What if I tried? – But what if I failed?

lion-159448_640Okay I have to admit it, NaNoWriMo is kicking my butt. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of writing a novel, have a plan in place and have written approximately five chapters so far that I believe are an excellent start. My problem is staying on track and not swaying from the path. I started strong and was highly excited about writing a novel in a month, but now halfway through the month I’m nowhere near halfway to 50,000 words.

Not to make any excuses, but when I’m able to get time to actually write for my story I only write a paragraph or two and then start drifting. I start thinking about the progress of the story and what I want to do with it later on. How do I get to these later parts of the story if I don’t write the beginning and middle sections first?

Along with this I’ve been keeping up with several challenges and writing prompts. These are all fun, quick ways to tell a short story and have some fun with writing, but now I’m starting to wonder if a short, quick read is all I am good for. Of course I know I haven’t failed yet. There are still have a couple weeks left and I could hit a flow and write thousands of words in just a few hours. I know this is still possible.

There have been a couple posts I’ve read where bloggers have said they are already past the 50000 word mark and I’m extremely happy for them, but at the same time a little pissed they have to go and brag about it for me to see. I start thinking “Wow, writing a novel is tough” then I see one of these posts and think “If they are able to do it, then I should be able to.”

So how do I get my creative juices flowing and keep my mind concentrating on my story. It would be a great feat for me to finish this month and “Win” NaNoWriMo, but even if that doesn’t happen I plan to finish the story. Maybe I’m just not a one month novel writer or maybe just not yet. I haven’t given up, but I’m not as confident as I once was. I’m off now to do a little more writing.

Thank you for reading and listening to my ramblings. Please send me a little luck if you have any extra to give.

13 thoughts on “What if I tried? – But what if I failed?

  1. This is my second year doing NaNo. The trick I’ve learned is if you don’t feel like going in a straight line, don’t. My novel is all over the place this year. Depends on what I want to write that day. It’s working because I’m almost at 32000 words. It’s not linear thats for sure. But thats what editing is for, later. Keep at it and if you want to write the end before the middle do it. It’s amazing how freeing that is. Good luck and just keep writing!

  2. Have you considered starting your story at the more interesting parts or closer to them (in medias res), rather than building to those from further back?

    I wouldn’t get discouraged by this ‘challenge.’ It sounds like you are committed enough that you don’t need a deadline or a word quota to push you across the finish line.

    It’s been a helpful exercise for me because I’ve been terrified of putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, I guess???) until I’ve pre-written the whole thing to death a hundred times over. That being said, the more I read from other people ‘competing’, the more I realize that I’m not engaged in most aspects of National Novel Writing Month. The added accountability of posting my daily word count would probably help me through rough patches, but it’s just a bit too intimidating this first time around.

    Anyways, good luck! I’d love to hear about your story!

    • I hadn’t considered it, but I am now. I appreciate the idea. This is my first attempt and I didn’t think about it being intimidating until the halfway point came about. I’m quite proud of what I have written so far though so I do plan on completing it in response or in spite of the challenge. Thanks for your kind comments

  3. Okay – first off — STOP kicking yourself in the ass. Can I say ass here??

    Listen, you are NOT the only one amongst the thousands participating who are having problems or are drifting. So believe me, if no one is talking about it too much, remember you’re not alone.

    More importantly —- do you maybe realize that it’s okay to drift? Sometimes, despite our best laid plans and ideas and outlines, the “endings” or snatches of things further along in a story need to be told first? Before the rest will actually flow.

    Guidelines are just that – guidelines. As are outlines.

    Even if you don’t even make it anywhere near the “word count” —– what truly matters is that you have made the effort – and that you keep writing. And you know, the “finished product” of anyone’s works is NOT finished. As far as I can figure – NaNoWriMore is about jump-starting the project and trying to make a daily commitment to writing.

    Often we *think* we are writers and are desperate to *be* – but we come up with every “excuse” under the sun – some “valid” some just plain distractions – and that’s normal. Maybe when your imagination is sparked by other challenges and you choose to post in response to them – you are allowing your imagination to spark and even though you are frustrated by not working on your NaNoWriMo stuff – it’s just what you need – — because the WriMo business end of things is percolating?

    Just be gentle with yourself Jed – and give it a chance – allow yourself permission to play and write. Make a commitment – if it is that meaningful for you – to write what seems important to you in the moment – and if necessary – give yourself a “practical” and “doable” word count that is reasonable for you.

    Don’t give up.

    • No. I won’t give up. I doubt I’ll make it in time for the November deadline but I got a great start which is a good thing. It’s a lot more than I had a few months ago. And before I started blogging in July this year I hadn’t thought about writing seriously in a long time, now I have two blogs and the start of a novel. I think I will be okay. I figure I’ll complete it when it seems right, not try to rush it. Then I’ll edit it and see what happens. Maybe by next November it will be out and I can write the sequel with a little more confidence. Thanks for your kind words.

      • Ahh heck – no problems …. about my comments – it’s just that when I read your post – I thought —-“Ack noooo …. this could be me …. has been me ….. and could be me right here, in the now. ”

        You’ll get it done when it’s right/write? Hah! Pardon the dumb-ass pun. Besides, it’s the confidence to continue – and enjoy the process. Writing may be like pulling teeth sometimes, but generally I think we have to learn to not be afraid of going to the dentist in the first place 😉

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