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National Novel Writing Month Day 22: Are We Total Failures As Writers?

I’m behind.  I’m WAY behind.  Of the 50,000 words I’m supposed to write I’m only 1/5 of the way there and I have about a week and some change left.  I say I’m going to push myself to catch up but even when I say that I know that my chances of hitting the target word count are slim.

But I’m still going.



I’ve never been one to always hit my target with NaNo.  This is my 3rd year at it and I know that this is the best I’ve ever done.  I’m already doing way better than I was last year, and I’m way more interested in my story and character, probably because I’ve fleshed the main character out more.

But then there’s the big question: Why keep going when you know you won’t hit the target?

Because I like my story.  Because I like the exercise of writing; writing every single day, adding to a greater whole of a project.  I enjoy working on a project, even if it’s a project that may never see the light of day beyond my laptop screen.

Is the point of NaNoWriMo to get a project to a publisher?  DEAR GOD NO! Not that you can’t.  Many take their novels onward into that good night, hack away at their first drafts and polish and clean and cleanse and murder their darlings and eventually something good comes out and that new creature is taking out into the light of day and either self published, digitally published, or shopped around.  Granted, some take their drafts right to a publisher in early December but let’s not discuss those cases, it will only lead to headaches.

I’m hardly at any reveals in my story.  Plot wise I’m really dragging my heals and I’m not fully sure why, but that in itself is a lesson that NaNo is helping me reach.  Working on the story, writing every single day, it revealing my tendencies to me.  It’s opening up and exposing every little quirk and flaw that keeps me from fully hashing out a story.

I’m still going to push to the end of the month, and I may even keep going, or perhaps switch to a new project/story/outline for December.  What I’m not going to do is give up.  It’s way to early for that.

Word Count: 10,082

Jax is a digital video and documentary producer living in the heartland. You can follow her highjinks @Jtoddles

Photo: January 9, 2011 in From Choke to Flow: Breaking Down Your Creative Blocks

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