My 2013 NaNoWriMo Failure

Sooooo, November’s over.

Total word count: 5693


So I did not win my first NaNoWriMo.  I wrote only about 10% of the goal.

I will say, I am happy with what I wrote.  And I discovered a few things, which is also part of NaNo.

  •  I write slowly.  As a perfectionist, it is really hard not to labor over every word and sentence.  NaNo is the supreme test of my personality.  Some of what I wrote is crap, and that’s fine.  But some of it is good, and I would rather have a few good paragraphs than pages and pages of crap.  How can I learn to write well if I don’t practice writing well?
  • I get cranky when I don’t read.  One of my biggest challenges in learning to write novels is developing my “voice” as an author.  When I read, I internalize the writing style of whatever I’m reading, and then that influences my writing style.  So for the sake of consistency, I did not read fiction at all in November.  I think this may be the longest I have gone in my adult life without reading a novel, and I am sick of it.  Also, I didn’t play any TOR–I left my Imp agent languishing on Belsavis and I don’t really remember what was going on in that storyline.  Good thing it’s still a double XP weekend!
  • Most importantly, I learned that I am just not ready to make writing a priority in my life.  I am not willing to change my social calendar (and obviously I can’t change my work calendar) so that I can have more time to write.  I took 2 weekend trips at the beginning of the month, and while that really started me off on the wrong foot for NaNo, I am glad I traveled.  I am not willing to sacrifice sleep or family time (or clean clothes).  I think this realization will not kill my writing dream, it simply means that I have to manage my time better.  Maybe a little less Tiny Death Star for starters…

Anyways, the project that I attempted last month was a kind of writing exercise that I have been planning on doing for quite awhile: a fairy tale retelling.  More of a fairy tale expansion, really.  This may not have been an ideal project for NaNo because I was locked into a plot, and the historical setting I wanted to use required a lot of research (which, of course, I was too lazy to do in October).  It also reads more like a children’s story, so I might be finished before I reach 50,000 words anyways.  But I think I will continue this project and see how far I can get.

Luckily, the NaNo website tells me I should be done next July.

7 thoughts on “My 2013 NaNoWriMo Failure

  1. stressingoutstudent December 2, 2013 / 12:48 am

    Congrats on doing NaNo! I didn’t “win” either, but I still feel pretty good about what I did. We live and we learn. NaNo’s a great exercise, but it’s certainly not the be all, end all!


    • Mei-Mei December 3, 2013 / 9:16 pm

      Thanks, I’m trying to be realistic about it. At the very least, I have 5000 more words written than I did in October! Haven’t decided yet if I’ll do it again next year…


  2. starwarsanon December 2, 2013 / 11:26 am

    You know what, I love your honesty in this post; very refreshing. All over WordPress you see posts on people completing NaNoWriMo and I definitely get jealous.

    Like you, I love reading novels and have a really hard time giving that up. I even read novels almost every night in college, even when everyone else would say, “Well, yeah, I like to read too but I just don’t have time with all my work.” I made time because it gave me such a sense of peace and stability during the craziness of college. This weekend I finally finished the Harry Potter series (for the 4th time in my life lol) and was addicted to the 7th book (again). The morning of my Thanksgiving and evening was devoted to finishing the book and I felt so good when it was done.

    I also agree with your third point. I just can’t make it a priority, sorry.

    I do love fairy tale retellings so I hope that one day you’ll post a bit up on here or as a locked page! I’d love to read some.


    • Mei-Mei December 3, 2013 / 9:14 pm

      Yeah, I definitely read the same way you do! If I ever get anything of substance written, I certainly don’t mind sharing. I told my husband he could read it also…I have a feeling he won’t be a harsh critic 🙂


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