NaNoWriMo: The Memoirs – 2009

Yay, halfway through this things. More or less; it’s hard to evenly distribute years when they keep on marching forward.

So. 2009.

It’ll probably always stand out to me as The Year I Lost.

In 2009, for a whole host of good reasons, I went back to college. And by back, I mean nano_09_blk_participant_100x100_1_pngthat thirteen years after I got my rather useless B.A. in English Lit*, I bit the bullet, took out a student loan, and signed up for a practical certification program that might actually get me a non-customer service job**.

The downside was that I was in classes from 8 am to 5 pm five days a week. Still, I deluded myself into thinking, no problem, hart, you can still do nanowrimo!

I didn’t manage to start prepping till late October, but hey, I’d been doing this for several years now. I had an idea, at least, though an outline was sadly lacking. I could pants it for once! After all, I knew how to write, and I knew how to fake it. I was ready!

I was so not ready.

By day 10, I was almost 10,000 words behind. And with all of the assignments, homework, and normal life stuff going on, I had to admit defeat.  I had written a grand total of 6,500 words at that point, and I knew I wasn’t going to finish.

I spent the rest of November piddling around the nano forums, reading, snarking, and generally not giving a fuck. Added a few words to my novel and fiddled with it a bit, but my end wordcount was 7,371.

I swore, then, that if I was going to do nano again (and I was; of course I was), I would get my butt in gear a lot sooner, have an outline, and all the other good stuff. I was not a pantser, would never be one, and that was okay. I’d learnt something about myself, and that was a good thing***.


*it did give me a whole host of analytical tools and a somewhat solid knowledge of the classics, but it didn’t lend itself well to getting a job.

**spoiler alert; it worked.

***not that I enjoyed the lesson.


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