This year, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Many of you already know this. Many of you were instrumental to my participation, and wrote me excellent guest posts! (Thank you!!!!)
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to overcome the ‘Not Writing’ part of not writing a novel. Participants challenge themselves to write 50,000 words of a novel. It’s hard, and nerve wracking, and a lot of fun. (And a good excuse to not do things because you are writing.)
This year, I wrote a sci-fi novel! My first one. I got about 60,000 words in before the month ended. A few days later, my hard drive crashed.
I lost about 40,000 words of the story. At the time, there were so many other things I was upset about that I shrugged it off.
Now, plenty of time later, I’m sad about it. It was a lot of work. I’ll never have those words again, even if I re-write all the bits I lost. I’ll never even know what I wrote.
This was inspired by my actually going and re-reading what I had left. I’d looked at it when I loaded up the backup, to see what I’d lost. All I did was check the word count and shut it back down, then check my notes, which were similarly decimated. (Yes, I know they weren’t technically decimated, thank you.)
I’d think about reading it again, and decide I wasn’t ready yet. Part of this was being sad that I only had 20,000 words because that only takes an hour or maybe two to read, and part of the fun of NaNo for me is, months later, setting aside most of a day to read the whole stinking heap of hurried prose, to laugh at myself and be pleasantly surprised that I liked any of it.
With only 20,000 words, that wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying.
Finally, I gave in.
And guess what?
I liked a lot of it.
And now I’m really sad about it.
Well, it was a lot of work. A lot of energy and emotion and determination.
Of course I’m sad.
But I don’t know what to do about it!
I guess what I’m trying to say is: How the hell do you grieve?