When Goals Don’t Get Met – Writing Marathon Wrap Post

Well, it happened. I got to the Muskoka Novel Marathon and discovered I had NOTHING to write about. Usually, I don’t plan anything…but there is a something something floating around in my head that I pick up and run with. NOT THIS TIME.

It’s been a difficult year for me, for various reasons. I’ve been wondering if my writing would become strangled because of this. I made it through the Trafalgar24 Play Creation Festival in one piece. I seriously worried I would have nothing to show for it after my 8 hours of being locked in the castle to write my play. The task was made even harder when I was given a blank stage as my canvas this year, instead of one of the beautiful (and inspirational) castle rooms.

But at the end of the 8 hours (actually after only 1 1/2 hours) I had my play written. By the audience reaction, I THINK it worked out. I heard much laughing…I’m sure that had more to do with the incredible actors performing the play than the actual writing. They were BRILLIANT.

Anyway…my worries over under-performing for Trafalgar24 seemed to have been premature. But I knew I was in trouble going into the Muskoka Novel Marathon. I’ve been running on empty for months. Still, I love the event so much that I tempted fate and I kept my appointment with destiny.

My goal this year was 60,000 words in 72 hours. I believe I broke the 50,000 word count last year. I no longer remember the exact count. But this year, I struggled to break 30,000…not to mention, those 30K words are short scenes stretched out. I failed to reach any sort of quality or quantity this year. I still had fun, though. Still enjoyed being a part of an event that raised over $8,000.00 for the Muskoka Literacy Council. That side of it will always rock, whether I write 1 or 100,000 words.

I’m disappointed in myself for letting my life get in the way of my writing, this time out. I was always able to prevent that from happening. We live, we learn. Sometimes you just need to know when not to pick up the pen. BIC, I am realizing for the first time in my life, is quite an accomplishment. Before now, I could sit down anywhere and start writing and not look up. Marathon writing is my comfort zone. It’s how I write novels. This year showed me that it just doesn’t come naturally. I won’t forget that next year.

This is NOT writing

During previous Muskoka Novel Marathons I was always able to work without much sleep. This year, having struggled for so long before the marathon with insomnia–I hit my wall early on. After only 43 hours without sleep, I crashed and slept on and off for the next day. I just COULD NOT stay awake or concentrate.


By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: