Life Sucked and I Won NaNo

UPDATE: By the seat of my pants, I did win NaNoWriMo! YEAH! Very excited. Less excited about everything else. I’d post an image, but having issues turning a PDF into a JPG without spending money. Know how to do it for free? Let me know!

At the time of writing this it is November 16th. I am telling myself that I will win NaNoWriMo this year, despite the toughest set back I’ve had in my life, barring shattering my nose when I was six. This face was that of an academy award winner until then.

Whether or not I win, this is posting to show I tried. But hopefully it will go to show I succeeded.

What is NaNo?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Write 50,000 words in one month. That averages out to around 1,600 words a day. This is an hour to an hour and a half of writing a day for me.

I’ve participated for nearly a decade, with one year off. I have won once.

Previous Losses

In the past, I had excuses for losing NaNo. I ran a mission trip to Gautemala for a week. Thanksgiving is a huge family event, and four days are shot right at the end of the race. I had writer’s block? I don’t know. I think Guatemala and Thanksgiving were the two major excuses most years.

Then I just let myself lose. I watched the time tick by, and didn’t finish what I set out to finish. I said it would be fine. I always ended up finishing the manuscript, just not at that moment.

What Changed in Me

I read Mindset. I took Mindset 101. I worked on the 365 day art improvement plan (which has been hit or miss on every day, but has been hit on making significant improvement and committing time).

The excuses are done. I was way ahead in NaNo, but as of writing this, I’ve spent the last four days struggling to output words. Instead I’ve been wallowing in self-pity (well earned as it is) and losing myself to the bloodlust and minimalist parenting style of Kratos in God of War.

Why Throw a Pity Party?

Photo by burak kostak on

I am writing this on a Monday. After a long fought battle of trying to make things work, my wife announced last Thursday it was time to move on. I am getting divorced.

This was mutual. We are working on a friendly end to our marriage, while allowing room for friendship in the aftermath. It still hurts like hell, and the thought of how confused my little girl will be in the coming months is painful. However, within a year or two, things will be better than if we had stayed together.

But since Thursday night I have been spiraling. Fortunately I had over a week of blog posts set up, so they kept letting me know that my progress was moving forward. In fact, as I’m writing this, part of my motivation is I am nearing 30 views due to the Panda Traveler post. That’s a week’s worth of views in one day.

It’s a lot of why I’m writing this now. This post is the first productive thing I’ve done since Thursday night. I made a plan for Saturday, and after seeing it this morning, I used a pink marker to write “LOL” across the page.

I know very few people within my immediate network who would blame me for not finishing NaNoWriMo. But there are a lot of people I look up to, who I would one day like in my network, and while they wouldn’t blame me for not finishing, I know they would finish. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to finish NaNoWriMo.

Your Journeys

What are some of the struggles you faced? How did you learn and/or persevere through them? Would love to hear from you!

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