My head hurts. I haven't been able to feel the little finger on my left hand for the best part of four hours, and I'm not afraid to say that I'm on the verge of having a mini-meltdown.
Before you start feeling sorry for me let me just add that I have brought this all on myself - and willingly. Still, having completed NaNoWriMo, the novel-writing challenge that takes place throughout the whole of November, a whole seven hours ahead of schedule, I think (well, hope) that the road to recovery will be quick and painless.
Soon after hearing about NaNo, I remember scoffing at the notion of writing 50,000 words of an original novel, from scratch, in one month. Sure, 50,000 is a lot, but a month is a long time. It would be hard but not impossible.
And if I hadn't been so horribly caught up with finishing the thing this week I would have laughed at myself for being such a fool in those early stages of the challenge. But while it has undoubtedly been a tough process - between coming up with enough plot to keep my book going till it hit that hallowed word-count and stopping myself from falling too far behind the daily word schedule - I have already reaped some of the benefits of taking part.
Sure, when you consider that I have been - at times - writing fiction at the rate of 1,200 words an hour, it's safe to say it's rather rough and ready in places.
But one of the principles of NaNoWriMo is to get past the inhibiting effect that perfectionism can have on fiction writing. In essence, stop worrying and write - you can always edit later.
My final day of NaNo, was definitely the hardest. I've lost count of the amount of times I've wanted to bang my head against the keyboard in frustration; just as I have lost count of the number of times I have told my poor colleague that I have decided to kill off the character I based on him.
With just over 8,000 words left to write on November 30, I wrestled to steer the plot to completion. Ten hours later - I got up nice and early to start tackling the remainder of the novel - and I'm glad to say I not only successfully completed NaNo, but even managed to write an extra nine words on top.
The official certificate I have just downloaded feels well deserved.Now all I need is the feeling in my finger to come back.