NaNoWriMo 2009 Fifth Check-In: Admitting Defeat

22:37 Sun 06 Dec 2009. Updated: 15:11 07 Dec 2009
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Yeah. Unlike the five previous times I’ve attempted to set a month-ish target for myself, it’s just not working.

I’m not getting anywhere, and the smart thing to do is give up on it, relax, regroup, and next year try again. So that’s what I’m going to do.

My apologies for any expectations I raised with my announced intent to write the first draft. I also apologize for all of the “nothing’s happening” check-in posts.

I think it’s important to learn from failure, and here are some of the reasons why I think it didn’t work this time:

  • Muddled start. Not the start of the novel, but the start of the month. I had a bunch of things going on and wasn’t able to formally mark the occasion of beginning. It seems that I need things like this to start well, and so I needed to make more of an effort to kick it off well.
  • Too many distractions. Not a revelation, this, but I seemed to have too much other stuff happening in November. This wasn’t a question so much of time as of attention and focus. With my previous month-long runs, I’ve been willing to let lots of other things go, and that didn’t work this time. Next time out, I have to be willing to cut more stuff.
  • Mind tricks matter. In the past, I’ve used tricks such as not starting my morning pages or blog post for the day until I’d finished my fiction writing. This time I didn’t do that, partly because I just didn’t anticipate the writing being difficult. It turns out that isn’t the key factor, and that I should use tricks like that to ensure I comply with my own plans, even if that seems unnecessary.

I’m not giving up on the novel, which I will write. I’m just not going to get it done this year.

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