Normally I have some rah-rah speech about how NaNoWriMo isn’t a zero-sum game. Because you don’t have to write 50k in 30 days in order to accomplish something; your success or failure in reaching a purposely impossible-sounding goal does nothing to diminish or amplify anyone else’s success or failure; your only competition is yourself, your only prize is your manuscript, blah, blah, Official NaNo Scripting, blah.
For the first time since I started doing NaNo, I have completely, utterly, unarguably sucked and failed. Because writing is hard. In between work and conversations and personal dramas and chemical disorders and holidays and sleep/inability to sleep and every other little thing and then trying to do one more thing—it’s so much easier not to.
And I came to the minor epiphany that even though I snark about all the poorly-written books in this world, one important thing that separates them from me is that they committed to the story and they made it happen.
Of all the qualities a writer can have, determination is the most predictive of whether they will find anything resembling success; every other trait is nothing without follow-through. Even raw talent is worthless if you can’t channel it into something real.
NaNo 2013, final word count: 0.