Why did I fail at NaNoWriMo?!
I first found NaNoWriMo back in 2008 when I read No Plot No Problem by Chris Baty and by this point, I was 20 and had been writing for a really long time.
When I was a teenager I started roleplaying online (all written) and I would write post after post after post, every single night after school, every single weekend. I would be writing them on paper in school and would come home and type them up. I created entire worlds with friends and lived all my characters lives and I loved it. Sometimes we wrote posts that were like 10,000 words long, and we strived to make them better, more original, more compelling. This was a collaborative activity and it was incredibly creative and helpful for me.
But by the time I was 20 all of the people I wrote with had gone to University or had moved on. We tried to continue writing together, but it kind of fell by the wayside, and so it was time for me to really put some time into writing by myself, for myself. NaNoWriMo seemed like a great way to try and do this, and because of the internet, there was kind of a supportive community waiting to encourage and support you, which is something that I need. I planned, I wrote, I succeeded, and continued to write on my own.
But slowly over my years after University, and outside of the collaborative atmosphere, the time I spent writing lessened. Work meant I struggled to find this time, completing a master’s while working meant all my spare time was reading and writing academically, and then teacher training ate my life due to the essays. All of a sudden, I hadn’t actually written any fiction for 4 years… and I never even noticed.
Now I’m desperate to get back into writing, but I’ve fallen out of the habit of daily writing, and I just seem to be struggling to get anywhere. I have tried over the last year to get back into the habit of it, but I am still failing at this and life is about to get hectic again. I have just got a new job, my first teaching job, and so I will be starting that in about a weeks time. This will take up a lot of my time, especially as I learn how to be efficient at it, but I’m also reading a lot and trying to blog. There is always so much that I want to do that I’m no longer sure how I fit writing in to that. It used to be second nature, now it feels like an item on my to-do list.
And that is why NaNoWriMo this year failed. I wrote 2000 words that I am really not happy with, and I don’t think I need to push myself any further this month. I want to reset my writing, and start to think about it again not as a chore, but as a pleasure. Something that I love to do, because I can’t not do it.
So on Saturday I will be going to a Writer’s Marketplace, I will get to hear a lot of stuff about writing as a craft, and the publishing industry, both for non-fiction and fiction, as well as blogs. I also get the chance to speak with a couple of people one on one, so I’m aiming to speak to a publisher and also to speak to a blogger. I will be editing and taking a short story along with me, that I wrote years ago, and I will also be taking some blog posts. I’m hoping that this will really make me start to connect with writing again, and then I can try and plan in the habit of daily writing, just like I do with my daily reading.