Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo failure

It’s December and NaNo is officially over. For those of you who have read this blog the past month, you’ve seen several posts about NaNo. Well, I thought I would share my NaNo failure story. Yep, my first time posting on this blog and I’m going to talk about my failures.

50,000 in one month – doable? Oh yeah! For me? Nope.

I started off great – 10K in one weekend, the most I’ve ever written in such a short span. I thought, Hey this’ll be a breeze, I can write Larch this month and finish Judgement next month and be ready to query again by the end of January.

By day seven I was right where I should be. By day ten I was behind. That little graph laughed at me every time I clicked on it’s tab. Seriously, I heard it snickering and taunting. By day twenty I was up to 20k, still 10k behind and realized there was no way in Hades I would reach 50k by today. I was going to join the ranks of NaNo failures, plus Larch and Stone wouldn’t shut up in my mind, dreams, shower or car.

Of course I have to be faithful to my characters and finish their story. I have fallen in love with them and their world and finishing their story is something I look forward to. Would I have ever tried a dystopian? A book set in the future? A borderline sci-fi? I must give a resounding no but now I have attempted it, have 30K and a fleshed out plot.

So do I consider myself a NaNo failure? Yes and no. Yes, I didn’t get out the 50k. Too much in my life got in the way: family, homeschooling, beta reading and the oh, five or ten novels I read this month. I guess I could’ve skipped schooling the kids but I do want them to go to college. And I could’ve not read those other books but I enjoyed them.

So the conclusion I have come to is: if 50k was that important to me then I would’ve prioritized it over the frivolous things I did – and no, schooling is not considered frivolous, don’t even go there ;) .

I’m very grateful to NaNoWriMo and will definitely participate again next year, plus I met some great writers in Augusta at our NaNo writing meet-ups. I encourage all writers to try it next year. I had a blast!

Original post published on Old People Writing for Teens by GotYA contributor Jennifer Wood. Original post and reader comments can be viewed here.

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