It’s here. The final week of NaNoWriMo. And you’re stretching to reach the finish line.
With tomorrow being Thanksgiving Day, here in America, it seems a good time to pause and reflect on reasons to be thankful for your NaNoWriMo experience.
1. Your manuscript word count is higher than when you began this challenge.
What’s that you say? You missed several days when your day job overwhelmed you, caught the flu from your neighbor’s preschooler, ran into a mental roadblock in week two, and never managed to catch up to your word count goal. You failed this challenge.
You had zero words on the page on November 1. Nada. Zilch. And now you have so much more than a big goose egg. Does it matter if there are less than 43,342 words in your story at the end of this day?
No. What matters is that you sat down and wrote. You put words on the blank page. Hooray!
2. You created a habit of writing without overthinking.
Yes, what you’ve written is raw and ugly. It’s wordy, and the story certainly doesn’t flow like hot chocolate over a polished apple.
That’s what a first draft is all about. It’s about creating something you can actually work with. Something big and unwieldy. Something magical and inspiring.
Without the free-flowing form of this first draft you have nothing to carve and sculpt into your real story.
3. You’ve found a community of support.
Every one of the hundreds of thousands of writers taking the NaNoWriMo challenge this month are working through the same doubts and fears you are. (Why don’t you post that number on your front page with the worldwide word count, NaNoWriMo guys? I seem to remember seeing the total number of participants in years past, but I’m not finding it this year.) As soon as November comes to a close every one of those writers, you included, will face new fears about what comes next in the process.
You’ve made new friends, some of whom will be with you for the rest of your writing career. You’ll share answers to questions about polishing and publishing your novels. You’ll support each other and cheer each new accomplishment.
You’re not alone in your journey. And now you know you never will be.
So tomorrow, whether you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday or not, take a few moments to be thankful for your entire NaNoWriMo experience this year. Then eat a slice of pie for me.
Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday
Happy NaNoWriMo Finish Line on Sunday!