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.