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Reflecting on 2010: NaNoWriMo Made Me Go Crazy

Reflecting on 2010: NaNoWriMo Made Me Go Crazy

WeDidntStartTheFire, we admire you. Even if you did turn into a lunatic. —Sparkitors

You, dear Sparkler, must know what NaNoWriMo is. If you don’t, you must live under a rock. In which case, you wouldn’t even be reading this, unless you’re a hobo with some serious connections. Anyway, as a Sparkler, you better know about NaNo, or else Gary will reap your soul! (Not really, but it’s always nice to dream.)

This past November, I took it upon myself to participate in this crazy NaNoWriMo thing. Which for those who still don’t know, is a contest where you write a 50,000-word novel. This may not seem like a really difficult task, and in theory it shouldn’t be. But it is. And this is what NaNoWriMo did to my soul:

I ran on practically two hours a sleep every single day. It killed me, because I am a living, breathing human being who needs her 12 hours of sleep a night. It made me cranky, crazy, and extremely tired. I slept on the bus, slept in my classes, and slept during my choir rehearsals. Then I found out there were three stages of tired:

The Yawning Stage: You’re tired. All you can think about is sleep. You just can’t stop yawning. Every time you close your eyes, you’re afraid you’ll….zzz…..

The Slap-Happy Stage: You’ve passed the yawning stage, and everything is funny to you. You want to dance up and down the hallways, singing High School Musical (not that I did this or anything) and scream at the top of your lungs. Little kids mistake you for a cross between a clown and a person on drugs.

The Beyond-Tired Stage: This was the stage I lived in for the majority of November (from the beginning of Week Two till December started). You don’t believe in sleep anymore. Sleep is for the week. I wrote about pirates in the stage.

I became quite angry at the world. It wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t figure out how to make my characters meet. What I wanted to do was push them both off cliffs. It’s like spending too much time with friends; you get sick of each other and then strangle them in their sleep. Only this time, it’s more violent because of sleep deprivation.

It rips your soul into pieces and stomps it into the ground. You’re tired. You’re hungry. You’re sick of writing, people, your characters, your novel. The world is at fault. It’s time to chop off your little sister’s head for asking to use the computer. Your teachers are stupid for giving you 30 pages of homework. NaNoWriMo stretches your inner being to the far edges of reality, and believe me, the lines blurred. You feel weak, tired, like you just got run over by a truck. But you can’t stop writing.

But, I wrote. And wrote, screamed, lived off coffee, slept on the ground, spent hours at the library, and skipped about ten homework assignments. (I’ll get them turned in eventually… after a couple thousand naps.) It really was worth it though. Because I, WeDidntStartTheFire, have written a 50,000 word novel (containing pirates, visions, trumpets, dancers, and confetti-filled parades)!!!!! Cue the angelic chorus, because I WON! [Insert Happy Dance Here]

So next year, try NaNo out for size. Whether you finish or not, it’s awesome.

What would you write about?

Related Post: CoffinMaker's Guide to NaNoWriMo

Topics: Books
Tags: sparkler posts, writing, nanowrimo, sleep-deprivation

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