A healthy dose of NaNo failure

So, friends, I didn’t make it this year. Compiling 50,000 words into some semblance of a novel for National Novel Writing Month just really exceeded my abilities — especially since I spent most of the month making scarves; gallavanting about with friends; stuffing hams (yes — hams); eating way too much with family; tackling work projects; taking photos; and, you know, visiting California.

By the time I got used to being back on the East Coast and realized I still had my life to tend to here — difficulties, chaos, excitement and all — I’d gotten hopelessly behind on my word count . . . and it was just too scary to try and catch up. I got to the point that I didn’t even want to log into my NaNoWriMo account because I knew how far behind I was — and seeing my miniscule number was disappointing!

But those are all just excuses. What it really comes down to is this: I didn’t make finishing my novel a priority this year. I’m not happy or proud of it, but that’s what happened. Once again, I let daily dramas keep me from doing what it is I love most: writing. Since I had such an easy go of it the past two NaNos, I definitely felt overconfident going into this year’s session! But it was different this November, especially considering I was trying to write a young adult novel (a first for me) and had so many other crazy things going on. In the past, my life has been . . . on an even keel, shall we say. But 2009 was full of all sorts of changes! And I’m sure 2010 will bring lots of great things, too.

I’m not giving up on the book I started last month, but I do feel like there’s still a story in me that I’m just not telling. Somehow I’m not getting to the core of the issue, not really writing from the heart . . . not telling my own story, I guess. I’m actually going to return to a book I started over the summer! I got 50 pages in, decided I wasn’t sure “where it all was going” (do we ever know where it’s going, really?), hit “save” and promptly buried it on my flash drive. But I’ve been thinking more and more about those characters . . . and I’m ready to rejoin them. Out in Los Angeles, as the case may be! (And I didn’t even know I’d be in L.A. myself a few months later. Life is funny!)

Congratulations to all of the NaNoWriMo victors out there — you guys are awesome! Grab your winner badges and proudly display them for all of the literature-loving world to see. And I hope to be back among you next year!