Failing NaNoWriMo

After two years overlooking NaNoWriMo and excusing myself anyway possible, I decide to give it a try this year. Lately I’ve grown more fond to writing. It started a bit shy with me just keeping a notebook that I named “not a diary” because every time I started one I’d stop writing the next day. So, it made sense to completely avoid calling it that so it wouldn’t jinx things up.

At the beginning of last year I started a goal to read more. I always wanted to do that, all these great authors and books just waiting to pass on all their excitements and teachings. So I set a goal on goodreads of reading 12 books in 2014. Barely, but surely I was able to make it in time. A few comic books here and there, but hey, that still counts, right?

This year I decided to step it up by doubling that number plus one to a total of 25 books. I already felt more comfortable reading. I was still lazy about it, but having the goal set up helped me motivate myself to do it. Fastforward to today and even though I’m a tad behind, blame it on a big book I decided to read, I’m confident I’ll make it in time.

With all that going on, by the end of September NaNoWriMo entered my radar through Medium. I started reading posts about how to prepare for it, apps to keep track of word count, setting up goals, planning your story beforehand; which all just fueled me to face this new challenge. I had written a few posts and some short stories through this year. It was about keeping a pace, right? I could do that. It’s not that hard.

My first week went well. I was surprised with myself for following the planning I made. Though I was writing below the daily recommended 2000 words, my word count was increasing which was enough for me at that point. Then things started to get bumpy. Problems at work and other issues got in the way and I missed my first day. Then I got back on track, then skipped a couple days, and repeat.

One bad day, two bad days, five bad days.

As the days went by, motivation started to fade. The thing is. I never really grasped that writing those 2000 words require time. Even when I was focused and not editing anything, I never managed to get to the daily target. I had set to write around an hour every day, but that got me barely close to 1000 words on a good day.

So about two days ago I got from work after a 12-hour shift and relaxed for a while. When I sat down to write, the words just weren’t coming. I felt like I was writing the same things, the same way again. It all looked sluggish and uninteresting. I knew that at some points it would look more like work than fun, but for the most part it was looking just like work. So I dropped the towel.

The slug line

All in all, it was a great experience. It’s definitely given me a broader view about writing. It was the first time I planned a story before writing, the first time I was able to keep a writing momentum going even though being bumpy at some points, it was also the longest story I’ve written.

Nothing ventured, nothing learned.

So, next year…

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