What I learned from FAILING NaNoWriMo 2010

Well, week one was almost too easy.  I was sitting high on my throne, looking down at the common man and laughing.

Ah, such skill.  I won't even need 30 days! I thought to myself.

Then real life rolled over me, backed up and rolled over me again.  Enough of my excuses.  This is what I learned from FAILING NaNoWriMo 2010:

  1. Setting goals is good.  Winging it is bad. When I wrote I wrote well, but I allowed myself to begin to slack when I thought it was going too easy.  Sticking to the 1,667+ words a day is an attainable goal...if you hold yourself to it.

  2. I sometimes have the attention span of a 5th grader. When I set a goal which requires a consistent output as in NaNoWriMo, I need to remove distraction.  No cell phone beeping incessantly with text and email.  No TV. No Facebook or gaming breaks.  Not until the work is done.

  3. I am not a seat of the pants writer, I need an outline. I think the idea of people just writing, letting the words/characters lead them, is an overly romanticized notion.  I'd love for it to work that way, but as well as I did write, I know now it would have gone better if I'd had better focus and direction.  Not that the story won't take a twist or a turn on its own, or even take a new direction entirely, but I need a road map so I at least end up in the right state.

  4. Life happens. Trying to write while still working a day job, enjoying your family life, and just day to day responsibilities is hard work.  No matter how hard you try to schedule time for your writing, life will find you.

  5. I can do it. It is an attainable goal.  50,000 words in a month is very realistic.  No, I will not be sending out query letters on December 1st, but a solid 50,000 word base for a book can be completed.  I have to face the fact that even with all that happened if I had tried harder I could have done it.  I need to prepare better.

I will have one more year of writing under my belt by the time NaNoWriMo 2011 roles around.  Yes, I will be participating.  I will take the time to flesh out a story before I start.  I will let the story know where I want it to go, if we disagree along the way so be it.  Lastly, in 2011 I will succeed!

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