On Failing NaNoWriMo 2013

About a week before November 1st, I made a decision. I was going to do it. Buckle down and get this shit done. It was time…to sign up for NaNoWriMo.

Some background: A while ago (I can’t remember exactly just how long ago), an idea came to me. I mean that literally. I was trying to fall asleep and this scene just suddenly popped into my head. I couldn’t get it out of my mind and images started to form around it. Other characters came into play. The settings evolved. The larger picture solidified.

I’ve tried writing a book before. I got pretty far, too. Who knows if that one will ever see the light of day. But that idea didn’t grip me like this one did. Every night, I was going over my new ideas in my head over and over, redirecting so to speak, until one day I finally started to write it down.

actual picture of me writing.

And that’s basically where I’ve been ever since. I pick it up, write a little, and then do nothing for months. It’s not that I don’t have the inspiration. I pretty much know exactly what’s going to happen. Just for some reason, I falter in between getting it from my head to my computer. Then I had a setback in the fall where my computer broke and I lost a ton of writing. So I figured NaNoWriMo would be the perfect chance to get everything back on track. I had a plan!

wait…that’s not right…

I wrote 1,000 words. That’s it. A measly 1,000 words. That’s 2% of the goal. All that motivation, that eagerness that I felt at the beginning of the month just disappeared. I was so disappointed in myself.

I had good excuses. I just started a new job, my first full-time position, and adjusting to never having any time to do anything has been hard. There’s been so much to arrange and get done that I feel like I’ve been running around in circles since I got down here. But then I reminded myself that so many writers have full-time jobs, families, and children and still find time to write. So really I didn’t have any excuse at all.

I could continue to wallow in self-pity, but the reason I’m writing this post is to force myself to stop seeing this as a failure. Yes, I didn’t meet my goal, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like the fact that I didn’t write this month means I can’t write the next. I’ve been viewing this like, oh I couldn’t do this so I guess I should give up. But that isn’t the case. Writing is very much a journey, and there will always be setbacks. There will always be moments of doubt, fear, feelings of unworthiness. But what I need to remember is that I wanted to be a writer because I love to tell stories. Because I’ve been obsessed with stories since I learned to read at age two. Writing isn’t a one-time shot. You get to try again and again. Some days the words will flow and others will be spent staring at a blank page. So I’m going to use this so called failure as a beginning rather than an end. Because let’s face it…

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3 thoughts on “On Failing NaNoWriMo 2013

  1. I absolutely AGREE with what you have to stay about writing. I too didn’t succeed at NaNo this year, but I’m not giving up! Writing is something I do because I enjoy it. Sure, it would be wonderful to one day be able to say that I got a book published and a story into the hands of readers everywhere! But in the end, I write for me. I write to tell stories that I want to tell. And if that means I write in stops and starts, or a mad fit of inspiration, so be it!

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