National I Suck At Writing A Novel And Admit Defeat Month

I’ve decided to drop out of NaNo 😦 Before everyone starts yelling at me, let me explain why. I have a couple of reasons actually. First and foremost, it’s a really bad time for me. The first time I did NaNo, I was barely working. I had a state job that allowed me to goof off on the computer quite a bit during the day, so when I had the free time, I could crank out a few words. And it was less stressful to be honest. Now, it’s just not possible. I’m working 50 hours per week and by the time I get home, I’m just not in the mood at all to write. I’m fine writing on the weekend, but that’s all I have time to do and I can’t make it a whole month like that.

Secondly, I really like the story that I’ve started and I think I want to give it more time than a month. I wasn’t expecting to like it this much actually! I know myself and if I pump this story out in a month, it’ll need too much editing and I’ll get overwhelmed and never go back to it. Instead, I’ve decided to continue writing it, but I’m going to take my time with it and focus on making the first draft the best it can be. I will still be writing in November and will probably still update my NaNo page, but don’t expect 50,000 words out of me. It’s just not realistic at this time.

Finally, I got another headache today when I had planned on writing and it took all the possiblities of writing away. I did go three days without a headache though and that’s fantastic!! But the reality is, I can expect more days with headaches this month and those days will be more days that no writing will get done, so I probably couldn’t make it to 50,000 if I tried.

It’s just a stressful time right now and I apologize if I’m letting anyone down 😦 I will be cheering everyone on still though and I promise to continue working on this story still because I really love it! The good news is, I will have more time to read and blog this month which I was missing already. So I’ll be seeing everyone soon!!

19 Responses

  1. i’m glad you’re sticking to your story. you seemed so happy in your short little tweets about it and how it was progressing.

    do whatever works for you πŸ™‚

  2. Sheesh Chris. How could you possibly think you are letting anyone down? First of all, the only person you could possibly let down would be yourself. And since you are continuing to write your story and seem happy with it, then all is good!! I think you made a great decision. Sorry the headaches have been bad lately. My shoulder has been giving me fits the last week. In fact, I seem to be taking a lot more pain meds this week than I have the last 3 or so. Not really good.

    Maybe now, I’ll see you blog hopping a little more!

  3. *hugs* We’d never yell at you, Chris!! Your reasons are perfectly sensible. I’m really sorry to hear about your headache, btw 😦 But I’m happy that you’ll continue to work on your story!

  4. Don’t feel bad! You’re still writing and that’s what really counts. I hope the headaches plague you less. =/

  5. Chris, sweetie, I think the only one who might be yelling at you for this is you. And you don’t sound like you’re yelling awfully hard. ^-~

    Don’t feel bad! Look at all the positive things you’ve mentioned in the same breath.
    – You know why NaNo this year isn’t working (Yes, I think that’s positive.)
    – You’re happy with the story you’re writing
    – You believe in the story you’re writing
    – You want to continue writing the story at a pace and schedule that suits you and allows you to write the best story you can the first time around.

    Call me crazy, but for me that’s kind of the whole point to NaNoWriMo: getting a story you’re happy with and writing as much as you can devote to it for a month. Happening to get to 50K is just icing on the cake.

    If it helps any, I signed up to NaNo knowing/expecting I won’t make it to the 50K. It’s all about getting into something new and getting into a writing groove again, not word count. Last year, I and two of my friends ‘joined’ NaNo with the following mindset: “50K is not realistic for my situation right now. I think this number is, so if I make that number, I will have won NaNo.”
    And it worked and we all felt better/happier for it.

    Don’t feel bad because you’re being realistic and believe in this story too much to want to write it in a way you know will land you unwilling to do anything with it after you pen that final word and throw all that work on something you believe in and enjoy away. If you’re going to feel anything, feel proud in knowing you’re doing the right thing for you, your story and your situation. Feel proud for knowing why it’s the right thing. Not everyone always does, after all.

  6. You’ve no idea how extremely happy I was when I got to paragraph two!!!! Of course, I had no intention of ever yelling at you in the first place. I think it sounds like quite the sensible decision…I mean NaNo is supposed to be fun, after all. But what made me happy was to hear you weren’t giving up on the story!!! Because Chris, you know how I feel about it…I think it’s soooooo wonderful!!! (And yes, selfishly, I hoping to get to read more. :D) Enjoy a slower writing process, and stop stressing out about it, okay?

    Annie’s not having a great year this time either. She just has so much schoolwork finishing up the first quarter here…a 10+ page term paper, 3 more books to read/book reviews to finish (one for sci, one for history, one for health), 3 fairly big tests, a big essay for her college course, and her final sewing project…all due by mid-week next week. Thus, she’s got little writing done so far. And on top of it, she was nearly in tears last night because she was so frustrated with the story she’d started. She just wasn’t liking it at all. So she decided to start over, and go back to the sci-fi story she was originally kicking around in her head. Things should slow down a lot for her by next weekend, so hopefully she’ll be able to work up a full head of steam then. But the last thing I want is for her to go overly stressing herself out over NaNo…that’s not good for any of you!!!

