NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

I failed NaNoWriMo

I failed NaNoWriMo. I wonder how many people are in the same boat as me. For those of you who completed NaNoWriMo, congratulations! What an incredible achievement. For many people, the draw of NaNoWriMo comes because it is such a challenge to actually complete. Writing 50,000 words in the month of November is a huge feat of endurance, inspiration and dedication.
Does this mean that if we have failed the challenge that we have no hope of becoming published authors? Does it mean that we do not have what it takes? No. I will say it again, no, it does not. It only means we couldn’t, at that particular stage in our novels, write tens of thousands of words in a month.
I, myself, reached 43,000 words before I gave up with a few days left in the contest. I chose not to finish for one simple reason. I didn’t like what I was writing. My descriptions were generic and boring, I had long ago decided to change my point of view, and I was merely getting down words. I stopped enjoying what I was writing because I have so much left to learn. I am not ready to write thousands of words a day because I am still learning how to write a few words well.
Possibly next year, or the year after, I might be ready, but then again I might not. I’m not going to give myself a hard time for this because I learnt so much about how I work as a writer in the process. If you have also “failed” NaNoWriMo I would say to you that it isn’t that important. Is it a fantastic achievement to have made? Yes, undoubtedly. Is it a necessary step to becoming an accomplished writer? I don’t think so. For anyone else out there who is feeling down in the dumps about the NaNoWriMo, I hope this post helps you to see that what really counts in learning to write, is to keep on keeping on and not giving up, for a lifetime and not a month.
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17 thoughts on “I failed NaNoWriMo

  1. Don’t worry. I failed NaNoWriMo too! (And I was only 6000 words away from finishing.) I decided I don’t like the timeline/pressure. I had some major issues with the novel and felt I couldn’t go back and fix them. PLUS there is no time allowed to go back and edit some of the crap written. Oh well…maybe next year I’ll want to do it again, but I’m okay failing–and knowing NaNo may not be the best way for me to write a novel. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I totally agree with everything you have said, I love the process of writing and NaNoWriMo made me forget that for a while. I’m sure it works for some, but for me, I don’t think it does. Thank you for your comment πŸ™‚

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  2. I tried having a go at NaNoWriMo and I definitely didn’t write 50,000 words! I think it’s a good challenge to get you inspired and it did help with my word count. However, I totally agree to keep going, learning and writing as much as you can without NaNo.

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      1. 60,000 is great! I am only on 43,000 as I went back to the start and I’m completely rewriting to the 1st person. Sometimes I wonder why I’ve done it πŸ˜‚. Editing is a slow process, I’m sure you are doing great

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  3. I wrote 23, 000 words. It’s ok. I took time to write nearly every single day and I enjoyed what I was writing and really, I couldn’t have asked for more. Just keep up the writing!

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  4. I so agree! I stopped doing Nanowrimo even though I enjoyed the hectic pace and the commiseration of fellow writers, because my working style doesn’t really mesh with the Nano way. But I learned a lot from numerous Nanos and I think the challenge is something that writers should take up at least once, to see what it’s all about and how it helps them improve.

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  5. My heart goes out to writers who spend many hours writing a story and then fail the Nanowrimo.If you like writing, I would say keep smiling and keep on trying. Never give up on your dream.

    Liked by 1 person

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