Post-NaNoWriMo Depression

I’m suffering from a major case of post-nanowrimo depression right now, which I would assume is pretty similar to post-partum depression. Or drug withdrawals.

It’s pretty simple really. The act of creation is so thrilling and stimulating and awesome that when it’s over, there’s nothing left inside but a black empty void of nothingness. For me, it generally manifests as a fervent desire to stare at the walls and feel useless all day. It’s really bad after nanowrimo because a lot of concentrated creative energy is released in a short time, which makes the corresponding crash even worse.

And it’s particularly bad for me this year because I wrote a LOT of words – 90k in 30 days is just ridiculous for me. That’s 3,000 words every day! That’s crazy. Years ago I used to think 1,500 words a day was doing well, and last year I struggled to keep up with the 1,667 words a day needed to reach the 50k finish line.

It takes quite an intentional effort to break out of it and get back to normal daily functioning. (One way to do that, btw, is to write a blog post about it.)

Perdido Street Station

I just finished Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, which I read because it was supposed to be an example of the “fantasy steampunk” genre, although it turned out to be more in the “Lovecraftian horror” genre.

Mieville’s writing is incredibly detailed and imaginative, and he’s pretty creative with his vocabulary, too. In other words, I was using the Kindle’s dictionary feature quite a lot. It wasn’t quite pretentious, but it seemed a tad unnecessary at times.

My biggest (and only) complaint with the book is that I couldn’t connect with anything in it. I didn’t form any emotional bonds with the characters, and, in fact, actively disliked the whiny, inept protagonist Isaac. And the world of Bas-Lag is not pleasant. The fictional steampunkish city of New Crobuzon where this book takes place is an appalling toxic stew of industrial urban ickiness, with Lovecraftian-style monsters, magical creatures, Frankensteinian constructions, and bizarre aliens lurking everywhere. It’s not the sort of place I’d want to visit.

So I don’t think I’ll be reading any more in the Bas-Lag series. It’s a well-crafted book, and nothing like anything I’ve read before, but it just didn’t resonate with me.