How I failed NaNoWriMo


There are no excuses.

There are no excuses at all.

But I failed regardless.

I knew going into NaNoWriMo this year that my efforts in writing a novel would be fruitless. I assumed I’d make some good headway, but definitely no where near the end of the story. Sadly, I ended this month with the same amount of words I had when I started. 5000 words.

While I tried to convince myself that this is fine, I can’t still help but to feel a sense of failure. Failure in not pursuing my dreams. Failure to allow myself to be happy with the progress I made. Failure to give myself time to actually write. Failure to let my job be the main rotating point in my life at all times.

Maybe my life is much busier than I assumed it was, but I couldn’t for the life of me sit down and finish the rest of it. I’m honestly having difficulty with writing this post.

If I could grasp at any ideas of what may have happened, I think that I ended up at a roadblock and couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. The ultimate plot line of the book was supposed to be a romantic one, but I slowly found myself tying in commentary on diversity. While I do want my book to be diverse (me being a diverse human), I wanted it to be more about the decisions we make when we’re young and how ultimately those decisions shape our lives.

When I saw my fingers fly across the screen and the story starting to change, something in me took a step back. I couldn’t write this. This wasn’t my story. This is going in a different direction and I wasn’t prepared.

And somehow that road block put me on a writer’s block because I didn’t know how to escape it. I told myself that I would just follow the story, continue moving and flowing and dealing with the repercussions later, but maybe my tired ass old person brain just said no.

I know it’ll take me a few days to recover from not being able to complete the task, but something that I won’t forget and will not let myself forget is that there’s a story waiting to be told. It may take me a little bit longer than 30 days to write it, but I know it’ll happen and I’ll know that all my fruits won’t be for any less.


NaNoWriMo 2016 Update – Push


I’m at 8,196 words right now. According to my NaNoWriMo tracker, I should be finished with my book by February. But even going against that number, I don’t feel in any way good about the progress that I’ve been making. And truly, it’s my own fault. I’ve stopped writing.

I’ve got no excuses. My day job is kind of taking over anything else I want to do. I come home exhausted. My journaling is just me whining about how unhappy I’m currently.

The biggest struggle is that I thought I had this story down. I thought I knew exactly what I was going to write about and then I started writing and the story somehow seemed to evolve on me. Suddenly, the path is shifting and I need to make the decision and quickly to take the new path set out for me. This isn’t easy.


However, I see a point to the writing that I’m doing. My story isn’t controversial, but it plays on some diversity themes. I’m not trying to be political, but in a world where the next four years of American history are about to be written, I feel that I have something to say and I can say it through writing. Even if I only reach one person, I can feel good about it.

I’ve emphasized time and time again how important it is to read and learn and educate yourself about people in the world. Not to play the bad guy here, but we all live in a bubble. We only know what we know and we should want to know more. I’m not going to say that we all need to go out and see what’s happening in Africa, but we need to open our minds to books and reading. We need to take a book we’ve read and find meaning within it. How did the book affect you? What are the themes that really made you think?

It’s funny that I ask myself these questions now almost 13 years out of high school. It’s like the lessons I learned when I was a kid were designed to make me think a little bit deeper about the stories that I was reading. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I’ve got to let my story take me where it wants to go. I have to push myself to continue writing because I believe my story says something. It says something to me.

NaNoWriMO 2016 Update – Decisions, decisions


Challenges are always tough for me. It has something to do with my need to reach the end. Even in school while a deadline loomed over me, I struggled and stressed out by the fact that this paper needed to be X number of words or Y number of pages. Why couldn’t I say what I wanted to say without forcing myself to bullshit the rest?

I’ve come across NaNoWriMo challenges in the past and met them but not without a lot of strife and turmoil. Having a full time job and wanting to pursue a career as a writer are two halves to two very different puzzles.

During the eight hours I’m at work, I’m all business jargon and data crunching. But then I get home and I have to switch that off entirely so the creative side can come out. The imagination can finally play, but sometimes it feels tough when it stays dormant all day long. It’s like going to workout with cold muscles, it takes a while for your brain to wake up.

So I’ve decided to do something a little radical, yet true to the very nature of NaNoWriMo:

I’m going to pace myself.

Yup, that’s right. I’m going to take my slow ass time writing this book. Why? Because the reality of the world outside of NaNoWriMo is that books take more than 30 days to write. I want to spend my 30 days and even more writing this book, taking my time to develop these characters, research parts, and edit edit edit.

This isn’t an attempt to try and finagle my way out of writing this book. No, I just have a lot on my plate right now. Back when I was a kid, the only things I did all day was write Support emails and then come home. Now, I have to pay bills and buy groceries and go to the gym and basically be an adult.

I can’t do that with a challenge facing me…in the face. I need no boundaries. I only need the motivation to write this novel because it’s something that I want to write and hope people will appreciate.

There are no guarantees that this book will amount to anything aside from space on my hard drive, but I know I’ve got the motivation to write it and I know that it’ll be great even if the only person reading it is my therapist.

How are you getting along with your NaNoWriMo challenges?


NaNoWriMo 2016 – Introduction


Happy November, everyone! I’m super excited about this one because I’ll be participating in National Novel Writing Month also known as NaNoWriMo. The month where you challenge yourself to write 50,000 words to your novel.

I’m going to be writing my third book throughout NaNoWriMo. Yes, this would be my third time participating in the marathon writing month, but my first time talking about the book I’m writing and also tracking my progress through elaborate blog updates.

I’m not just a fan of reading, but I also aspire to be a writer. I’ve done some freelance jobs here and there with nothing more than exposure available to me. It’s good exposure, but what I think will make me feel accomplished in life would be to have one of my fiction stories be enjoyed.

There’s a lot of components that led me to this point and making this decision. I think the first and foremost is knowing that I may never be published. Ever.

This isn’t me being defeatist. This isn’t me throwing in the towel on The Dream™, but knowing full well that writing a novel is not some “get-rich-quick” scheme. There are so many authors that write amazing and beautiful stories that definitely shine above others, but their ultimate goal is to make people happy and to write as their full time job. I would love that to be me one day.

What you need to remember is that writing is for the sake of writing. You have something to say or need to express or there’s a story you need to tell. That’s a reason to write. If you get lucky, then that’s great, but don’t expect offers on your table the moment you hit “Submit.”

I think that’s the big hurdle I needed to jump before making the decision to write. If you don’t, you find yourself pressured to writing The Great American Novel.

I’ll be making periodic updates throughout the month with my progress and my thoughts. I’m so excited to share with you this process and hope you’ll want to share with me.

Happy NaNoWriMo!