On Winning NaNoWriMo 2011, & Why I’ve Been Too Afraid To Blog

As you may notice if you scroll down, there was a huge, inexplicable gap in blog entries beginning around the time I announced that I would, in fact, be partaking in NaNoWriMo this year. A lot of it had to do with planning the novel in question. I had hoped to document my pre-novel process, but between work and the actual act of pre-novelling, those blog posts never came into fruition.

A lot of it had to do with fear.

I was very excited to do NaNoWriMo. I love it. The pressure, the deadline, the little graph … and I’m competitive. I like hitting my goals, and exceeding them when I can. I’m not saying any of my best writing comes out of NaNo — I definitely become a very, very sloppy writer — but first drafts are supposed to be awful, right?

That said, my last couple of experiences with NaNoWriMo have been incredibly unlucky. Stressful real life things came up. And it definitely happened again this November — changes at work, a drop in hours, a disaster in my town, a best friend’s mother passing away unexpectedly … It hasn’t been a good month.

But I pushed through, goddammit. I made it. And I would have loved to have documented the entire process, particularly my process for novel-planning, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. You know when you have something really exciting that might just happen, but you know if you say something you’ll jinx yourself? That was me. Terrified if I posted a blog entry I would have a piano drop on my head, or my cat would chew my computer wire, or something equally horrific would happen.

So, what did I learn this month? I’m pretty amazing when I really push myself, and sometimes just because I don’t think I want to write doesn’t mean I shouldn’t.

Of course, I hit 51,000 words, but that doesn’t mean the novel is finished. I have a long way to go, and suddenly I have a whole new fear: that I won’t finish this novel, because I no longer have that NaNoWriMo daily goal hanging over my head …

Guess we’ll see.

4 thoughts on “On Winning NaNoWriMo 2011, & Why I’ve Been Too Afraid To Blog

  • magentoole

    Congratulations, and I hope you can still push through til the end.

  • @leysaulnier

    Thank you, Magen.

  • Catherine

    Hey, congratulations. 🙂 You did far better than me – I only got to 30k.

    • Ley

      Aw~ I've had NaNos like that. I only made it to 10k in 2010.

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