Today is the first of December and as such is officially designated the day of irresponsibility by all those who participated in National Novel Writing Month, hence NaNoWriMo or NaNo by those of us who take part in the giddy whirl of words and places and plots that is November. This was my 6th NaNo and my 6th loss, but I’m not really saddened. I know I’m being a bit like Mark Tapley from Martin Chuzzlewit,
That’s Martin being depressed on the stump in front of the depressing shack in the depressing swamp land he was tricked into buying in depressing America by slimy, slave-owning, American hucksters, a situation Martin finds depressing. That’s Mark off to the side, smiling like he’s out for a picnic, because even when he is dying of malaria in a swamp in America, Mark Tapley is jolly. Which is why the survivors of my Dickens intensive put Mark’s catchphrase, “Still Jolly” on our class t-shirts, because we went through hell, but Dickens is hella fun.
So, I feel a bit like Mark today, because even though I technically “failed” the NaNoWriMo goal of writing 50,000 words in November, my previous best wordcount was 10,000 in 2005, my very first year, and I have never made it past the doldrums of the second week while still writing consistently. This year, I wrote a bit on a lot of days, right up until the end, I socialized with other writers, which I intend to keep up, and I wrote 25,000 words. That is 2 and a half times as well as I have ever done before, which is a definite success in my book.
Furthermore, I get it now. I’ve listened to writers talk about their need to write, to spend time with their characters rather than the “real” people in their lives and while I thought I got it, I had never felt it before. Now, I totally get it. I really enjoy nights when I can just sit around and write, where none of my or anybody else’s issue get between us (those nights are few and far between, but they do happen) and despite all the pressure I still wanted to write today. I’m not going to, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute, but I wanted to and that’s something I was not expecting.
So today I embrace irresponsibility. I am not going to clean my apartment or do laundry (even though I should), I am not going to cook dinner, I am not going to apply for jobs (even though I need to). I am going to eat pizza and drink soda and play Kingdom Hearts and be frivolous, because today I have accomplished something and I want to revel in it.
Back on the horse tomorrow.
ETA: I also celebrated last night with a delightfully alchoholic root beer float:
Recipe is on my tumbr.