I didn’t win Nanowrimo

I hate that I have to write this post. This is something that hasn’t happened to me in years. I mean, honestly years. 

I did not win Nanowrimo, 2022. And that really sucks. 

On paper, it looked like I did everything right. I had a plan in place for my novel. I had an outline. I had a plan. I had the will. I was ready. 

But somewhere around the middle of the month, things just started to fall apart. I had a few days when I couldn’t hit my word count, and it just snowballed from there. For about a week, I did my damndest to get back on track. And I did get back on track, only to fall right back off track again.

Finally, with over a week left, I decided to give up for the year. I just didn’t see myself getting caught up, I was too far behind. 

I can’t say there was any one reason I didn’t make it to 50,000 words this year. Certainly, I’ve had busier years and still achieved the goal. I even went on a Thanksgiving vacation one year and still hit 50,000 words. 

It wasn’t because I didn’t like the story. I actually think this might be the best book I’ve ever written. I say that about every new book. 

It wasn’t because the story was particularly difficult. Last year I wrote a season of AA, and it is a hell of a lot harder to hit a word count when you’re writing scripts than when you’re writing a novel, let me tell you. 

I’m honestly a little worried that I’m slowing down. I’m in my late 30’s now. I just don’t have the same energy as I did even a few years ago. Or maybe I need to just learn how to ration my energy better. 

One way or another, I just refuse to be brought down by this. There are upsides to this, even if they’re hard to see. For one, this is a wake-up call for how I’m treating myself. I need to take better care of myself so that I have the energy to do things like this. I’m not that old, I shouldn’t be slowing down that much yet. Bernie Sanders is still running just fine, and he’s got decades on me. He could have written 50,000 words without breaking a sweat. 

(I think that’s going to be my new mantra, what would Bernie Sanders do.) 

This is part of why my word for 2023 is self. I need to take better care of myself.

I’m also glad I tried Nanowrimo, even though I failed because I still got a decent chunk of writing done. I still wrote at times I wouldn’t have. I still wrote more than I would have if I hadn’t done Nano, is what I’m saying. And that’s not a bad thing.

Of course, the biggest reward of failure is always the lessons we learn. If we’re humble and optimistic enough to take the lesson along with the loss, that is. Next year I’ll do better, and here’s how. 

– I let myself get away with too many days in a row of just barely making my word count. Especially at the beginning when excitement was high and fatigue was low. In years past I’ve written extra, knowing that sometime in the middle of the month I’d hit a wall.

-I didn’t plan any writing only days. Every day I had errands to run, a day job to go to, or a million other things to take up my time. I’d forgotten how much I relied on those days when I do nothing but work on the work in progress. 

So that’s it. I didn’t win Nanowrimo, but I will next year. Now, I want to hear from you. Did you attempt Nano this year? Did you win or lose? Let us know in the comments. 

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