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NaNoWriMo: Preparing for the End

It’s November 29th. NaNoWriMo 2020 officially closes at midnight tomorrow.

I am not ready for this.

Not because I’m vastly behind on words–I’ve written my 50,000 and then some. What I’m not ready for is the end.

Finishing the novel that keeps taking more and more twists and turns and muddying the plot so I have the beginning and middle but probably need to munch my way through another 7,000 words before I can reach the end. Saying goodbye to the project that has been an obsession for the last 29 days. Not staying up until one or two o’clock in the morning typing because I can’t get my hands to stop moving. Not checking the NaNo forums every morning like a ritual to see what’s going to make me laugh and who needs cheering up. Trying to figure out how to live normally again. If I even know what that’s like.

Breaking the news to my characters, those headstrong, impulsive, sometimes dense, wonderful people who have kept me company and opened the door to another world so I can forget about all the rubbish of this one, that this, this finally is the end of the line.

That’s what I’m not ready for.

It’s crazy, I know. We all look forward to December 1st. The end. The winning. The completed novel.

This year for me, it feels a little too much like “happily ever after.” Oh, you know, the perfect ending to all the fairytales you read or hear as a child. After a while, it seemed disappointing. What happens after that? Are they doomed to happily ever after? No adventures? No excitement? No thrilling disaster? That’s once and for always the end?

Just me?

Anyway. I know I’m probably overreacting a little. Truth is, I really need sleep. I have university finals breathing down the back of my neck. And one of my characters from a story put on hold for NaNoWriMo is practically jumping up and down on my brain like a toddler in a mattress store for attention again.

Love you too, buddy.

I guess what I’m trying to say again is how much I’ve really loved it. Every year, giving me a chance to do something I never thought I could. How much I’ve anticipated it, relished every terrible, glorious minute.

And after we’ve finished raising our glasses in a toast to NaNoWriMo, I know I’ll be fine again. Back to debating changelings in my magic system and possible backstories for Godfather Drosselmeyer. It’s almost Christmastime, after all.

Until then, I have a novel to finish. One that I love enough to see to the very end.


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