Caught in the Middle- Nanowrimo Wrap Up

Yes, I know we’re quite a bit away from November now, but I think it’s kinda fitting that I’m late with this, cos this is a post about FAILURE (ooh err, it looks much scarier in all caps). To be fair, it’s no fun to admit when you’ve failed a goal you set yourself. For all who remember, I set aside some writing goals in November… which I didn’t complete. Not even kinda close- my plan was to get to chapter 28- and I only made it to 23.

Now it would probably be easier to slink off and not say anything, because what use is it to talk of failure? Well I think more often than not there are lessons in failure as much as success– so here I am to talk about what happens when you don’t achieve your goals…

Well nothing. That’s the whole point. Not that there’s fanfare when you do succeed, but let’s be honest, you can’t exactly have an “I didn’t quite do it” party. You can just try and figure out what went wrong?

what went wrong.gif

For me, it was a combination of unforeseen life-always-manages-to-get-in-the-way stuff, being too ambitious with my goals and just not being prepared to deal with some more emotional sections of the story all in one go (I can also probably add end of year burnout to that list too 😉 ). I can pat myself on the back for setting aside time to write every single day, yet when I think of how little that could be some days, it’s hard to get super excited over that little victory.

The more important thing I’ve learnt- and something I think about every time I fall into a rut or get blocked- is that perseverance is key. Because, yes, I didn’t quite get as far along as I hoped. And yes, I’ve had months where I’ve got stuck on a story and just can’t. push. on. Yet, every single time I’ve fallen into a rut, or been disappointed with how a project turned out, or just can’t find the time, I’ve managed to find a way to pick myself up again and press on. Heck- book 2 was such hell for me to write that it took 6 months to write 2 or 3 chapters in the middle, followed by a massive overhaul. It happens.

So am I disappointed that I didn’t complete what I set out to do last month? Yes, of course. Is it going to affect how I go on? Only in that I’ve returned to my usual “weekly goals” mindset instead of monthly. And on the plus side, I’ve continued with the “writing every day” mentality.

live every day like it's nano

I did have a lot of fun while writing in Nano and said some very weird things like: “Zombies are harder to write than I thought” and “I can’t talk now I’ve got to write about a dead cow.” Although, now I think about it, the gloomy subject matter is the crux of the problem- I gotta keep promising myself that the next book will be cheerier. Somehow I just need to tell my brain to switch it up a gear– because that’s where all the grim ideas are coming from…

why so serious 2.gifAnd you know, I think that’s where I’m gonna leave this post, because it’s probably best not to take myself too seriously. Otherwise I might end up like this guy…take yourself seriouslyAnd no one wants to end up like that guy- at the very least, you don’t want that hair.

 

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61 thoughts on “Caught in the Middle- Nanowrimo Wrap Up

  1. klkranesya says:

    Oh, I think many of us can relate to this writerly struggle of goal setting vs achievement. Keep writin’ sister! Maybe a cheerier book could be a story where zombies are the good guys…;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I still think that even though you didn’t reach the goal you set for NaNo you did really well. The fact that you managed to set aside time to write every day in November (even if it was really little some days) is an achievement in and of itself because that’s something I didn’t manage to do myself (for just general life and procrastination reasons, something I’m going to work on for NaNo 2018!)
    Great post, and I hope you’re still enjoying writing now November is over. Personally I’m enjoying not having to have a mad rush to write 50K words in one month! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bookstooge says:

    Is that a handcuff on the “thumbs up” picture? Dedication is one thing,but chaining yourself to the desk? Come on, that’s really going to far.

    However, throwing a “You are a Complete Loser” party for someone else sounds like a lot of fun to me. I’d even bring the tar 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Adrienne Morris says:

    Writing everyday (no matter how little) is a pretty great thing that most people on the planet don’t do so you get a star for that!

    My mother just finished reading the fourth novel in my series and loved it. Why? Because finally no one died or got seriously scarred (but people did actually die). Oh well. It’s amazing how much emotional strength it takes to deal with darker issues in writing but it’s in my blood. Bittersweet is my middle name. (my actual name Adrienne means dark lol).

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Aww thank you very much- that’s very kind 🙂

      hahaha I can understand that- I think my mum is still hoping I write something more upbeat 😉 haha yes I get that- it’s one of the tougher parts of writing- but it’s the part that calls to me (hopefully sunshine and rainbows will call to me in the future 😉 ) Lol! And that’s actually pretty awesome!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lucy Brazier says:

    Hey, I think you did very well! Writing every day is difficult enough, let alone getting near-on a chapter a day done. If only pesky real life didn’t have to get in the way of the really important stuff… like writing. And – is that a Dangerous Brothers gif at the top there?! That makes up for everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nel says:

    Hey! I heard there’s no such thing as failure with NaNo as long as you wrote something! No f-word allowed missy! That’s 23 chapters you didn’t have before 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marie says:

    Ahahaha, that hair, no, we don’t want to end up like this, agreed!
    Failure is such a scary word, especially written in all caps. I don’t think you failed, though, you managed to write, even if it’s not as much as you expected to, you DID WRITE and for that, you should be proud of yourself, I know I am proud of you 😀 take it slow, write as you can, even if life gets in the way, you’ll manage to find you way back to it and keep on going. I know that ❤ I'm proud of you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Literary Lattes says:

    23 out of 28 chapters is still really great, even if it wasn’t your original goal for NaNo. Any progress counts, especially as you wrote everyday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lucindablogs says:

    Guess how much I wrote for NaNoWriMo? ONE FUCKING PAGE. Then I realised that instead of just sitting down and having a book flow out of my fingertips, it’s actually incredibly difficult, time consuming and, when you dont know what you’re doing, really boring. Want to swap?

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hahahaha 😂😂 Well you know I have actually recently said the words “you know what, it’s actually fucking hard writing a novel” recently when I was quizzed about why I hadn’t completed this book immediately after finishing the last one in the summer. It’s never easy lol! (though I wouldn’t say it’s boring personally 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • lucindablogs says:

        Oh I’m so jealous. Could you maybe put my name on the finished manuscript? 😂😂😂 I just assumed that because I’m a reader I could be a writer. WRONG! I loved the process of writing and got really into the research (which I really should have done beforehand and not as I went along – I also had only a vague idea of a story and no characters) but I bored myself with my own words. I read it back and thought “I would rip this apart on my blog. One star”. I never plan anything in my life but I think if I’m going to write I need a lot more structure – and also accept that I’ll be rubbish at first. How do you keep going?

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          hahaha fair enough 😂😂 I just always wanted to be both tbh (I know, I know the cliche “I always wanted to be a writer lol) Well it’s good you enjoyed that side of it! Hehe I know it’s a personal thing, but I am such a planner, that I definitely would recommend taking that approach. And yes, it’s always lousy when you start- I spend a lot of time redrafting sentences, even as I go- so it definitely takes time. Hehe well for starters, for this particular story, I came up with the ending first, so I’ve just got this crazy desire to get there lol 😂😂 But also, like I said I’ve just always wanted to write and have been at it for a while. I think actually writing rubbish helped, because it made me want to outdo myself (which admittedly wasn’t hard at first 😂😂)

          Liked by 1 person

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