NaNoWriMo is Depressing


So an update on my first NaNoWriMo. We’re just finishing day 14. If you’re on track, writing 1,667 words a day, then you should be at 23,338 words. Me? I’m at 13,119 words, and I’m at the crux.

Is NaNoWriMo worth doing? What am I getting out of this? Look at this chart. The beautiful straight line shows where NaNoWriMo says I should be. The bars under it show how far I’m falling behind.

It’s really hard not to see this as failure. I’m 10,000 words behind NaNoWriMo’s imposed target and pace.

And yet. If I’d written 13,000 words in a two week period at any other time, I’d be ecstatic. I’d be jumping for joy.

Instead, I feel like a failure. Of my five writing buddies, only one has written less words than I have. Worse, the others are on target or exceeding it.

My great success — 13,000 words in fourteen days — makes me a failure.

And Twitter is just full of writers bragging about 3,000 or 4,000 word days. How depressing!

I know a lot of writers quit NaNoWriMo. I understand why. I know I’ve been hesitant to do this for years. It’s a double-edged sword. You get a bunch of work done and feel like shit for having done it.

I don’t know if I’ll continue updating my NaNoWriMo profile this year, but I do know that I’m ‘one and done.” I won’t be back next year.

And you know what? Screw it. The 253 words that I’ve written for this post? I’m including them in my NaNoWriMo total.

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