Failing NaNoWriMo

Last year, I failed at NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) is a non-profit that’s dedicated to helping people tell their stories. The idea is that if you log 1500 words a day from November 1 – 30, by the end you’ll have an entire novel.

Last year was my first year in a full-time college program with a heavy workload. As a self professed slacker, I had to very quickly rewire my brain in order to succeed. By November last year, I was motivated, encouraged, and ready to freakin’ write a novel already. It felt easy to add on 1500 words to my already hectic writing/studying life.

I used the last few days in October, when I decided I was going to finally take part in NaNoWriMo, to prep and come up with a story idea and and outline. I knew I’d need all the extra help I could get if I was going to stick it through to 50,000 words.

Despite all my planning, I failed.

I had to put my project aside to fully focus on school work and deal with my emotional state after a failed relationship.

It wasn’t a total loss though. Because while I tapped out at about 17,000 words, they stayed in my mind for the remainder of the school year. Then spring came and the winter started to thaw. My creativity started warming up again.

That novel I started last year, on November 1 2017? Well, it has a February 2019 release date.

I’m in the final year of that heavy-workload, slacker-killing college program. And I’m still going to prep, plan and participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. Because even failures can turn into successes, given some time.

I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo a little differently in 2018. NaNoWriMo is great if you follow it the way its intended – but don’t forget, this should work for you and your goals. This year, I plan on writing a collection of short stories. It’ll be a nice palate cleanser after a work of longer fiction.

Watch out for my next post describing my prep, my outline, and my concept for success for NaNoWriMo 2018.


Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? Send me a link to your author profile on so I can follow along with you! 

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