I failed. Short and simple. NaNoWriMo whupped my butt this year.
The fact of the matter is I had too much on my plate, and while I made a go of things the first two weeks, it became a no-go after that.
Here’s What Did Work:
- Writing. Just getting the words out and creating some new ideas.
- Waking up Early. Early starts where I timed my writing and made a word count goal were beneficial. I learned that with focus I can easily manage 500 words in 15 minutes using writeordie.com.
- Write-ins. I was able to attend two local write ins and they provided the caffeine and social support to keep going until word goal was met.
Here’s What Didn’t Work:
- My Pre-planning. I work as a sales manager in retail, and we were planning Black Friday and Christmas Events in October. If I was smart, I’d have also been making a NaNo plan and outline to ensure I knew what and when I would be writing each day.
- My Stubbornness. I read and commented and emailed several bloggers who all limited their posts for this month so they could devote more writing time to NaNo. I respected and well understood all of their decisions. Should have made that same decision, but I had to be the golden child who can do everything: blog, NaNo, WWBC, Author Branding class, Book Club, maintain 60+ hour job, family, friends, personal sanity…oh yah, crash and burn.
- Trying to do two things at once. I was hoping I could get work done for my Warrior Writers Boot Camp Team while doing NaNo, but either I wouldn’t make word count cause I thought too hard and kept editing, or I made word count but felt I let my story run in a direction I wasn’t sure I wanted to maintain. I almost would have been better doing two separate projects here. I’d advise using NaNo to just explore a story idea and keep the WWBC for the feedback and fine tuning purposes.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events. I struggled this month with getting my focus in the right place. I got caught in a web of guilt about not spending enough time with family or friends. Then, I discovered there’s a mouse in our house, and I spent days binge cleaning screaming at my roommates, “We live in filth! How do we live like this?” (And in reality, we’re not so bad. But due to construction that was happening, we’d left some crawl spaces open and I’m sure he got in that way and now that Wisconsin is starting to freeze outside, it’s probably much warmer in the house. We’ve named the mouse Carl. Carl needs to leave. I’ve lost sleep listening to him on the wooden floors.) I also underwent some lab work at the hospital to check into some things that have a history in my family. All tests came back normal, which is wonderful, but I freaked myself out the whole weekend waiting for results.
When Life Hands You Lemons, You Make a Nice Citrus Martini!
Eventually, reality dawned that NaNo was simply not going to happen, and it was the one thing I could do without this fall. I still plan on participating next year! But I’ll have exactly that, a plan!
So, I used my new found freedom, which is kind of what it felt like when I actually shook reality’s hand, and I set up some guest post swaps, I had my parents into town (my mom hasn’t been to my house in years), I made a trip home to see my niece and a good friend, I’ve gotten some additional reading done, and I’ve thoroughly cleaned most of my room now.
For the rest of you completing your NaNoWriMo journey today, I wish you all the best! I hope to one day know how it feels to finish the first draft too. In the mean time, I’m still writing, but it’s at my own pace.
Congratulations to the NaNoWriMo winners of 2011!
The rest of you, martini’s at my place! Cheers!