Saturday, April 30, 2011

I FINALLY finished my NaNo 2010 Novel!

Yep, it's well into 2011, and I'm just finishing my novel from NaNoWriMo 2010. I kept telling myself that I was going to get it done by (insert day of some significance here) but between not setting aside time for writing every day, having more loose ends to tie up than I realized, and one scene that had to take place before the ending getting me completely stuck, the deadline kept getting pushed back.

Finally, I decided to try a new method: The Carrot and The Stick. Incase you're unfamiliar with it, it's a goal-setting method based on the idea that if you dangle a carrot in front of a mule and hit it with a stick from behind, it will move towards the carrot and away from the stick. So you pick a goal (finishing my novel by April 30) a carrot - a reward (getting to re-organize my bookshelf) and a stick - a punishment (not being able to buy the new Owl City album until may 25.)

Well, it worked. I have really wanted to organize my bookshelf for some time, so today when I realized that it was April 30 and I still had two more scenes to write, I sat down at my computer and typed for quite awhile - and it felt really good. I'd forgotten how much I love just taking a big chunk of time and devoting myself to writing. I definitely need to do this more often. Anyway, I managed to get out the last 2,800 or so words, bringing my total to 85k. (Incidentally, that's much longer than my 2009 NaNo, which ended up being 65k. I was expecting this one to be shorter, but the plot just exploded.)

Despite wanting to reach my goal and re-organize my bookshelf, I probably wouldn't have finished my novel had it not been for my desire to prove the Universe wrong.

This one needs some explaining, I know.

See, my "stick" - my punishment for not finishing the novel - was that I couldn't by the new Owl City album until May 25. It was convenient, because it was supposed to come out on May 17, so if I did in fact finish my novel by April 30, it would be sort of a double-reward. Imagine my shock when I logged into iTunes the other day and found that the release had been pushed back to June 14.

My reaction was sensible. I immediately assumed that the forces of the universe that had caused the release to be moved assumed that I wouldn't finish the novel, and so decided to make absolutely sure I wouldn't break my promise and buy the album anyway. Of course, I had to prove that this wasn't true. I still don't get to buy the album, but you know what? The sense of accomplishment totally makes up for that. It's been so long since I've finished a novel that I forgot how exhilarating it feels.

So - novel finished, universe humiliated, and I get to spend all day tomorrow organizing my beloved books.

Off to rest my hands, so I don't get carpal tunnel from typing -