I have an extreme dislike of failure. I admit that this often keeps me from doing things, like prevented me from writing this blog or any other venture I wanted to try. This also is what prevents me from sitting down and taking writing my stories to the level I should if I wanted to become a full-time writer.
So when I got an email from the NaNoWriMo about how yearly they do a “National Novel Writing Month”, I became excited about how this was going to get me to sit down and finally do it. The goal of 50,000 seemed difficult, but I wanted the challenge. It was exciting. After tossing the idea around a bit, I decided my first piece would be this crude comedy. My excitement increased when I had started to get into the story, I knew what I wanted and the process made me incredibly happy.
Then I hit a wall. I sat there a thousand words in, and I blanked out. I couldn’t tell what I wanted or where I was going with it. I thought I was going crazy, reciting ideas in my head while my dogs looked at me like I was going insane. I spun around in my chair, played bejeweled on my phone, and stared out my window just mentally exhausted. That was only after a thousand words, I knew I’d never make 50,000. I knew I wasn’t even going to finish a completed project to call “a book” and was ready to stop.
Giving up is hard for me to do, I’m not a quitter. As I explained my predicament to my husband, he reminded me of that. I was too stubborn to just give up. He’s right, that jerk is always right. He ushered me off to my desk and sat me down with my iPod and sent me off into that dark hole that would be where my brain had just vacated. I wrote and wrote and then I stopped. I had my story, it was complete. I was full of pride. My little novella is finished!
My pride quickly vanished when I saw the word count wasn’t even half of the required 50,000 for the challenge. I failed the challenge; I was angry and went back into my towel throwing. I could have fluffed it up and reached the word count of the challenge and been done with it. I wanted to, just so I didn’t have to admit any failure. Then I realized I couldn’t, I had far too much artistic integrity to fluff up my story for any reason. The story was complete, challenge failed or not. I had to suck it up and accept it.
At first, I became depressed by this. I wanted to be awesome and pass the challenge and complete it for no other reason than a feeling of self accomplishment. It didn’t take me long to realize I had gotten what I wanted anyways. I had finally finished something, and I felt proud of it and overwhelming felt that self accomplishment that I wanted. Now, I can sit and do the fun editing and revisions to publish my first novella. This has also given me the push to complete my short story anthology I’ve been banging my head against, while reminding me that giving up is just way too easy for me.