Monday, November 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo LOSS. NaNoExerciseMo WIN!

Suffice to say, I lost NaNoWriMo. I mean, I FAILED in an all-caps, bold, italics, and underline-worthy way. I know, I know: "November's not over yet! You still have time!"

It's not happening.

And I know why I lost: My heart wasn't in it. Good intentions do not 50,000 words make.

Am I a little bummed that I didn't make better progress on super epic awesome new novel? Yes. Most definitely. But am I happy with what I accomplished in November? You betcha.

I totally dress like this when I exercise.
November included three huge achievements for me:
1. I began regularly exercising (3x/week) for the first time in 14 months.
2. I relaxed.
3. I sat down and read books. Plural! (I've only been listening to audiobooks, because it's multitasking while driving.)

Ok, to non-freakish-overachievers, this might not seem like a big deal. But there's a REASON I hadn't relaxed or worked out in 14 months: I finished a novel, revised it, planned a wedding (ahem, still planning), and bought and renovated a house (actually, I moved twice in that time period).

November was all about getting my life back in balance. I needed it. I needed to sleep a smidge more, sit down for an hour and watch TV without feeling guilty, I needed to read more, and my body craved exercise. And NaNoWriMo is all about imbalance, that crazy tilt toward writing wayyyyy more than is natural in a 30-day period. This was not the November for that, at least not for me.

So if I consider November my personal NaNoExerciseMo --- even (gasp) NaNoRelaxMo --- then hell, I succeeded tenfold.

And that, I'm proud of.

Sure, I wrote a little bit in November --- I blogged (as you know), and wrote a couple thousand shiny new words --- but now that my life resembles something close to normal, I want to throw some serious writing progress into that mix.

So DECEMBER, I declare thee: DonnaMakesSeriousProgressOnHerNovelMo.

But I'm going to relax every once in awhile, and keep exercising (especially considered we're entering the month of constant delicious food temptations!). Buff wedding dress arms, you're mine!

You tell me: Are you going to lose or win NaNo? Any alternative November goals you achieved?

PS - If you're wondering, I'm not a big fan of exercise (or gyms), and my preferred workout is Turbo Jam. I'm obsessed, and I actually find it enjoyable!


  1. This is actually very inspiring :) Right now, I'm at 10,600 words, which means I'll need to rake in 40,000 words in 9 days. But although I'm probably not going to win this year, this is the most I've written in a very VERY long time. It's good to be thankful for the things you can do, you know? :) thanks writing this post, it made my day!

  2. Don't see it as a failure! It's a tough challenge and if you have all kinds of life stuff taking precedence, there's nothing wrong with backing away. I had to do this as well.

    But there's always next year, plus we have 11 months to enjoy writing at our own pace.

    Great job on your achievements! I've been trying to get back into exercising and man, it is not easy!

  3. Savannah - Aw, thanks! That's an excellent way to put it -- be thankful for the things you can do. Happy writing!

    Liz - Check your email for my reply!

  4. Good for you!

    I'm plugging away ahead of schedule for Nano, but slowing down every day. I'm afraid I'll be at 49999 when the time is up.

  5. I'm going to lose NaNo.
    It's sad, but when you have only about a week left, and little more than 10.000 words in the bag, it's sort of obvious where you're heading, really.
    Besides, I'm just happy I got to start this novel. I'd been planning on starting it for so long, but never actually got down to it, that now that it's actually there, I can take more time figuring out where I want it to go, and actually getting a decent plotline for it, instead of just writing on a whim, because I had to finish it by the 30th... lol

  6. Good for you finding balance and exercising. It's so important. I love listening to audio books while I walk 3-5 times a week. I wasn't trying to do NaNo but I failed in getting much writing done. I did want to sleep and spend a little time with my family. And my office moved so I feel too busy. I'm hoping to get at least 20 minutes a day in this week at least and like you move into more writing in December.

  7. Sarah - Wow! Pat on the back for you for being on track/ahead of Nano's insane schedule. Good luck in the home stretch!

    Mandy - I'm thinking of it this way -- 10K words/month equals a novel first draft in 7-8 months, which equals a revised novel in a year or less. That's still amazing!

    Natalie - I emailed my reply!

  8. Any words on the page are a success. My daily word count goal is 100 words -- puny as it is. It takes the pressure off and I always exceed it. Nothing wrong with setting acheivable goals because life will get in the way.

    I read that sitting/writing burns about 122 calories/hour (for a 150 lbs person). That's gotta be worth something, right?

  9. Aw, heck, Donna. I think you're amazing just for TRYING to get through NaNoWriMo.

    Considering it took me almost two years to write 36K words, I'd never even attempt it.

    Good for you for finding time to exercise AND relax. Those things are important too.

  10. Natasha - Small goals are brilliant! I'm trying to focus on my writing that way -- a couple hundred words at a time. It'll build into a novel soon enough! And 122 calories?! I'm excited!

    Joanne - Your email has my reply!

  11. I love Turbo Jam too.

    But I have the attention span of flea. :(

  12. Claire - You're too funny. Another Turbo Jam fan! Yay!


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