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.