December Blues

It’s a good thing I did NaNo last year, because this year I knew what to expect. I have heard from other participants that this is not uncommon. I call it the post-NaNo blues, or letdown. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a reaction to a month of living, breathing, writing, a novel. The pace is frenetic, the feeling is one of frantic panic. And then it’s December 1st, and there’s nothing to write. There is time to bask in the knowledge that we spent 30 days writing in every spare moment, and whether or not we met the goal doesn’t matter, we survived NaNoWriMo.

So now what? It’s a curious feeling, and one that is strangely familiar. It’s like those first few days and weeks after graduation when I could read whatever I wanted; I could read a novel, or two, or three; there was no research to be done; no papers to write; no deadlines to meet. Yes, it’s like that.

And then there’s the fact that it’s December, and the hours of daylight are dwindling fast. It’s dark when I leave for work and it’s almost dark when I get home. My energy level sinks, and by around 7pm, I’m ready to go to bed. But I don’t. I stay awake and keep busy, writing, reading, playing with the dogs, watching TV. I know that winter doesn’t last very long. I spend time outside as much as I can because I know sunlight is good for me. I take Vitamin D, extra Vitamin B & C, watch what I eat, and wish I was a bear so I could hibernate through these months. I remember when I lived back East, and it was dark by 4 or so, and the days were cold and the nights colder, and I’m glad I live in Arizona where here in Dec we’re still seeing highs close to 80 and think it’s cold when the lows get in the 40s.

So the December blues only last for a month. January comes and the hours of daylight start increasing again. And before I know it, we’re all complaining about how hot it is, and it’s a dry heat so it’s somehow not quite as bad as the heat and humidity in places like Alabama and Florida. But it’s still hot, and miserable, and we start wishing for fall.

And the cycle continues.


6 thoughts on “December Blues

  1. Oh how I understand the feeling. Its like there is a void where fevered writing was days ago. I guess I could continue writing, but I can’t keep up the breakneck speed forever.

    Trying to get back to life after a month without is odd and sort of sad. No more living, eating, and breathing fantasy world and made up characters. Living off dreams and willpower. Somewhere down the line food has to come in, and bills, and those other things that aren’t so fun.

  2. I “get” it too. I get SAD every year at this time (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder). The lack of sunlight really affects me. And the letdown that you feel after your November writing marathon is familiar too…I sort of felt that after we got home from our trip – like, what do we do now?! It’s as if you had a higher purpose, then it’s gone and there’s that in-between time when nothing has come along to take its place, other than normal day-to-day stuff.

    Thought-provoking! Thanks Ruth. I’m getting out of my jammies now and going to see what this day’s day-to-day stuff looks like. 🙂

  3. It’s summer in Australia and the days are long and warm. Because I’m in the tropics it’s VERY warm and now I’m looking forward to winter next year 😉

  4. I know the feeling of SAD, Sharon, and I fight it every year. It isn’t so bad if I remember to start taking St. John’s Wort around Halloween; if I don’t, then it’s a bigger battle.

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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