NaNoWriMo Fail – Commiserate Here

I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November DETERMINED to win at last. You win, by the way, by writing 50K words in a month. Hard work but doable and a great exercise for seeing what happens when you put your butt in the chair and write every day to a word count. It’s not for everyone, but hey! Awesome. It runs from November 1 to November 30.

I failed miserably. I think my total word count was just shy of 6,000 words. Why? Oh, I have excuses! Lots of them!

On November 1 I was still finishing up revisions for My Dangerous Please. In fact, on November 2, I wrote 1900 words of revision!

I sent in the revisions on the 3rd I think and started back on The Next Historical which is the project I was going to NanNo. On the 3rd I got a revision letter for the super secret short project and that required my attention, so I did that and added another 2,000 or so words to that and sent those back.

On Nov 5 my son and I went to New York for a week but I did some writing on the Next Historical but more on the My Immortals short because, that absolutely had to be done before My Immortal Assassin comes out. I got that done. I did get some words in on the NaNo project.

Then I came back from NY and I tucked into the NaNo project only my editor sent me some revisions for the short (they didn’t take long, at all, actually, but still….)

I had this vague hope that over the next week plus Thanksgiving I could get close . . . if I really rocked it only I ended up deleting 5,000 words of the Nano project — it HAD TO BE DONE — and rewriting them.

Then came Thanksgiving and there was still this kind of puny hope, but I got sick. Fever sick where you’re in bed shaking because you’re freezing even though the dog and two cats love how hot you are and are snuggled up close.

So yeah. NaNo Fail for me.

Tell me your NaNoWriMo fail story. Heap on the tales of fail. Don’t hold back.

I will send a commenter something cool which I don’t know what it is yet. Maybe a plush Bucky the Deer toy if I can find one.

Comment by midnight Pacific, December, uh, 6th. Void where prohibited. International is fine. Unless there’s some law that it’s not.

Next year, I swear.


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14 Responses to “NaNoWriMo Fail – Commiserate Here”

  1. Jane George says:

    Okay, I’m still up so I’ll spill. (First off, it sounds like you were working. You are a working writer, huzzah! And deleting the 5,000 words sounds anti-NaNo, but it’s the kind of thing I do too.)

    I tried, and made some progress, but I’m recovering from a pub-industry blow, which I won’t recount here, and I’m figuring out what to do next. I’m quite consciously aware of making my work count at this point, and I couldn’t conform to the underlying principles of NaNo. And I’m newly on the board of a ballet foundation and responsible for publicity. This week is Nutcracker. Need I say more?

    But the energy around NaNo is inspiring and I am moving forward. A fab new story idea came to me in a dream Thanksgiving night. I had asked my brain for something new and fun! My subconscious delivered and I am thankful.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carolyn Jewel and Mad, my_lheage. my_lheage said: RT @cjewel: Did you NaNoWriMoFail? Commiserate and/or make excuses at my blog: I'll think of a prize for someone. […]

  3. cjewel says:

    Jane, sorry about your bad news, Bummer. Every pub career is full of them, not that it helps with the blow. But Yay about that new story!

  4. Leigh Willis says:

    I signed up for NaNo thinking that it’d be easy-peasy. But of course, life got in the way and I stopped at around 6,100 words. I had around 13,000 before, but I ended up deleting half of it because the story wasn’t flowing right. Sigh. Maybe next year…

  5. Mary D. says:

    I think you had much more valid “writerly” excuses than I. I got about the same number of words done on my NaNo story before I pretty much walked away in week two. We’ve had family illnesses, we prepared for a trip that we ended up not taking at the last minute, then there was all the emotional fallout from that, the furnace needed fixed, yadda yadda yadda, it just keeps going. On top of it all, I just didn’t have the passion for this story that I had for the one I wrote last year (the first time I ever won!). I think that was a big part of why I didn’t fight harder to stick with it. I’ll stop whining now and get to work on the next thing (or fix whatever my problem is with the current story) at a more realistic pace. 🙂

  6. Sharon M says:

    I failed this year. I got just over 8000 words. My in-laws were going to lose a major number of points with their timeshare in Orlando if someone didn’t use it. My husband had the vacation time so we decided to go. But we needed to fly to get there. I hadn’t realized that the TSA had changed the patdown procedures as of November 1st.

