Dec
5
2011

Take Away From NaNoWriMo 2011

I am (not) a winner of this year’s NaNoWriMo 30 day 50k words challenge.  I don’t get the awesome badge on my site that says Winner, but I do get the Participant badge.  The final count for the month is 15,753 words.

Why I Didn’t Make It

Writing is a new push for me this year.  I didn’t know what I was capable of as I headed into NaNo.  I was just hoping it was something productive.  My lazy habits were difficult to break.  I’m sure that it doesn’t help that my office desk is crammed in my bedroom with the laundry and donation bags of old kids clothes that I haven’t sent off yet.  We flooded in late September and had to clean out the basement, repairs are still underway.   I didn’t help that my daughter hadn’t been doing her homework at daycare (playing with friends instead).  We would spend hours helping her through it.  I didn’t help that we had Lice to deal with at the beginning of the month; it takes a long time to pull out all the nits every night.   It didn’t help that Skyrim turned out to be an awesome RPG, which I have been waiting on Diablo III to fill that role.  My gamer addiction spoiled the last half of NaNoWriMo.   In Daniel Swensen’s blog post on No Go NaNoWriMo: Should you feel bad about not finishing, he expresses that the reason I feel so bad about losing is because I wanted to write.  I think my statistic log shows that I wanted to write, because I took the time to track my progress publicly.   In the end, I didn’t want to write badly enough to get farther than I did, I could have done better (we all know that).

What Did I Take Away

I learned that I can write.   My husband calls it the creative switch and doesn’t know how I can turn it on and off so quickly.  I tell him, I never turn it off.  I can spit out words from my brain onto paper (the computer), but I do get hung up on the dialog sometimes.  Looking back at the 15,753 words I did write, I find that my writing is terrible.  The story is good and there is a lot of room for details and descriptions, but the words read like an 8th grader.  I know I can do better, but I felt that I had to rush at the words and get them out even if they were ugly. 

Will I Try Again Next Year

Unless I can improve my writing routine, free up time with my job, and have a crisis free month, I probably will not participate again.   You may see this as sad and that I shouldn’t give up.  This isn’t giving up.  This is me hating the fact that it’s in November and my old habits got in the way.   I’ll answer this question again next October, but for now I probably will not go for NaNoWriMo 2012.

What Is In Store for My Novel

I’m not going to stop writing.  Although, I will most likely switch over to my short story that I was working on before my NaNoWriMo novel and then come back to it.  I read a blog post from Chuck Wendig, he is a writer and a great resource for those who want to write, and loved what he said about not finishing.

The NaNoWriMo Epilogue “Miles to go before you sleep”

“If you didn’t finish, c’mon. C’mon. Did you really think that November was the only month you’re allowed to write a novel? Do you believe that come November, all us novelists are let out of our hermetically-sealed mountain cottages and we bound down the snowy expanse, our fingers eager to taste keyboards and Bic pens for the 30 days we’re allowed to tell proper stories? November is but one month out of 12, and if you’re a true-blue writer you’ll wish you had 13 of those (removed explicative for my younger readers) in which to keep boot-stomping your novels into the clay. On December 1st, you know what you can do? Keep writing.

Yes, I will definitely continue to work on my Novel, but I also need to work on improving my schedule to include consistent writing time. 

New Goal

I realized in order to get into a habit of writing I need to start with a very small goal and not always on the same story.  My mind jumps topics like a frog jumping from a 5 year old boy.  I enjoyed Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction and think that it would be great to set myself a goal of writing a 200 word flash fiction five times a week based on 5 random words.  This is a link to my flash fiction words from his challenge ‘Intro to Flash Fiction,’ I did not win (the winners), but I had a lot of fun.  Look for a future blog post with my flash fiction challenge.  I am also going to be committing myself to 5 hours of writing each week for the rest of December.  I know it’s a small amount, but it’s the minimum of what I think I can do for the holidays.  Next year I will be setting some New Year writing goals.  Perhaps, one of them will be to complete Enderlace and have it ready to submit to publishers.

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About the author

Hi, I am Jamie McCoard (also known as Tevyn in the electronic industry). This blog is about my thoughts and dreams towards becoming a writer. Over time it will grow into a writer's journal.  I suggest you follow it now, so that you can say 'I was with her from the beginning.'   

BTW, I consider a writer as someone who is published and has sold books, therefore, I am not a writer (yet).

If you would like to read more about me please visit About The Author.


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Steven King’s On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

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