Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Failure

National Novel Writing Month is over. A whole bunch of people wrote 50,000 words, some of them completing the challenge in ten days or less. One blogger commenting on another person's page said he'd written over 100,000 words. (wow!)

I did not win. I did manage over 24,000 words, but I didn't win. I didn't even get quite halfway.

But that doesn't mean I failed. It means I spent over a week finding and obtaining a house for the move to Georgia. It means my students didn't drop off the face of the earth and stop turning in papers. It means my kids still needed help with homework instructions, still had swimming lessons, still went to karate and ballet, still needed help with items with school, still needed to eat. It also means my husband needed a partner to help with the transition.

It means I've been sick for the last two weeks, and will likely go to the doctor tomorrow morning to see if I have now developed a sinus infection (sure feels like it).

But it doesn't mean I've failed. It means I'm now, at the beginning of December, nearly halfway through writing a novel I'd been wanting to start for at least a year. I'm not sure when I'll get the first draft done, or how long it will take to revise it, but I'm farther along with it than I would have been without the NaNoWriMo challenge.

And that means I've won. And I'm proud, and I'm going to end this post and go pat myself on the back. And then I'm going to keep on writing, not until some arbitrary deadline, but until I'm dead. (Then, I guess I'll be out of time. Darn it!)

Now it's your task. Forget what deadlines you haven't met, what tasks still loom on the horizon. What have you DONE this last month? What did you begin? What progress have you made? Let me know, and I'll give you a pat on the back, too!


  1. I managed to take my daughter to all her doctor visits, rework things so I can get her from school and take her to/from work while STILL working full-time, finish all my Christmas shopping for the kids (prior to Thanksgiving) despite the medical-related financial issues this year, support a sister-in-law during the birth of her baby, get and recover from a really bad cold (~2 weeks), find and get sucked into another manga/anime combo and write a sizable chunk on a new novel that I'd never even considered before 11/15.

    And I wasn't even doing NaNoWriMo (again). Since I'm here, I'll pat my own back. :)

    And yours. Moving's a bear. Way to go.

  2. I had a bad month of ongoing depression, and didn't sit down but once to write a short 747 word intro of 2 characters... the rest of the month has been a bust with writing... but I tell you, I like those few words I did write, which is good. Last year I won with about 75K... boggles my mind when I think of it now.

    So my hat's off to you... you are definitely a winner!

  3. I managed to stay alive... and write a little on my WIP.

    And I agree, you are definitely a winner and an inspiration... keep it up.


  4. I don't have a tenth of the mess on my plate that you do Shakes and I missed my self imposed deadline by 8 months. *shrug* It's done now as fine as I could make it and up on my blog now. The next one is due in March hahahahahahahahaah maybe.

    But just so you don't break your wrist patting yourself on the (Pat Pat Pat)

  5. Since I chose to ignore it this year, I think you did win. So there.

  6. Stephanie, you had your own dramas to deal with, and since I'm just finishing up from a bad cold (2 weeks as well), I sympathize. You certainly never needed forced deadlines to be productive, either!

    Barbara, any writing is success--especially if it's quality over quantity. I'm not sure how much of what I wrote on this draft will survive, but I adore kernels of it. I'll just have to see once it's finished, and revised, and revised, and revised...

    Jeff, your steady progression on your own novel has helped keep me going. I hope I can really devote some time to my own writing soon!

    Walking Man, deadlines are not nearly important as doing something well. And thanks for the pat. I don't want to strain myself too much.

    The Mother, this is the first time I DIDN'T choose to ignore NaNo. I wasn't as successful as I would have liked, but I am much further than I would have been not trying. I'll have to make sure not to pass it up next year, either. I think Script Frenzy is in May... perhaps I can write a full-length play then!

  7. As usual, I'm late to the party...

    I firmly believe that every day you write ANYTHING is a day you win. It's not the ability to write an arbitrarily set word count (that only constitutes about half a novel) by an equally arbitrary date.

    You wrote...You won. Period. :D

    Besides, I bet you learned a great deal about how much you can really accomplish at once when you turn your mind to the task through those 24,000+ words. That was how I felt about my word count, anyway - even if it was nearly 18k short of "winning."

    (Oh...and this is YDP Jen...kind of.)