Then, as a way to swing the pendulum completely the other way, I did no running at all in the month of November, instead devoting any spare time I had to Nanowrimo. It's a great concept and I worked hard toward the word target, smashing it just past mid November and getting to almost 80,000 words by the end of Nov. By the second of December I was up to about 83,000 words and I have now finished my entire first draft!
I can't explain how good that feels. I have had this story concept in my mind for literally years. Writing for me is one of those things that truly represent the stasis in my life. It is not a conceit to say I'm a decent writer - I like my own writing but also I know other people like my writing as well. I have always felt I have books "in me" and at some point in my life I will publish a number of novels that are reasonably well-received. Well, I'm 35 now - shit's starting to get real. Time to step up and challenge myself for these types of things.
What types of things?
Well, I outlined the novel in detail before Nanowrimo, following the rules to not write one word of the actual story until the first of November (as I said, this was easy considering my mind was full of marathon prep). The book has gone better than I thought, but as I kind of expected the story is a lot more intricate than I expected, and the problem with near future science fiction is that real life often comes up with so much more in the here and now than you first imagine. I'm talking specifically here about the sudden rise of the Occupy movements from September as well as the use of social media to coordinate protest and riot activity. It's something I have been planning to write about for years now, but now I have to rethink a lot of my concepts. Not only do I need to find out in detail all about this subject (as well as all the other details in the story, like relationships between different tribal groups in sub-sahara, the role of the pancreas in amylase production, the kind of rooftop accommodation in a Dubai skyscraper, the carrying and landing capabilities of a Hercules plane, the relationship between aid workers and security personnel in a large refugee camp etc etc etc)... but I also have to take the concepts one step further ten or fifteen years in the future.
Second, I want to do another marathon. No, I need to do another marathon. This time I'll let it all hang out. I want to test my limits again. I need to do a solid buildup to a marathon this time, not take time off (although I didn't have much of a choice this time with the burglary and Hayley being sick. But I want to do one in under four hours.
And I want to have a go at MMA. There, I said it. Yes, I want to try it. Why not huh. I've never ever ever been in a proper fight - not even as a kid as fights at that age are more about intimidation with or without one or two punches, rather than pitting yourself physically against someone else. So, lets do it.