Why I Failed NaNoWriMo

I'm going to go ahead and call it because there's no way I'm hitting 50k by Saturday.  I'm currently sitting on 17,500.  I gave up on November 12th. And I'll tell you why.

-I'm Not a Word Vomiter-

Never have been, never will. I hate vomiting out words without going through and editing as I go along.  It slows things down by the time you start reaching 10k words.

But I did manage to push through that because I was excited to write.  I wanted to just crank out the story and go back and edit later.  I wanted to.  But when I tripped and failed to make the daily word count my dislike for word vomiting returned.  I realized I was about 5k words away from reaching the end of what I had planned for my novel and suddenly wouldn't know where to go from there.

-I Didn't Quit, I Just Shifted My Focus-

At that point, I decided to change my goals for NaNoWriMo.  What I had wanted from NaNo all along was just to finish book one of my novel, Blood Knights.  So I chose to abandon the 50k goal and just focus on finishing the book, which probably only needed another 30k when NaNo started.  I felt like this would still be a win to me.

And it would have been.  If there wasn't that lack of pressure to write anymore.  A daily minimum word count to get to 50k made me find the time to write.  Now with just the goal to "finish" I felt no drive to find the time.  I had planned on attending write-ins twice a week all month but only ended up going to three because things have come up.  I'm still probably at least 20k away from finishing Blood Knights.

-But That's Okay, and I'm Okay-

But I really can't beat myself up about it.  My life has been a catastrophe all year.  I was hurt by people I trusted and loved, I almost lost my dad, I totaled my car, and I'm dancing on the edge of financial crisis.

And when I had a four day weekend over Thanksgiving I spent every minute of it doing what I wanted to do.  I hung out with my dad, so thankful to have him around.  I baked because I felt like it.  I played so many video games without the crushing weight of responsibility bothering me.  I wrote for DVS Gaming, which I had been missing while writing NaNo.  My stress temporarily went away as I took some me time to recoup from all the horrors I've faced this year.  I loved every minute of it.

It's all probably just an excuse, but 2018 hasn't been the year for me to advance; it's been the year to try and stay standing. I have been putting effort towards my writing goals this November (The Un-Life wasn't totally rejected by the agent, I crank out articles for DVS, I've run writers guild events).  But honestly, there's something so much more important in my life right now than my books.  Taking care of my dad while he recovers from his critical injury.  Taking the time to recover from my own trauma and hardship.

-Next Year is Another Story-

I feel like 2018 had to have been the bottom for me, and there's only up to go from here.  And in 2019 I'm going to keep following my dreams, the first and foremost of those getting a book published.  I'm sorry that my promise to bring my first novel to life in 2018 didn't come true.  But this is certainly not the end.  I might have been delayed, but this is still happening.

I am going to concentrate on finishing Blood Knights and making the tweaks to The Un-Life that I feel it needs. But I'm also going to have other fun, too. I'm having a great time writing articles for DVS Gaming and usually crank out a handful every week. I have a big announcement coming up on another project I'm working on, so stay tuned.  Even if you might not read my novel for a little bit yet, there's still ways to support me and enjoy what I put out there.  Keep an eye on my social media pages, where I post my articles when they go live.

Thank you for being patient with me as I get my life together,

-Dana Lockhart


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