How I failed (and still almost won) NaNoWriMo

By Katharine Swan On Monday, December 01, 2014 At 11:17 PM

In November this year, I set out to write a nonfiction ebook during NaNoWriMo, instead of my usual novel.  I've been doing NaNoWriMo every year since 2006, plus camp, and I've won several of those along the way.  I felt it was time to do something different... and perhaps use the motivational burst of NaNo to make headway on one of the many projects that have been hanging out on the back burner while I focus on client work.

There were some lessons to be learned by doing nonfiction instead of fiction, but overall I think it was a win for me -- even if it wasn't a win by the conventional method (getting to 50,000 words in November).

The biggest reason I say it was a win for me is because I am very nearly finished with my first draft of the ebook -- which is turning out to be somewhat shorter than I anticipated, but I think my expectations were off since I was doing it during NaNo.  I finished up several short sections last night, after midnight though, so the word count didn't go onto my NaNoWriMo graph.

My graph ended up looking like this:

It's not great, but at least it's a fairly steady climb most days.  And like I said, I am almost done with the first draft of my ebook.  I had wanted to at least finish the draft, which is why I consider it "almost winning," at least for my own goals.

I do have something in the works to try to get myself writing every day year-round -- NaNo is a great short-term motivator, but I need something for the rest of the year, too.  I want to be in a good habit of writing every day by the time Camp NaNoWriMo comes round again in April!


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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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