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I lost national novel writing month. It is sad to say, and let me paint the picture for you. Week one begins, and I’m excited to write and finish the first draft of my novel. I hit my daily word count every day, and it wasn’t a problem. You can read in detail how it went here.

I had a fantastic start and was confident I would win my first NaNoWriMo. Though, like starting too fast in a distance race when running track, I quickly felt burnout the second week.  I was still hitting my daily word goals; however, this time, what would take me an hour the first week, would take two or three hours the second. It was more challenging, but I was on track to win. You can read the full story here.

Now, we get to the third week of NaNoWriMo, and I’m more than halfway done. Something incredible happened. I had my best writing day of the whole month and finished the first draft of my novel. My 34 chapters, 90k word behemoth of a manuscript. I had a couple of off days in the third week, but I entered the end of the month ready to win. Read all about my third week here.

I had a solid run of NaNoWriMo; in all regards, I should have won. I finished my draft! But I was at 34k words for the month and set out to write a short story. I ended NaNoWriMo with a word count of 36k words. I failed as it is now December 2nd at the time of writing this article.

What Happened?

I Lost NaNoWriMo_what happenedThe short answer, I lost motivation after completing my novel. I poured years into writing this story, and I finally saw the end of it. I finally wrote, “to be continued.” Filled with excitement, I celebrated the victory of being one step closer to having my debut novel on bookshelves. It is a milestone and a great accomplishment.

For the challenge, however, finishing created a significant problem. I was worn out from writing endlessly on my novel and maintaining my blog. Thanksgiving was right around the corner and I needed a break. I tried to continue writing by starting a short story, but the fact was, it didn’t interest me as long. I choose to walk away and emerge from NaNo as merely a participant. It doesn’t mean I am a failure. Quite the opposite, it means I know my limits and when to push myself, and when to give myself time to relax.

I stopped writing during the last week, spent time with my beautiful wife and family, and enjoyed the holiday. I could have finished if I continued writing; 50k words were in my reach. But I choose not to. I am happy with my accomplishment of finishing my first draft, and for me, that was the month’s main goal.

What’s Next?

I Lost NaNoWriMo whats nextNow that NaNoWriMo is over, I plan to branch out my time in three different paths. The first will be providing educational writing content for you guys. I plan to review more books, revamp the blog a bit, and continue writing posts to help aspiring writers master their craft. I have some major changes planned and hope to see you along for the ride.

The second path planned is editing my first draft. I am going to be doing some major developmental edits—rearranging, adding, and deleting scenes. I will have to do some major rewrites and tighten my manuscript to the best I can possibly get it on my own before I start sending it to professional and freelance editors and start on the third draft. As I edit my draft, I plan to write content about the process and how it can help write your stories.

And the third path I will be dividing my time into is finding a job as a creative writing professor at the university level. I will be working on my cover letter, resume, and finding the perfect fit for my career. I want to help as many aspiring writers as possible and feel this is the best path for my journey. In terms of the blog, this means my content will be geared at teaching creative writing in an easy to digest way.


National Novel Writing Month was a long and challenging journey filled with amazing twists and turns. I look forward to participating again next year. The biggest change I would make is starting a brand-new project at the beginning of the month instead of continuing a project.

I learned a ton about myself while writing this month. With discipline and focus, I can sit down and finish a novel. I have the time in my day to write; I just need to prioritize and make it an everyday habit. NaNoWriMo showed me it is possible to be a full-time writer, which made me crave the lifestyle so much more.

I hope for next year to create more of an event out of it and create ways to interact with you guys as well.

How did your NaNoWriMo go? Leave a comment and share your successes!

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C. D. Baron

Here at Writing Tips and Sips, I aim to help aspiring fantasy writers – like yourself – become the best that you can be. Grab some coffee and sip while enjoying a plethora of writing advice as well as tips on world-building, for every level. Included within this site is my world-building, book bible for Symphonia, used as an example for advice that we offer. Looking forward to working with you! -C. D. Baron