  7. I wouldn’t call that defeat, I’d call that a change of plans! Don’t let it stress you out, you’re doing great πŸ™‚

  8. You’re being WAY too hard on yourself. The key here? You’re still writing. And you’re writing something you enjoy! That’s all that really matters. I hope you feel better. πŸ™‚

  9. Ironically, I was thinking about you last night, thinking I needed to send you an email this morning. I could just feel that you felt this way, and knew I needed to tell you: It’s okay to not make that 50k mark. I know you’re not giving up completely. Even if you only produce 10k words this month, you’ve written way more than you would have had you not set out to participate, right? Some books just ought to be written with more care. The books that I’ve written and thought were any good were first drafted over the course of 10-12 months. I specifically chose a plot for this November that I didn’t care about very much, that had been sitting around in my head a long time and that I would never have worked on except for this. I think that’s what makes it easier for me. But with a plot you really love and care about, working through it slowly is a fine idea. Don’t give up on it, Chris. It sounds amazing, and I want you to remember that if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing NaNo at all this year. Seriously. I had a lot of people joining it, but it was you that got me excited about it, you that got me thinking maybe I could try in the first place, you that got me to hit that signup button. It’s your “fault” that I’ve now written more words in 5 days than I’ve ever written in a month before. It’s your “fault” that a book that would have remained a dead-end partial idea has bloomed into something whole. You have been a great influence, and I will keep continuing to cheer you on whether you hit 50k or 5k words. πŸ™‚

  10. Agree with Lu — that doesn’t sound like defeat to me, so much as recognizing something great: that you really love the story you’re working on and you want to give it a proper chance. AND you’ve managed to recognize before it’s too late that trying to cram 50 000 words into 30 days is not the proper chance your novel needs. I’ll keep cheering you on for that!

  11. Don’t worry, quitter, we still think you’re cool! πŸ˜‰

  12. Behave yourself, Chris! No need to apologise, you are not letting anyone down! If you’d continued to push yourself and made yourself ill then we might have had a grumble at you!

    I’ve quit 5 times out of six, so I know what I’m talking about!

    Much better that you realise that it’s not going to happen, slow down and you don’t kill the story you obviously like.

  13. I’m sorry to hear that you have had a tough time…and that you are working so much. I hope that you finish your story because its great when you like what you are working on as a writer.

    I am cheering you on still even if you have quit NaNo.

  14. Chris – you shouldn’t have to apologize for this. You definitely need to take care of yourself, and if you’re not going to have time to do something that you want to do, then you shouldn’t have to stress over it.:( Hope the headache stops plaguing you soon. πŸ™‚

  15. Hey, no worries, no pressure! As a chronic headache sufferer, I feel your pain.

  16. You’re not a quitter, you just came up with a more realistic plan!

  17. Oh, heck, no. Nobody’s going to think any less of you for being realistic about your goals and the time constraints you have, now, due to your work life. I’ve considered quitting for similar reasons. I like my story (except I don’t like my “voice” but we won’t go there) and it’s occurred to me that I’d rather take my time with it. I’m not quitting, at this point, but your reasons make perfect sense. Just don’t stop writing completely, okay?

    Headache-wise . . . I just got refills of a few things, so I’m set to numb myself into oblivion on headache days. I don’t see how you hold down a job with migraines. That’s one of the reasons I chose to stay home with my kids and now that my youngest will be leaving for college, next year, I’m already feeling a twinge of guilt for not having a plan to rush out and get a job or go back to school. We do like to beat up on ourselves, don’t we?

  18. First off.. Nano has more than just the objective of writing a whole book in a month..and I do believe one of it’s other objectives is to get your creative juices going so that you will maybe write something seriously,,, which it sounds like you are doing. (it took me 3 yrs to write my kesterwood trilogy!!) the hook for me, and I believe for you now is: we love our characters. With that said you will want to visit them often ! So enjoy you little ghostie and write he a wonderful story..slowly.

    I am very upset hearing that you are having these headaches day after day. Has this happened before like this?? I am afraid for you and I’ll tell you why.. I know (knew) someone with migraines all the time.. I mean this person either had them bad or a touch better but still there everyday for years, no let up.. by the time I met him he was hooked on so many drugs for the pain that no one would hire him for a job anymore…i DO KNOW that with constant pain one will do ANYTHING to make it go away.. I am one of those people too.. just be oh so careful with any drugs.. find out if they are addictive and what alternative non addictive drugs there are and alternate them so you don’t get hung up on them.. You may not be taking much now.. but it could come to be with as many days in a row you have migraines… damn I wish there was something doctors could do!!

  19. Hey Chris, after you encouraging me last year that i might be good at this, I made up my mind to do it. So what happens? 7 days in I realize I missed the start! If I said this year has been hell, does that excuse me? Pretty please? So of course I’m not mad at you, not at all. Mostly I want to give you a hug and hope the headaches go away for you, so you can enjoy your life, and read and write as much as you want to. I think it’s fabulous that you like your new story, and go for it!!! Keep writing, that’s what all my books say, just write. And if you want, I’ll read it over when you’re ready to let someone see it. πŸ™‚ I think it’s so cool that you are writing a story! Makes me understand that I’ve been feeling the same way for a while now, and I have a short story idea waiting patiently for me to get to it…….take care of yourself first, Chris.

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