To the Rest of Us NaNoWriMo Failures

NaNoWriMo FAILUREI’m a failure. I’m a big fat lazy aimless unambitious masochistic failure. And this post is dedicated to all the Wrimo Failures out there. 

A few days before the start of November, I thought “Hey, I’ve never given NaNoWriMo a serious shot before. I’m gonna’ do it this year!” Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I started writing with a vague semblance of a point for writing my book. It was going to be a fictional memoir, you see, full of meta postmodernistic dark humor about someone who forgoes writing a suicide note for writing a suicide book. The protagonist was totally going to die, you see, and he would know all about it because he was going to be the one doing it. Yeah, this idea totally rocks! No plot, no problem, right? I have my ending kinda’ sorta’ hashed out. Alls I needs to do is slap some peanut butter and jelly in this sumabitch.

As you may have seen in the couple of updates that I wrote about in the past month, I started out strong writing right on track at the 10,000 word mark and then I gradually fell behind. But hey, a couple cups of tea and a few hours of pure writing time at the cost of my sleep should just about do the trick. I’ll be caught up in no time.

Nope.

Just nope.

It was about 10:53 p.m. on the evening of November 30th, when I realized there was no way I was going to be able to write 7,000 more words in 2 hours and 7 minutes. If I wasn’t already too sleep deprived, I would have broken out the irish creme, coffee liqueur, and half & half and started watching Monty Python videos. I just stuck to watching Monty Python sober- but not until after I had churned out a thousand more words for the next hour and 6 minutes. In the end, I reached 43,438 words of my “novel.”

And you know what? 43,438 words ain’t half bad. Actually, it’s freaking fantastic. This past November was a wonderful learning experience via NaNo alone and I am thankful for the lessons it has taught me. In fact, there has been a lot to be thankful for this November.

NaNoWriMo Chart with Frame

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde

So for all of you out there who started NaNo, but never got around to reaching your goal for whatever reason, I raise my mug of tea to you. Whether your wrote 49,000 words, 12,000 words, 100 words, or just came up with a title, we can all give ourselves a pat on the back. The point of NaNoWriMo is not about writing a perfect New York Times bestselling novel in 30 days. The point is to just get started. Any step forward is a step in the right direction. It’s stagnation that kills us. There are some people with novel ideas who never so much as write down the title! You did that and perhaps much, much more! We did that!

This all sounds a lot like naive, self-deceiving, optimistic bullshit – which it is – but yet, it isn’t. NaNoWriMo is about having fun. Even the stress you experience through NaNo isn’t supposed to be overly negative stress. You’re not meant to beat yourself up over your holey plot or stubborn characters. You’re supposed to have fun with it. What is the point of writing if you’re not enjoying yourself? I may not have been even close to finishing my story, but I’ve made [in]glo[u]rious headway on it.

It might be a steaming pile of ox dung right now, but it’ll make great fertilizer for future writing endeavors.

So chin up, fellow Wrimo Failures. Even the greatest writing fails we have achieved this past month is a small victory.

What are you thankful for? Fellow Wrimos, did you reach your goal? What did you get out of NaNoWriMo? Will you do it again? (I know I will). Post your word count proudly and share your thoughts in the comments! 

Read about others’ NaNo “losing” experiences:

Follow my mundane thoughts on Twitter @SOStudent and watch me make a fool of myself on the YouTubes (stressingoutstudent). Cheers.

Advertisements

New School Year Resolutions (That I May or May Not Keep)

It’s that time of year again, folks – Back to School! Many of you school-goers have already been back for several weeks and, like me, you probably have some preconceptions about how this school year is going to turn out. As you may know, I absolutely adore making resolutions and I am in no way lazy or prone to procastibatory habits. Some of us set our bars high: get straight A’s, schmooze up professors for good recommendations, land an internship, etc. And some of us set our bars at a slightly lower level: make it through the year without dying… yep. (Or the slightly more ambitious “make it through the year without becoming a hermetic, manic depressive alcoholic.”)

Here's Johnny

“You want a thesis?? Heeere’s a thesis!”

What I’ve found to be the most damaging to our resolution-keeping morale is our delusory convictions that all of our resolutions are made within the bounds of reality. Bubble-bursting time: they’re usually not. “I’m going to lose 50 pounds by the end of the term!” All right, start by ignoring all your classes, then hit the gym twice a day every day for the next three months, whilst counting each calorie that makes it pass those porker lips of yours. Oh, and don’t forget to forget to eat. Good luck!

So here are my realistic resolutions for this upcoming term:

  • Go to all my classes
  • Don’t sleep in any  more than one of my classes [per week]
  • Send a request to the ego to hit the gym at least 3 times a week (Actually convincing self: optional)
  • Indulge in a face-to-face interaction with someone new (even if it’s one of those Greenpeace canvassers)
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Procrastinate less
  • Cultivate more strategic strategies of completing work at the penultimate moment before the deadline
  • Go to sleep before midnight (unless there’s something irresistibly interesting on the Internet)
  • Cut back on the awkwardness [just a smidge- don’t go crazy]

Well, I think that just about covers it. What more should I add to my realistic list of resolutions that I’ll totally keep?

What are some resolutions you’ve made for yourself this school year? Are they school-related or just general life-related? Hold yourself accountable and share them in the comments. Don’t worry, you’re in good demotivated company.