Defeat. Not failure.
Camp Nanowrimo is over for now, and once again I must admit defeat. I set a modest goal for 10,000 words, and I didn’t even make it to 5000. I was pretty damn close though, ending the month with around 4700 words written. Considering I didn’t make it, perhaps you may think that means I failed? I didn’t.
What went wrong?
It’s easy to find something to blame when you don’t succeed at something. I work too much. My family needed me. Kids got sick. Dog got sick. Friends felt overlooked. Found this new TV show on Netflix that I had to finish because everyone was talking about it and spoiling me. The internet was there. The computer broke down. The world ended. Those last two might be the same thing. My point is, there are an infinite number of reasons why you didn’t make it. Personally, I have a lot of reasons why I didn’t make it.
Though, none of them deal with the apocolypse (though there’s always tomorrow). I did have a few weeks of pretty intense pain in my jaw and ear though. Turns out, I have a tooth that is dying and needs a root canal (yaaaay), and possibly some viral infection causing pressure in my ear as well. So as reasons go, that is a faily decent one for why I couldnt write much. Mostly cause anything not laying in a fetal position was out of the questions some days. Ok, slight exaggeration. But the pain was bad!
Personally, I have a lot of reasons why I didn’t make it.
I also started rewatching Stargate SG-1, though that only happened a week ago, and therefore cannot take all the blame. In the end, what happened is what always happenes when the month isn’t November; there wasn’t enough at stake. I haven’t lost Nanowrimo in November since before 2010, so each year when I start, the thought of not winning is unbearable. In fact, not winning isn’t an option. For Camp Nanowrimo, the stakes aren’t as high. I just do it to get stuff written, how much I write isn’t really the point.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it. Because I may not have made my goal word count, but I wrote something. And I’ll never consider writing 4700 words failure (unless it’s November, of course).
I didn’t fail
A bold statement perhaps, but I didn’t. I wrote words, and managed to finish a scene I’ve been working on for months. I may not be much closer to the end of the story, but I’ve gotten a bit further along the way. Next step is to figure out how I’m going to get where I need to be for the story to end that way it should. Which at this point is where it’ll set up a sequel, because I am apparantly incapable of writing just one standalone book.
I’d call it a curse, but I’m in love with these characters now, and I never want to leave them, so perhaps a sequel wasn’t to be completely unexpected. That of course can become somewhat of a problem. Getting too attached toyour characters. What if one of them has to die? Could I kill it? Normally the answer would be yes, I don’t mind killing off characters I love, if it’s what the story need. Of course, I’ve been working on TAO these past few years, where killing someone doesn’t mean they stay dead. So there’s that.
Take the win
Sometimes the hardest thing to rememer is to take the wins, and not let the losses get you down. Sure, I didn’t make my goal til April, but I got words written. I did something. It may not have been what I set out to do, but it still counts for something. The thing to remember is this:
If you’re feeling stuck, every word you write is a win. So take the win, and keep writing, even if it’s just one more word.