The month-long writing marathon was very invigorating, though exhausting, and was perhaps the most important thing I've ever done as an aspiring novelist. That is, I wrote. I put other things aside, I made time when there was no time, I was not discouraged by the lack of a coherent plan, I made stuff up as I went along, and I believe that my writing improved. I also demonstrated to myself that it was possible, even in what is probably the busiest month in the academic calendar, for me to write fiction.
Since then, though, it's been difficult to get back on the horse. I had all this other stuff I had to do, related to the paying job. There was some other stuff that I thought I ought to do, like work on research papers. And there was the fact that I had written myself off my map, literally. So, while I have put few words in the narrative down over the past three weeks, I have done some preliminary research that hopefully will allow the narrative to proceed in a good direction. Having read a lot of young adult fantasy/sci-fi novels recently, I know that there are underlying themes and motifs and mysteries to be revealed and problems to be solved and that the whole thing needs to hang together and make some sense. And a world with "magic" needs to a magical world, and the magic has a history.
Now I am ready to begin again. I have completed most of my necessary work, and with some sadness, crossed out plans to work on projects I in which I have invested a great deal of time and energy. You can't have it all.