Failing NaNoWriMo

I tried… kind of.

50,000 words in 30 days was ambitious from the start, and I knew it. I told people. It was a cool talking point, one that I somehow knew would fail.

The first 3 days went almost-okay — 1500 words, 1000, 800… it already looked bleak.

~20,000 words in 4 months (with a 3 month medical gap) is the most I’ve written for a project — The Student Manual, my first book. Besides that, blogs, articles and assignments were all my piano-hands touched.

I’m one of those fortunate human beings gifted with a wild imagination and the fire to try lots of weird and wonderful things… and the lack of grit which fails most of them. The most consistent I’ve ever been is my Today I Learned series, posting something new every day for the last 69 days. That’s manageable, writing one or several paragraphs about something rad. The worst I’ve had it is frantically trying to learn something at 23:50.

But 1,667 words every day… shit. I liked the identity more than the work, I should have known it was doomed. Some people churned out tens of thousands of words within a week of starting, something I’d never get close to.

Doing a thing for people’s opinions of you instead of doing the thing because you love the thing will always fail. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will fail.

I failed NaNoWriMo; I haven’t failed the novel.1 It’ll take more than 30 days, but I’d rather write it for myself on my terms than trying to uphold a shallow identity.

Writing is about one thing and one thing only: creating good art. Take a day if you must, a lifetime if you can, just make good art.

  1. Some weird fantasy adventure of miners lost in a strange world with giant mushrooms.