I’m a loser.
That’s what I say to myself every time I do NaNoWriMo. If my students tell me that they’re losers, I deny it, of course, because it’s true that you can’t really lose at NaNoWriMo. You can quit, but you can’t lose. Even when I have given up early, I have always appreciated that I went through it. I always learn something. I always get some writing done. I always see the benefits.
I Feel Like Quitting
I have to be honest. I felt like quitting on the third day one year. Isn’t that pathetic? I had a bunch of great excuses, which I won’t share with you. You probably have plenty of your own. Feeling like quitting is something almost every participant of NaNoWriMo goes through.
But, I Didn’t Quit
I did not quit writing. But, I did quit putting so much pressure on myself.
- I quit demanding a daily high word count. Anything was okay.
- I quit thinking I had to write a book that’s great.
- I quit denying that maybe I’ll never win NaNoWriMo. I’ve never won it. Maybe I should just enjoy the challenge anyway.
Alternatives to Quitting
What can you do if you have hit a wall, had an extended illness or crisis, or just quit caring about NaNoWriMo? Well, you could quit. But, I’m asking that you try some of these things first.
- Re-read some of my previous posts to get your story reignited and bump up your word count.
- Read a few pages or a chapter of either a writing craft book or some kind of fiction. I love picture books.
- Change your goal. I know it says we have to get 50,000, but maybe you decide just to finish your book idea quickly – just to get to the end. Or, you decide that 30,000 is realistic and still challenging. I’m telling you that it’s better to readjust than drop out.
- Reach out to other writers. Meet them in person, tweet them, follow them on Facebook. Accountability and support are lifesavers during NaNoWriMo.
- Visit the Nanowrimo.org site. Lots of inspiration there.
- Check YouTube for NaNoWriMo videos and Virtual Write-ins. (Just search for virtual write-ins. You may find some authors you know or regionally based videos.)
- Whine and cry for a day. But, then get back at it. I little pity party doesn’t hurt, but don’t stay there!