Conceding Defeat

I like the saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” It seems to be credited to Brian Littrell, but not everyone agrees that it was. Being a Backstreet Boys fan, I’m going with it though.

November 2012 was a month where I set my goal for the moon. I always like to aim high, even knowing I might not reach what ever it is I’m trying for. But I often do. Not this time though. I’ve finally had to admit that I’m just going to be floating out among the stars.

I was a little nervous on October 31st at the thought of committing to my very first NaNoWriMo event, but I was determined to get those 50,000 words written so I could have a completed first draft in thirty days.

But me being me, I couldn’t just leave it at one first draft. Nope. To that number that many writers were sweating over, I added more goals. Finish a manuscript that was a chapter away from completion. Then a novella I could have ready for Christmas. And then I thought that I might as well finish yet another manuscript, which wasn’t even half done.

November 30th destination:  104,000 words

Actual word count:  81,556. Yes, I missed the mark by  22,444. I was pretty bummed out when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Failure isn’t something I’m ever going to be okay with.

And then I realized I didn’t fail. Not only did I meet my first goal in twelve days (yes, I wrote 50,130 words in twelve days), I wrote wrote 31,556 more, too. I have three completed manuscripts to edit (two that are brand new), and the fourth is more than half finished now.

So I refuse to focus on what I didn’t get done. Yeah, it’s easier said than done. I keep thinking I should spend the next three days writing like mad to see if I can add an additional 15-20,000 to that last project.

But you know what?

My imagination, and my mind, are just really tired of being creative right now. So, while I’ll probably continue working on that book, I’m not going to push myself. I accomplished a lot.

And I learned something about myself. While I can push myself a lot further than I ever believed I could…I don’t want to do it very often. Not to that degree anyway.

I do, however, intend to do more 50,000 word months. In fact, a small group of us who participate in #wordmongering on Twitter are planning a challenge in February. And then again every 2-3 months after that until the real NaNoWriMo rolls around again.

In fact, if any of you are interested in joining us, let me know. Misery loves company! The more the merrier!

Yeah, I know. This has absolutely nothing to do with writing. But since I mentioned Brian Littrell in the first paragraph… and that made me think about Kevin (who is by far the sexiest BSB), I thought…why not?

What kind of goal setter are you? Do you like to set goals you know you can achieve? Do you set them a little (or a lot!) higher than you should? What do you do when you don’t reach them?

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Conceding Defeat

  1. Congrats on the huge accomplishment! I have zero idea about how writing like you do is done so from my perspective, it’s clearly a huge accomplishment based on the numbers. My goals are simple, take it one day at a time. The list for this day is on my desk. 🙂

    • Thanks, John. I think I need to make that kind of a list, too. Not sure I ever want to experience another month like November. Thanks for stopping by. LOVE your pictures of the snowfall on your site. Hopefully we’ll get some in the Lansing area someday soon. Maybe even before Christmas. 🙂

      • Thank you for that kind compliment! If today is any indication, we are in for a repeat of last winter ~ mild. No complaints here!

        • Okay…so let’s make a deal here. You ship any snow you don’t want down this way, okay? I am a long-time snow lover. 🙂

          • Whoa, that will take a lots of truck loads!

            • I could live with that. 🙂

              Hey…by the way, I wound up contacting WordPress support earlier today because some glitch showed my blog as being Native Michigander. I’m assuming it’s because they’ve made some changes recently (like in the past four days). So if you hear from them, that’s why. I told them I thought it was a glitch, and it’s fixed now, so it was clearly on their end, just like I thought. Don’t know why these sites have to keep ‘improving’ what doesn’t need improved. 🙂

              • Wow, that is a first for me! So glad WP admin fixed that one and fast. No word from them as yet. The best thing they could do to improve here is to allow Java Script, some of the dandy plugins available on the .org side of WP. I have considered upgrading to the ORG side but it’s not that important right now I guess. But being able to use Java here would make things much better. A few rotten apples have spoiled our usage of it!

                • I see they still haven’t worked all of the kinks out. My response just disappeared. Hmm. Okay…

                  Yes, I’d never seen that before. But sometime between Nov. 29 and now, they changed the dashboard again, and clearly they have some issues to resolve.

                  I actually prefer this version of WordPress. I’ve noticed when other bloggers I follow make the switch, following comments has turned into a headache. Almost worse than Blogger blogs (which are a major pain with their Captcha’s). I suppose another reason I like this version is because when I read the word ‘Java’ it brings to mind things like hives, panic attacks, nervous breakdowns, and other peachy things like that. 🙂

  2. How did you get all that done in a month? Well done.

  3. I’d hardly call 81k a defeat! Maybe not as much as you’d hoped for but wow, a huge accomplishment! I knkw what you mean about feeling creatively drained – I feel that too, and I o ly wrote 50k. 🙂 Congrats… and happy editing!

  4. I think maybe you’re a bit hard on yourself, Kristy! I’d say 81K is pretty damned good.

    • Thanks, Colin! I’m actually happy with the number. I just don’t like falling short of a goal. I think the reason I didn’t get there is because I was bouncing around the heads of characters in four different stories. If I ever am that ever that stupid ambitious again, I’m going to stick with one story…maybe two. 🙂

  5. HOLY COW that is ahhhhmazing!! Congrats Kristy…you just kicked some serious creative BUTT…you ROCK! Now…go celebrate!

  6. That’s a huge success, not a defeat! You should be excited. I understand why you feel creatively drained too. It doesn’t sound like your brain got much down time.

    Please let me know when you and the others are setting off on your February challenge. I might want to join 🙂

    • Thanks, Marcy! I am mostly excited, but the book I most wanted to finish is just slightly more than half finished now. I’ll get it done though.

      And I’ll definitely be announcing the February challenge a couple of times throughout the month of January. I’m hoping I remember to make a blog that everyone can use to update word counts by then. I think that was one of the most motivating things about NaNoWriMo…just putting the words in every day. 🙂

  7. Hell girl. You rocked it. Stop being so hard on yourself. That’s some serious wordage happening there. I may jump in and join you in February. NaNo keeps falling at a bad time for me.

    • Thanks, Debra. 🙂 NaNo’s timing sucks. Clearly whoever set it up to happen in November wasn’t a woman…or a mom. I’m hoping we can do 3-4 of the ‘alternate NaNo’s’ in 2013…but you can bet none of them are going to be scheduled near the holidays. October…maybe. But none after that. At least not until the first of the next year. At least not for me. 🙂

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