5 Reasons I Failed NaNo: and how you can learn from my mistakes

Writing / Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

So….I failed NaNo. Which actually wasn’t a very big surprise for me. There are many things that I did wrong over the course of November, which pushed my wordcount to come out lower than 20,000 words.

In short…there are 5 reasons I failed NaNoWriMo 2017, and today I’m going to share them with you and share how I could have done things differently and taken the prize.

Next year, my friends, next year…


I didn’t set daily goals for myself.

It is SO important to set daily goals for yourself!!!! I cannot even stress this enough! Even if it’s only 100 words, you should set daily goals for yourself! The discipline one goes hand-in-hand with this one. Once you finish your daily goal, reward yourself with something small, and then keep going.


I didn’t discipline myself.

I gave myself chocolate even when I knew I hadn’t written enough.

‘Nuff said.


I didn’t believe in myself.

The whole time, I was telling myself: “You can’t do this,” “You’re going to fail,” “You might as well give up now, loser”. Telling myself those things was me basically setting myself up for failure. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to fail! Tell yourself you’re going to win, and you will!


I didn’t plot beforehand.

Okay, I’m usually a panster. But I decided I wanted to try plotting beforehand to see how I liked it.


Let’s just say I failed at that.


I didn’t develop my characters enough beforehand.

I’m usually, like, 100% ready on the character side of things.

Let’s just say I failed at that too.

Well, there you have it, folks! Hopefully, you (and I) can learn something valuable from my mistakes. Here’s to an even better NaNo next year! 😀

11 Replies to “5 Reasons I Failed NaNo: and how you can learn from my mistakes”

  1. Well, you can’t win ’em all! And writing is tough, y’know? And then life takes away time from writing and … there are all kinds of things that happen, and you just CAN’T write.

    You’re right about discipline, though! You need to make yourself write a little every day, even if it’s only a few sentences. *glares at self for not writing at all except during NaNo* (Someday I will write every day! I hope …)

    But … I think any little writing progress is awesome – even if it’s just 1,000 words or whatever! – and winning shouldn’t necessarily be the reason you participate in NaNo so much as to just WRITE. Does that make any sense?

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