Why I Failed NaNoWriMo

Vultures in a Dead tree
Photo by Casey Allen on Unsplash

Since 2007, I have participated in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. When I fail, and I did fail, it is usually due to one major problem. Editing.

Why I Failed NaNoWriMo

Vulture in profile
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
This is Why I Failed NaNoWriMo in 2019

During NaNo a writer is supposed to lock up or board her Shoulder Vulture so she can write with wild abandon. Once the vulture escapes she stops cold and questions things like where the story is going, is this going to go on and on without anything happening, how deadly dull for my reader if my main character never stops thinking and this year, who is telling the story?

Just stopping for a moment to consider who is narrating set up the failure. I began to obsess over whose story it was and how far should I keep the reader from the character? It was a very small step toward going back to fix something or at least mark some passages as belonging to someone. The kennel door was open just enough to let a vulture out.

Soon, it was sitting on my shoulder and talking me into second guessing every choice. “Bring what’s her name out of that other project and see how well she handles this.” The vulture got me.

From that point onward she brought a few of her friends, all editors, all testers, all of them heaping doubt upon my keyboard.

I lost the feeling of writing with wild abandonment. Continuing to write toward the 50,000 word goal would have been more like a huge history assignment than story telling.

This is not the first time since 2007 I have failed NaNoWriMo. The cool thing is that the challenge begins fresh every November. I will try again.

I have participated in 12 NaNo projects and completed 10 of them. Two of the projects have been published.

This was the story of Why I Failed NaNoWriMo in 2019. There will be a 2020..

Be well everyone. Embrace your failures and celebrate your victories. Don’t touch anything sharp!

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.