Well, not really, but it may as well be for me. It’s Nov. 30, and I have written 31,724 words during the month. That’s a lot of words short for a NaNoWriMo win (18,276 to be exact). Could I have finished? Maybe, but I was bored out of my skull by my novel, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed pounding out 20,000 words in 4 days. The point of NaNo is to have fun. Well, and write a novel, of course. So I figured, if I wasn’t going to have fun, then why do it?
Part of me feels like a hypocrite. Here I am, co-ML of St. Louis, cheering people like me on. “Come on, keep writing, you can do it, don’t give up.” But I gave up. I had 1 good week. Then the fire just kind of killed it for me. Several days of dealing with tangible stuff from it (insurance, replacing stuff, things like that.) Then a bunch of emotional aftermath. Did I mention I’m scared to turn on the heaters in my apartment now? Not to say I’m sitting in the cold, I use them, I just don’t like it. Then unpacking as we got our stuff back from ServePro. I was extremely lucky. I barely lost anything. That doesn’t mean I’m not affected by it. I just didn’t feel the joy of writing anymore. (wow, that sounds like some kind of PBS series. Let’s write some happy little trees.) And like I said, my novel is boring. So I’m trying not to feel like a bad co-ML, even though I missed a whole bunch of write-ins and didn’t reach my goal.
I’m disappointed at not winning NaNo this year, but I’ll get over it. The first 2 years were so successful, I suppose there had to be an off year eventually. Better to get it out now, and come back stronger next year. And maybe – just maybe – I won’t change my mind at the almost-last-minute about what I’m going to write, and – this is an even bigger maybe – I’ll actually *gasp* outline my next novel. I know, it’s madness. Outlining. Planning. Ugh. Like I said, it’s a BIG maybe. But I think if I’d had an outline for this novel, I would have had a better chance at finishing it.
For all of you who won NaNo – CONGRATULATIONS!! I finally understand how truly hard it can be to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
For those of you who aren’t going to win, it’s okay. Really. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes your novel is really awful. Or sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. It’s okay. There’s next year to try again. And you still did something most people don’t do – you started writing a novel. Just don’t quit now (I mean, don’t quit writing. You can quit your NaNovel, just start a new one. Or finish your NaNovel if you love it and just didn’t quite get to “The End.”) You tried, and as far as I’m concerned, that makes you a winner.