On the first day of NaNoWriMo, my pen gave to me…

Not a dang word.

Stupid writing.

Disclaimed: I didn’t do NaNoWriMo. In fact, I haven’t done it in years. While in the past I’ve lied to myself, saying I would write every day in November, hitting 50k with the greatest of ease, I didn't even bother this year.

Hi, I’m Julie, a failed NaNoWriMo participant.

I have never, since my first try in 2007, hit the 50k mark. The most I ever did was 30k. Odd, since my latest project, a writer for hire deal for a film studio, came in around 50k and I completed it in a few weeks. So why can’t I win in November?

I’ve blamed it on the time of year. Like I only write in certain months, November just isn’t one of them…A crap excuse. What else? I have too much going on to write that much in a month…Considering I had 5 days off last week from my day job, that excuse doesn’t hold any turkey. Writing is hard, I whine. Again, not so much when I’m not kicking and screaming like a big baby. I sprained my index finger and since I type like two-year-old…

You see my point? I have a million excuses as to why I don't write. We all do. If I could only add this energy to writing, I’d have a book out every week.

And yet, I’ll continue to have reasons why I can’t succeed. It’s easier to never try than to fail. But all my time doing NaNoWriMo, that’s my greatest takeaway, it’s okay to fail. This is what I do because I love to do it. If it becomes a forced chore, like hitting 50k in November, I might reconsider.

How about you? Did you NaNo? Did you hit your word count? Have you failed at a project before? And finally, what’s your best/lamest excuse for not writing? Give 'em to me so I can use them next time I fumble with my own BS.

Happy Holidays! I'll see you again next year (unless I get hit by a bus or sprain my finger...or if I....).

J.A. (Julie) Kazimer on Email
J.A. (Julie) Kazimer

J.A. (Julie) Kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. When she isn’t looking for a place to hide the bodies, she spends her time with a pup named Killer. Other hobbies include murdering houseplants. She spent a few years as a bartender and then wasted another few years stalking people while working as a private investigator before transitioning to the moniker of WRITER and penning over 15 titles. Visit her website at jakazimer.com.

12 thoughts on “On the first day of NaNoWriMo, my pen gave to me…

  1. I always start NaNoWriMo but have only made the 50,000 once. This year I wrote a little over 11,000 new words on a fun new project. My excuses for not making the 50,000: (1) unexpected overnight company took out two days, (2) the need to create a plan for the remaining chapters took two weeks because I couldn’t figure out how to set up the easel to put the poster board up to hold the Post-It notes, (3) my office got really cold so I couldn’t work in there too long, and (4) now I have bronchitis or maybe just a cold but I’m taking advantage of the coughing, wheezing, sneezing to relax and read books or watch Netflix.

  2. I’m a NaNo-failure again this year, even worse than last year when I did 38k, this year only 15k. My typical excuses are: 1) November starts my busy season and I work 100 hrs/week; 2) I’m a Pantser and I can’t write an outline to save my life; 3) I did actually sprain my thumb one year, that was fun; 4) I’m paying for Netflix, Hulu, and CBS, I really should binge watch and get caught up (except I don’t watch them any other month of the year); 5) I have no brain cells; 6) Somebody in Lakewood farted and my dog is barking like crazy, which ruins my concentration (I live in Aurora); 7) The weather is colder now and I. MUST. BAKE!; 8) Facebook keeps dinging and I must check to see if Julie posted anything.

  3. Haha, Pat and Linda! Amusing topic, Julie, thanks. I used NaNo as an inspiration this year. I wrote 12,948. I’m a plotter and an edit-as-you-go writer, so I’m content with this. Lamest excuse for not writing: I need to check my email inbox.

  4. No, I didn’t coordinate with the amazing Julie to talk about NaNo on the Facebook page last night! I have done NaNo for the past 5 years, and I have finished 4 of those 5 years. I get driven and I HATE to lose. But I also really, really enjoy having a reason to say, “I have to write, I have to hit my word count!” That’s the main reason I like to do NaNo (you know you have another chance with NovelRama next year, Julie! Just sayin’!). Because it makes me tell those around me that I HAVE to get this done. Even though I am full time, my other full time responsibility is the house and kids.

    But I also like it because it forces me to not give myself lame excuses. I can tell when I’m lollygagging in regards to writing – more social media, go through the email box, make phone calls, blah blah blah. I do better with deadlines.

    And even if I don’t hit NaNo, I like that I put in the word count that I did.

  5. LOL, Julie, I am FULL of lame excuses. I always have something that has to be tended to. Which is why I love Nano. I can put it first and all the other things that need attention…well, they have to go second. Because.. NANO!

  6. I’ve started three times and finished twice, but I honestly doubt I’ll try it again. It’s a great exercise for new writers or writers who have never finished a novel, but other than that, I think one is better off practicing and improving their craft instead of building up a word count that may not even be usable later on. Quality over quantify.

    In other other words, Julie, you’re way past the need to complete NaNoWriMo, so no excuses are necessary for failing to complete it 🙂

  7. I have never done Nano . . . can’t see why I would. That’s like 31 days of committment. Ok, Ok, so I could commit to 31 days on a warm beach and umbrella drinks. So maybe it’s not the committment thing. I will confess to over 15K words at a writing retreat (2.5 days,) thankgoodness I kept well hydrated with both reds and whites. But 31 days . . . the wine would kill me and the words wouldn’t make sense.

  8. I have completed nanowrimo once in six years, actually twice but I entered the wrong time zone and missed the proper cut off. I can get the first 36,000 to 40,000 and my mind goes blank, the ink dries up in the pen, and inner editor starts having a field day. I love the challenge. This year I was sure I had it made. I had an outline broken down into individual scenes to write got through the writing the first time and then I had a brain freeze. On the positive side I have a good story to work with and that gives me a feeling of accomplishment

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