NaNo NaNo: Well That Went to Hell Pretty Quickly

by Randall Cleveland

"Oh, I know, I'll write a book! That should be easy and completely feasible within my current schedule and work load! HAR HAR HAR!" What an idiot I was, signing up for this NaNoWriMo challenge. If you're unfamiliar, the idea is you write a 50,000 word novel over the course of November. I chose to write a zombie novel I'd had kicking around my head for a few months that I decided to quit putting off. I figured zombie stuff is pretty easy to write, too: it's all "RRRaaaaagh!" and tearful mercy killings and looting. And really, that stuff just kind of runs through my head on a loop day in and day out anyway. I would just be jotting it down! I met my writing quota on the first three days and everything!

Then I went on vacation...


saint louis arch
St. Louis is THE vacation destination in and around St. Louis!


And it was five days of family-visiting bliss. We celebrated my birthday a few days after, we celebrated my mom's birthday a few days before, and tried to hang out with as many friends and family members as we could. In fact, it completely slipped my mind that I had a daily quota of 1,700 words.

Which meant that, when I came back, I was behind 8,500 words behind. Yikes. (Incidentally, I also came back to find I was the 36th Best Blog Source for NaNoWriMo Info after writing only one entry on the subject, proving that internet lists are well-researched as they are reliable.)

Suddenly, the thrill of the daily push to hit my quota and the "I can do this!" buzz I had been feeling was replaced with a gnawing sense of failure every time I saw NaNoWriMo's handy graph showing how I was slipping further and further behind with each passing day. I fell into a deep depression. A depression that could only be remedied by avoiding the whole thing altogether and playing Dark Souls on my Xbox. I did manage to find my way back to my Google doc and added a paltry 400 words; just enough to convince myself this month might be salvageable.

Okay, I know it's not. I know I'm in the lower decks of the Titanic with a bucket trying to keep the whole thing afloat. Still, I'm going to try and make a respectable show of it. I probably (okay, definitely) won't get published for free by hitting the 50,000 word minimum at the end of the month, but maybe I'll publish my pathetic attempt here just so I can say SOMEONE read it.

Are you a NaNoWriMo participant? How's your novel coming along? Commiserate or offer your condolences in the comments!

Flickr photo saint louis arch by Christina Rutz used under a Creative Commons License.