I high-fived myself in the dark and then had a Will-Smith-Pursuit-of-Happiness moment … the one in the end … where he claps for himself in the middle of a crowd, and it’s that hard clap, the I-got-emotion-behind-this-clap clap and he does this because he finally did it. He reached his goal.
I had me one of those in the dark last night at about one-something in the morning. The quiet of the night felt good. I was awake. Awake with happiness, or that could have been the last hour of my 5-hour energy drink kicking in.
Either way I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, because I had failed so miserably before.
I had made it.
I finished my book.
Last month was the epic National Novel Writing Month adventure where writers from all over the States and the world sit down and write their guts out in an effort to reach 50,000 words in 30 days. I, like every other writer, contemplated this and then thought maybe … maybe.
Come November 7th I saw a tweet from a buddy of mine, Susie Lindau, who had posted her word count and then something funny about the whole situation. When I logged in and left her an encouraging comment she responded with a simple, “Are you doing it too?” And I thought, well holy crap, am I?
I had thought of just participating in my own way, not really signing up, but just making an effort to write everyday, as I had fallen off the wagon. But with Susie’s question, I thought yeah … yeah I am why not. I had set a goal earlier this year to finish my book and was no where near finished, and this NanoWrimo thing would definitely push me through.
No. It didn’t push me.
It drove me into a crash and burn of failure.
And not just any failure … a writer’s failure.
With two kids under the age of seven and all of the duties and adventures that come from that I just didn’t make it. I didn’t have enough time, or energy. But then I thought there are people out there with full time jobs and three kids and they probably did it so it wasn’t about excuses it was just failure.
But I wasn’t going to let that stop me. After a week of stuffing myself with chocolate and swimming in the sad writer’s state of mind, I picked myself up, bought a Costco-sized case of 5-Hour energy drinks and decided I was gonna write my ass off until it was done. I got this! I told myself.
So while it took Nano Champions 30 days or less to cross the finish line … it took me about 60. And I was all right with that.
November’s epic failure turned into December’s Woo-Hoo moment of the year.
I felt like Rocky Balboa after he made it to the top and climbed his last step … but I know getting it published is a whole other journey, but I am just glad that I finally conquered this step.
It was surreal. Exciting. Gratifying. But still surreal.
It felt good to cross the finish line right before the New Year. I felt that all those sleepless nights fueled by 5-Hour Energy and those disastrous, painful mornings that nearly killed me because it required me to not only wake up, but actually function were worth it.
They were worth it.
50,000 words worth it.
Success feels good, and I celebrated … with chocolate of course.