2010 NaNoWriMo Reflection

I didn’t finish.  I didn’t “win” this year.  Not by a long shot.  I got to about 12,000 words and that was as good as I could do.

I can think of a number of reasons that I failed this year.  I had an idea for a story that was already derivative – it was an adaptation of someone else’s setting.  Not really fanfic, but derivative enough that I couldn’t send it off to publishers in the form it was taking.

It’s also possible that I’m simply not a novelist, not a long-form storyteller.  I don’t doubt that I’m a storyteller, I just seem to have trouble with novel-length stories.  When I won a few years ago, it was with a story that I thought was pretty cool.  I put this huge amount of November work into it, but then when NaNo was done, I dropped it entirely.  I didn’t have the motivation to go back and edit the story.

Is that I’m not a novel writer, or is it that I haven’t found the right novel to write?  I don’t have any question about whether I am a writer – I write lots of things, not just this blog, and I do a pretty good job of it.  I just wonder whether novels are my thing; will ever be my thing.  I love reading them – there’s that at least.

Next year, I’ll try it again.  We’ll see.  Might just be a matter of a lot of attempts.

Big, big congratulations to everyone who won this year.  See you all next year when I start again with page 1, word 1.

4 thoughts on “2010 NaNoWriMo Reflection

  1. My condolences. I think that's a fine reason to crash out of NaNo, and really, if you had momentum before, and were enjoying the story, there's no reason not to continue into December. At it's root, NaNo is just a way people reward themselves. Good luck with the story, and again, I'm sorry for your loss.

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  2. I have lots of ideas for novels, but I've never even gotten as close as you did in winning Nano once. I haven't even seriously attempted. I believe succeeding at a novel is complex alchemy. It is huge amounts of determination and discipline obviously, but also a certain combination of factors like timing, idea, obsession, life circumstances etc… We are young and may yet become novelists before our day is done. Certainly all the writing we're doing can't hurt toward that eventual possibility.

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  3. We're definitely exercising similar muscles in the writing department, though I know that if I want to become a really good novelist, I'll have to focus specifically on working out the skills of a novelist, which are distinct. Kind of like going from being a decent athlete to an excellent wrestler – you have to do a lot of specific training.

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