NaNoWriMo – Happy to Fail

It has been well over a month since I last posted on here having decided to give the blog a rest until the end of NaNoWriMo. I fully intended to have a successful month of writing but it didn’t quite go that way.

I would like to name a few reasons why I might have failed this year.

My piano, after ten years apart we were finally reunited which meant hours dedicated to writing were reassigned. Secondly, my writing ‘space’ was compromised. There is a little room in our house where I can hide away and write. Over the past few months this has turned into a dumping ground and therefor I no longer have a quiet space just for me to escape to. Thirdly, it was my birthday and heaps of family members and friends descended upon us most weekends. Last, but not least my sister gave birth to her little boy making me an aunty. Could not be happier and I am so, so proud. Any spare moment I have has been spent cooing over my gorgeous nephew. So it’s safe to say I have been distracted.

However, despite these distractions, I know should have at least managed 25,000 words, not 10,000.

At the start of November I was very hopeful that I would be able to draft my second novel of 2012. Something I now realise, was an absurd ambition.

It was a ropey start to say the least. I didn’t begin writing until a few days into the month. Even then I had to force myself to embrace the concept of the story and what I had to turn it into. Despite planning, structuring and developing characters, nothing clicked. I struggled to turn the story into something bigger than it was ever supposed to be and because of that, I lacked the drive to keep going.

With my JuNoWriMo novel, it was a story that had been in my head and planned for years, yet it lacked structure and characters were created almost by accident. Over the month I found my writing voice and discovered I quite enjoy the thrill of writing about crime and grit. By the end of the month, I had a draft. It is rubbish, but it is there and has potential.

This time I attempted romance against a melancholy back drop. After writing a few chapters, I started to loose my way and it sounded contrived and petty. There was no desire to write. In truth, I don’t think I have the ability to turn the story into what I envisioned it to be. Before I started NaNoWriMo, I re-read parts of On Chisel Beach, Ian McEwan as it was that style of writing and pace I was trying to emulate. Maybe that was my downfall. Yet now, at the end of November I don’t feel like a failure. The story I know, will work well as a short story so I’m not going to pull it into pieces and turn it into something it clearly shouldn’t be.

This month I have learned that crime is my forte and that I have the ability to recognise when a story doesn’t work. Having said that, Iris Murdoch said that ‘Every book is the wreck of an idea’ so you never know, in a few years, I might revisit and think differently. Plus I would like to thank Victoria Writes for recommending a documentary about Ian Rankin. It showed that even the most successful writers are plagued by doubts and the fear of writing.