Last night, at approximately 9 p.m., my arduous and exhausting journey that was the 3-Day Novel contest came to a glorious end. This is the third year I have competed in the contest and each year I am amazed by the feeling of relief and gratification that washes over me when I realize my project is complete.
That moment is probably more draining than any other hour of that sleep-deprived weekend. Even with three hours of potential editing or tweaking left I couldn’t bring myself to read or write another word. I had completed one five-hour edit and at the end my brain flipped me the bird and shut down. No amount of coaxing would make its sluggish gear s to start turning again. Realizing the futility of the battle I emerged from the den, turned writing cave, and shambled to living room. I plopped down on the couch, the cushions felt like clouds after the torture of three days in a chair.
I spent a couple of hours watching a movie with my wife, who was happy to see me after 72 hours of virtual neglect and then I blindly walked the hall to bed and collapsed. My dreams were filled with plot holes, spelling mistakes and sentences of gibberish.
Despite my nightmare I am happy with the final product. In fact I think out of the three I have done the latest is the best. The first year I wrote 50,000 words and 130 pages (ignore my previous blog post, somehow word count and page count combined into a fantastically impossible figure). Year two the count came in at 45,000 and 110 pages. This year it was 102 pages and just shy of 37,000 words.
My goal was to break 40,000 words. But, like most of my writing the story had a life of its own and I did not want to force it for the sake of word and page count. As I said this will be my third entry (It has been a couple of years since the last one) and I think it’s the best one. I have no illusions of winning, but in the secret corners of my mind (that I am now revealing here) I do hope to make that special list of top entries.
Regardless of where I place I am happy and proud of myself for finishing. To all the other competitors I salute you. It takes a lot of perseverance and mental fortitude to dedicate 72 hours to writing a complete novel/novella. Congratulations.
And now, it is time to return to reality. I am off to work. Best of luck fellow 3-Day Novellers. I hope the world is a bit brighter for you today.