Monday, November 20, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 Ain't Happening

This was my 13th attempt at NaNoWriMo. It is now my 3rd instance of not finishing (see 2009 and 2013). I have mixed feelings about this, as usual. I'm obviously disappointed. This is something I look forward to and boast about and enjoy. Mostly I'm relieved. What are this year's excuses?
  1. I became a grandfather. We spent a week focused on family. As my wife keeps reminding me, I have the best excuse ever.
  2. Statistics don't lie. In previous years, I've hit flat spots in production and had to pull out all the stops (including some 6K and 8K word days) to succeed. But this year, I had a full week of no output. And when I did get back into it, production it was not matching what I needed to push the curve to the top. I was only achieving a normal pace.
  3. Basically, I had 30% of my words and was 60% into the month. That looks like I was halfway there. But look again. I needed to produce 70% of my words in only 40% of the month, with more holidays and family time in the mix. I can write pretty quickly. But I've never been one of the NaNoWriMo overachievers that cranks out 50,000 words (or even 25,000 words in a single week).
  4. The words were not flowing. Even though I was writing in a world I thoroughly enjoy and thought I had a good story concept, that's all it was, a concept. And even that had kept shifting as I did my planning in the previous weeks. I had the protagonist. But no antagonist. I didn't have enough of a specific situation. I tried to write my way into it, like I usually do. But things were not really clicking. And my analytical brain kept me from just doing a worthless word dump (believe me, I tried). Hence, not enough words per day.
  5. Besides the grandfather thing, other life and commitments were piling up and I was getting too stressed out to completely enjoy my writing time. 
On the good side:
  1. I still love the world I was writing in. I will finish this story. This year's NaNo project is the third book in what I think is a trilogy. I do know what basically has to happen. I just need to break down the story better before I write.
  2. My attempt to write my way in revealed holes in my world-building for the entire series that need to get repaired. I will continue to work through that during the rest of the year and then get back into writing production (I promise) after the first of the year.
  3. 10 out of 13 ain't bad, ya know. I read that only 30% of those that attempt NaNoWriMo actually 'win'. I've beaten those odds. And I will again.
So, pass the remote and bring on the turkey. I have some shows to get caught up and some holidays to enjoy. I should get back to the gym, too.