Monday, November 30, 2009

a revelation, an ugly cow, and an empty victory

so, moments ago, i finished NaNoWriMo. it was definitely not what i expected. for one thing, i hate my novel. like, really really hate it. and here's why. flashback!!!!

once upon a time, (aka last fall) i hadn't sewn a stitch in my life. and then i got this really, really insane idea. i thought, 'hey, my sister is a very good seamstress. she can teach me.'
yeah, we're getting to the crazy part soon.
then, i thought, 'hey, halloween is coming up in like a month. why don't i make a costume?'
still not thinking i'm crazy? just wait.
then, then i thought, 'i don't care how hard it is, i'm going to make an epic victorian style one. in under a month'
yeah, it gets better.
oh boy, the real kicker. at the last second, meaning a week before, i decided i was going to make one for my best friend to. yeah, i'm insane.

but the thing is, i did. sure, by the skin of my teeth. but i finished. and they were pretty dang awesome too. i'm famous for almost never backing out of a crazy whim/dare like that. and then i epicly fail at a realistic goal of say, exercising more. i've always been proud of my ability to stick with things like that. sure, not so much of the fail part, but i've taken pride in never backing out on a whim. (/flashback)

but not this time......

you see, i signed up for NaNoWriMo. i don't remember where i first heard of it, but it sounded pretty cool. so i thought 'hey, why not? what's the worse that could happen?' oh boy! it was on a whim, totally not planned, with less than two weeks to get a story idea, and an outline before it started. ugh

for the first week, everything was going great. sure, i switched the timing around about a bagillion times, but hey, you know what they say. that's what december's for.

then the second week, things started getting a little whacked out. i started hitting walls i didn't know how to demolish. i didn't know precisely where to go next in my story, so i started rambling. then, i started taking dares. i started writing about random subjects just to get my word count in. things i knew i would just cut out later. this worked ok, i guess.

but it got worse and worse from that day on. i was just putting random scenes in. describing things in huge detail, just to boost the words. week three, i knew i was just running it into the ground. but that stupid inner determination of mine just wouldn't let go. of course, i couldn't quite see that then.
by week three, nano had completely slipped from my 'want to do' list, to my 'should do' list.
week four it slipped to 'have to do'

i killed my NaNo story, and the joy of writing (for the time being, don't worry i'll still write.) just because of the pride i took in not quitting.

where's the cow come in you say? well, i was talking to a friend of mine, and i often use the term 'what's his cow?' or 'i'm having a cow with this'
cow meaning problem.
so i had a major cow with my nano. my friend and i decided it must be a very ugly cow. and i named it NaNo 09, which has a certain ring to it.

ok, so that was supposed to be the funny!!!!

and the empty victory? i was so blinded by that stupid pride, that i missed the real victory, of writing a good story, even if it was a lot less than 50k. next year baby....
and also, i learned a lot from NaNo, even though i epicly failed the intended purpose of it. so, here's to unexpected lessons.

PS-sorry for the incredibly emo post. this is NOT a trend i will continue, i just really needed to get that off my chest. wow, this is really not like me..... thanks for listening any way :)


  1. Meh, at least you did it. I thought about it and decided that there was no way I would be able to overcome my laziness for a month of straight writing.

  2. Quit beatng yourself up. You crossed the finish line, but more important, you learned a lot. It's a huge accomplishment for something that you picked up so casually. Come back next year prepared, and write a real novel. I bet you can do it.

  3. thanks guys!
    i'm in a much better mood now, and pretty happy (uh, i think that's redundant, but whatever :P)
    next year will be so much better!

  4. I'm so glad you're going to try again next year. I always worry when people are unhappy with their NaNovel that they'll quit NaNoWriMo entirely. :( Any chance of salvaging the first week's effort?

  5. yeah, i am so going to give it another go. i just did it really wrong this year, but that won't happen next year! it's sad when people quit entirely. i love writing, and nano!
    and i might, sort of be able to salvage the first weeks effort. i'm not really sure, mostly because i'm not ready to look at it again :P
    (and thanks for following! and i love the profile pic :P)