I went and checked my NaNoWriMo stats and I have attempted this challenge since like, 2010.
Six years, y’all.
But you know, despite feeling like a nano ‘failure’, I don’t feel like I actually have failed in the final goal of being a better writer.
The first year I tried to do Nano I went into it with no prep. I had discovered the challenge a few weeks before it was going to start and got really pumped up. I came up with an idea and I just WENT for it, no planning, no prep, no characters, no plot… just a story idea that moved forward.
And I made it about 6 to 10k (I sincerely can’t remember) into the challenge and quit after about a week because November is a hell of a month for a college student to try and write a novel. Between papers and school and work? Nah bro. Didn’t happen. My story had no tension, had no real conflict and basically just curled up and died on the page because there was nothing there to hold it up.
The next couple of years I’d try again and I’d inevitably fail.
I believe I say ‘screw this’ last year, but I tried to just keep writing…and got disappointed and gave up.
That was frustrating as heck. I keep trying and I keep failing. I keep attempting this project that I’ve witnessed thousands of people complete around me and…this year it clicked.
For me, it will never be about completing a 50,000 word story in 30 days. It WILL be about the journey. It WILL be about not giving up. It WILL be about taking a deep breath and reviewing what doesn’t work from the past. And it will be about forgiving myself for not being like everyone else and accepting that I’m like myself instead.
This year I have a story I’ve been working on for a while that I’m going to work on. I’ll log my words and push myself to get beyond where I stalled out last time. This year will be about not letting those around me rush through but also about letting the mistakes happen and just getting through the book. This year will be about running the race.
My NaNoWriMo prep goes beyond the preparation of a book and about the prep of the writer.