    I had a hip replacement in June so I knew I’d set off the metal detectors. I was expecting the metal-detecting handheld wand and then a patdown around my hip area. That’s not what I got.

    In 9th grade, I was stuck in a room with a 10th grade boy who decided he could take all sorts of liberties with me and my boobs. I’d never felt so helpless before and have tried to never feel that helpless again.

    Standing in front of my husband and four year old son having to let a strange woman feel all over my boobs and ram the edge of her hands up between my legs twice brought all of those feelings of helplessness back. I spent my vacation bursting into tears at all sorts of times.

    I haven’t written any words since November 11th. I’m in a much better place now but I still don’t quite have it in me to work on the light, easygoing story I was working on. I probably need to start working on a very dark book so I can work out some more of my mental frustrations.

  7. Yeah, I failed. Again. But I’m ok with it. I got to about 16k which was just over my personal goal (naturally I would have preferred to hit 50k, but I got higher than last year so I’m happy)

    The first week of NaNo I worked 2 overnight shifts and a 6am shift. None of which I’m used to. So when I wasn’t at work or school, I was sleeping.

    The next 2 weeks I was actually on vacation. It was fabulous! I got so much writing done; I was totally in the zone. But about 2 days before I had to go back to work I started pouting about having to work again.

    I love working in a bookstore, but I so wasn’t in a mood to deal with the holiday crowds. So yeah, unfortunately I really didn’t touch my story after I went back to work. I kept saying I would, but I just kept making excuses. Didn’t help that I had stuff to get done for school too. And I wasn’t really in love with my story anymore.

    I’m still hoping to finish my ’09 NaNo novel because I really kinda like that idea. 🙂 Of course there’s a shiny new idea calling out to me and I’m trying to ignore it until I finish one of my other stories. lol

  8. SonomaLass says:

    Sharon, that’s awful! You have my complete sympathy. I am dreading the new TSA screening when we fly next week. What a horrible thing to have happen on your vacation.

  9. cjewel says:


    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I wish there was something more I could say. It’s just awful.

  10. *raises hand* I missed the 50, 000 word target but it was always pie in the sky for me. I can’t write that fast but it was a great experience and I’ll try again next year. Thanks for opening up your blog for the rest of us who meet the near miss category.

  11. Joely says:

    Sharon, hugs, that’s so awful. I dread flying if/when I need to go to the EDJ home office this next year.

    I didn’t make 50K either, but I did finish 3 projects, all three started prior to Nov. 1st. So Dec. and Jan. will be lots of revisions so I can get these projects submitted. Much better than writing some new project, and then having to finish it into Dec, and be behind in 2011 on these others.

  12. Rebecca says:

    My nanowrimo fail began the second week when I had only 2k words, two sick children and three papers due. I caved, had a cupcake and ceded my goal of finally finishing nanowrimo. I shall go forth and try again next year. My degree will be complete so that should help.

  13. Brenda Knutson says:

    I really wanted to do it this year. I was set to do it last year, was going strong, but then my car was repo’d because I lost my job. And without a car, how can I transport my triplets? Needless to say, I was too upset and frazzled and had to get my car back!

    So this year, I was going strong, but then I just couldn’t think. Something to do with this darn severe concussion from splitting my head open and needing 22 stitches. Hurts like hell, too.

    So, hopefully next year…

    unless you think nano is simply a precursor/harbinger of bad luck? Hmmmmm….

  14. Jocelyn Z. says:

    I failed miserably. I’m trying to work out the ending to book one in a series, and thought I’d just go ahead and write book two. I know what’s supposed to happen in book two. This should be easy. Apparently, my brain just doesn’t work that way. After hours of staring at a screen and not typing, I went back to book one.

    Oh well.