NaNoWriMo – Why I Failed

I failed to complete this year’s NaNoWriMo, and here’s why – overestimation.

Last year I was keeping up with the daily goals, but fell a little behind.  You can see my stats here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/tomcomputer/novels/the-leaves-are-turning-brown/stats

After the slight slip, I had a great weekend, and then managed to keep on top of it, reaching my goal with a bit of time to spare for editing.

Now, this year.  What happened?  I kept up for two whole days, and then missed a day.  The next day I couldn’t do it, as I had plans.  The day after that I got put off by the stats chart.  That weekend I said to myself “that’s it. we’re going to get that sorted in these two days”, but I didn’t.

It was entirely my own fault, but I really enjoyed the story as it developed.  I just couldn’t muster the will to keep up, and then after a while, was so far behind I got daunted by the goal.

This is a problem with time-restricted creative tasks for me.  The goal should be the goal, but I wanted to write something better than last year.  I put a lot of pressure on myself, and in the end I called it quits only 2 weeks in.

Could I have pulled a few late nights, one big weekend of writing, and caught up?  Quite possibly, yes.  But I found it easier and less pressured to just stop, open the file, close the file, and continue at a slower pace.

I stopped updating my word count very quickly, as I knew that wouldn’t help me.  The stats are here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/tomcomputer/novels/the-death-of-the-last-scientist/stats

I am going to continue with the story, and then will post it here, but I feel like last year got on top of me this year.  I shouldn’t have tried to compare.  This story is different, and follows more characters and ideas.

In all ways, my failure to write 50k words in 30 days was my own fault.  I think, with some planning, next year will be far better.  Take it slow, keep going, and don’t walk away under the pressure.

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