I’m a NaNo Loser and Proud of It

It’s now four days into December, and NaNoWriMo is all wrapped up. The goal was to write 50,000 words, and I will tell you straight up: I did not make it to 50,000 words.

But, the good news is, I wrote about 39,000. That’s great! I’ve never written a number of words anywhere near that big in any other month, ever. I’m glad I signed up for NaNo, because had I not, I’m pretty sure I would have written zero words of that book.

I’m hoping to work consistently on that manuscript throughout December. If I do that, I should have a complete first draft around January 1st.

Working through the ups and downs of NaNoWriMo taught me a few things, and reminded me of a few others.

  1. When I’m going “off outline” and start to panic, if I keep writing, sometimes I come up with something better than what I originally outlined.
  2. Forcing myself to write daily meant that sometimes I wasn’t in the mood or was distracted or was just plain tired by the time I got some time to sit by myself and write. But occasionally, those very “I’m not in the right headspace” moments turned into my most creative. Weird-but-cool stuff would come out that if I’d been calm and in my usual efficient state of mind, I probably would never have dreamed up.
  3. That little “Project Target” widget in Scrivener is priceless. All I wanted to do from the moment I clicked on it each day was watch it turn from read to green as I approached my targeted word count for the day. Also, I can see that the Project Target is getting closer and closer to green, and it’s making me persist past November 30th.
  4. Pushing forward without editing is helping me just keep chugging along. It’s so hard to fight the desire to just fix, fix, fix to perfection as I move along, but I’ll never finish that way.

Anyway, I’ve got a few short pieces I’ve been wanting to work on, and I think I’m just pushing them off until January (excepting those due back to my normal employers, because: deadlines! paychecks!) so I can finish this novel. I have a bad feeling that if I stop now, I’ll never, ever finish.

Now, some questions for you:

-Did you do NaNoWriMo?

-If yes, did you “win”?

-If you didn’t win, what lessons did you learn?

-And if you did, what’s your next step?

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

4 thoughts on “I’m a NaNo Loser and Proud of It

  1. No, I have not yet taken on the NaNoWriteMo challenge. This year, I was busy finishing up my latest novel and publishing it.


    My 8th-grader’s English teacher impressed and inspired me. It turns out that she has done NaNoWriteMo 8 years running! She even did a form of it with the boys in the class.

    So, I’m fired up for next year, and dreamed up an insanely ambitious schedule: to publish in April, August and December. November, G-d willing, will be for NaNoWriteMo, and December for editing, proofreading, beta readers, blah, blah, blah, followed by publishing.

    Pray for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea who your son’s English teacher is, AND NOW I WANT TO MEET HER. She sounds awesome.

      That *is* a really, really ambitious schedule. But looking at the pace–it’s definitely doable. Considering the pace you’ve already been publishing at, you know how to organize the work, you know how to write–you know to daven!–I would not be surprised one bit if you got it all done.


      • I know the teacher’s name as Ms. M. Castagna. I’m not sure yet what the “M” stands for. She teaches English at Ohr Eliyahu. If you want further contact information, I can provide it.

        Thank you for the encouragement!

        We’re looking forward to your new book about Adina.


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