disaster of epic proportions.
Oh yeah, I can't wait in lines without having a conniption. That's right.
I then sent out an email to a few of my lovely twi-sisters, begging one of them to bring me a carton of cigarettes to no avail. But, in the end, it turned out okay. I did reboot (which is the only way I know how to "fix" a computer in the first place) and, lo and behold, all my words were back where they should be.
Needless to say, I downloaded my story for submission faster than I would get naked if RPattz asked me to.
So, was it worth participating in NaNoWriMo? Well, yes, I think so. I had a lot of fun with all the other ladies who participated, regardless of whether they "won" or not. It's awesome to see people really gung-ho about being just plain creative.
Plus, I totally got the most awesome certificate.
Here's to next year, bitches! Oh, but I do have one word of advice.
Make sure you back your shit up. Because losing 48,000 words will make you lose your mind. If only for a few minutes.