Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Post NaNo Blues: PPD for writers

Monday was rough. Exceptionally rough. I know, I know. It was Monday. What did I expect? This Monday was so rough that it's still rough on Tuesday, though. I'm beginning to suspect it might be a weeklong Monday.

So, at first I thought it was the post-holiday thing. After all, I really enjoying Thanksgivukkah. It took two of my favorite time-with-the-family holidays and melded them in an unprecedented way.  On Thursday, we had the big turkey dinner, followed in the evening by candles, gifts, and dreidel. What's not to love? Coming back after a holiday like that can make a girl a little bitter.

But I don't think that was it. Or at least not all of it.

Then I thought it was because we bought my husband a new car and I had a form of sticker shock, like PTSD of the checkbook. But looking at the pretty new car in our driveway doesn't make me anything but happy. It's so pretty! I'm relieved that the hubby is no longer managing the failing brakes in the old car on his commute.

So, it's probably not the car either.

I'm a teacher, so there's the my-students-are-nuts-on-holiday-candy-and-anticipation factor.  Some people probably got to ease back into their work life a little more gently than I did.  I'm sure some people got to sip coffee while they caught up on the backlog of email, then quietly returned some calls. Sounds dull. I ride the tidal wave of tween and teen manic-depression that we call middle school. Even on Monday, when I wasn't sure I wanted to be there, it was a good ride. When you learn to get atop that energy and surf it, it's a pretty amazing ride.

So, no I don't blame my students. 

But I definitely have some kind of PPD (post party depression). I think I figured out what it is.

NaNoWriMo ended. It was the equivalent of some tremendous athletic event, like a marathon. I trained for it by building a daily writing habit for months, inching it up fifty words at a time. I prepared for it with outline notes and research reading and lots of contemplation. I talked about it with my writing friends.

Then race day (or month in this case) came and I ran (wrote) my heart out. It was exhilarating! It was exciting! It was amazing!

And, it's over.

Just like that.

I'm glad in a way, because I know I couldn't have kept up that pace and my other life commitments for even a day longer. I feel good about the writing I did, and am excited about finishing it next year. But I've got this hungover feeling, sort of half burnt out and half still letting go the restless party energy. I'm having trouble getting focused on the next writing task. It probably doesn't help that the next task is rewriting/editing.  It's vital work, and will be the important stuff that makes my work sale-able, but it doesn't have the glamor of new words on blank screen. 

So, yeah. I think that's it. I've got post NaNoWriMo blues. But, hey---I should be getting my winner's tee-shirt soon. I can wear it to critique group :-)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on finishing out the month so well. I can't wait to see you in your Winner t-shirt. I totally understand your PPD. I almost think we should do a warm down project in the month of December. I know that long distance swimmers swim a few thousand yards at a slower pace before getting out of the water. Maybe you could keep your momentum going and work on a small project (like an anthology story perhaps) to warm down your mental muscles. Anyway, I just wanted to drop by and say - Yay, Samantha! Yay, Samantha!