Merry Wanderer of the Night + writing

NaNoWriMo: Calling it Quits and What it Means to Essay

Last night I kind of officially threw the hat in on National Novel Writing Month. I currently have about 17,000 words and there is no way I'll be able to catch-up in a week. When I first looked back on last year it seemed like this year should be just as doable. But in reality my job actually requires me to do real work now, whereas last year I just sat at a desk and worked on homework. I also lived in the dorms last year and didn't have to deal with any real life responsibilities, like cooking dinners and cleaning. And I had a lot less night classes. All three of these things seemed to contribute to my downfall this year.

But I'm not giving up entirely. I'd still like to write another 15,000 words before the end of the year, which is a goal that seems doable to me. And as far as writing goes, I've been more successful this year than I was last year because I have produced five essays this month that are great starts. I actually want to work with these essays more and continue honing them. At the end of last November I said I would go back and edit my novel, but I never did. I never edited it because I didn't feel passionate about anything I wrote. I think I learned more from National Novel Writing Month this year than last year. I learned what process works well for me when writing an essay, and I pushed myself to write some narrative nonfiction which I've never done before.

Overall the experience was a success. It got me in the habit of thinking about essay topics all the time. Whenever I had a conversation or saw something happen I thought about how I might turn that into an essay. The truth is that great essays are all around you, you just have to be aware. I think that is what essaying is all about-- being aware of what is going on around you and how it fits into a chain of reactions. So while I didn't win in the sense of getting 50,000 words, I still consider this year a win.

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NaNoWriMo: Calling it Quits and What it Means to Essay + writing