NaNoWriMo Fail…Life Win

 

The sunrise over Salem Harbor

Sunrise over Salem Harbor

This year’s National Novel Writing Month goes down as a fail…in word count, anyway. In fact, I wrote fewer words in November than I have in any month this year.

But I see the month as a personal success. Big time. Here’s why.

In early November I attended the Writer Unboxed Unconference. I learned from the greats: Don Maass, Lisa Cron, Kathryn Craft, and Anne Greenwood Brown (to name a few). See my post at Writer Unboxed about one tiny part of what I learned. I made progress on my WIP in ways I’m still unraveling. I met writer friends I’d to date met only online or talked to on the phone: most notably Therese Walsh, my fearless and amazing editor at WU; Kim Bullock, my wonderful fellow assistant editor; Kathryn Craft and Vaughn Roycroft and John Kelley and Mike Swift and Jo Eberhardt and Rebeca Schiller and Chris Blake and Heather Webb and Keith Cronin and Tonia Marie Harris and Jeannine Thibodeau and Bernadette Phipps-Lincke…so many…writers on WU I’ve known for years. But what surprised me most was the friends I made that I’d never met online. Wonderful and loving writers all, now amazing friends for life. I could go on and on because “the UnCon” was truly a life-changing event for me, at least in part because as an introvert, I was afraid to go (almost didn’t)…but I challenged my fear…and I did it.

Later in the month, I went to Virginia to see my son and his wonderful girlfriend. While in Charlottesville, my son and I went to Monticello, where we had an amazing tour with one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had anywhere, which of course inspired more story ideas; we read and wrote a lot together (they are both studying for big exams); and we ate a lot of good food. It was a marvelous trip. And…to make the trip, I challenged my fear of flying…I was only slightly terrified, but I did it.

Finally, November is a win because I am reinvigorated in my story. I am looking at it in new ways and realizing how close I am to the (very rough draft) end. I’m hitting December with a positive attitude about writing and life—and that’s bound to translate into a winning December and coming year in word count and in happiness.

How can I ask for any better result from a NaNoWriMo fail?

How was your month? How are you feeling about your writing (and life) as you head into December and the new year? 

Comments

  1. Way to go, Julia! You definitely won November. Sounds wonderful.

    • Thank you, Karen! and I’m so sorry for the delayed reply — apparently WordPress no longer notifies me about comments and here I was feeling like no one could relate!! Hope your writing is going well. Happy New Year!

  2. Yaaaaaaay YOU! Clearly it’s been an epic month.

  3. Hi Julia,
    Yes, your month sounds to me like a big success. The whole NaNo thing makes little sense to me. I see people posting self-congratulatory comments on having steeple-chased their way through a rough draft–one guy patted himself on the back for having written five books in a year. Oh? Are any of them readable? Are any of them even re-writable? To my way of thinking, the only “quota” that matters is the quality quota, and on that score, quantitative measures don’t apply.

    • Thank you, Barry!! I know what you mean about the quality some drafts could be, but actually I’ve written a couple of drafts this way that arguably are good (they aren’t published, so hmmm… but I’ve gotten good feedback). BTW, I’m so sorry for the delayed reply — apparently WordPress no longer notifies me about comments and here I was feeling like no one could relate!! Hope your writing is going well. Happy New Year!

  4. Jessica Vealitzek says:

    Yay for failures! One person’s failure is another person’s success, or something like that.

  5. Leah Singer says:

    Great job, Julia! Sometimes a “fail” turns out to be a win, as it has for you. I did not meet my goal with NaNoWriMo. But I’m a little further than I was in October. So there’s that!

    • Being further in the ms is really all it’s about, right? However we can get there. I didn’t know you were doing NaNo! Next year we’ll have to connect on their site. (I’m so sorry for the delayed reply — apparently WordPress no longer notifies me about comments; now I need to fix that…). Happy New Year!

  6. Nina says:

    I love the positivity and optimism is this post. I’m so thrilled you had a great experience at the Un-Con. Kristin and Colleen gave us a great report in class last week.

    • Thank you, Nina!! UnCon was fabulous and it was so great to meet Kristin and Colleen. Wish you’d been there, too. (I’m so sorry for the delayed reply — apparently WordPress no longer notifies me about comments, something else to investigate in my abundant spare time!)

  7. Jamie Miles says:

    The UnCon sounds wonderful. So glad you had a great time. I’ve been to a handful writing and blogging conferences and always come away and inspired. But by far my favorite part is the friendships that develop. I’m still slugging along with my first draft. Didn’t make my NaNoWriMo goal of finishing by November’s end but I’m closing in and hope to be done by year’s end. Sounds like you are well on your way to finishing your draft. Yay for us

    • Yes, the friendships are the best — I had no idea!! Here’s hoping you finished by year’s end. I am so excited for you!! Can’t wait to hear! (I’m so sorry for the delayed reply — apparently WordPress no longer notifies me about comments and here I was feeling like no one could relate!!) Thanks, Jamie!!

  8. Pamela Hunt Cloyd says:

    It sounds like a wonderful month! To even be close to the end of a rough draft is epic!!

    • Hi Pamela, It truly was a great month for writing. I so appreciate your encouragement and support! And so sorry I didn’t reply sooner, apparently WordPress no longer notifies me when I get comments!

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