Today is November 30th and NaNoWriMo ends at 11:59 p.m. Congratulations to everyone who finished. Crazy-loud cheers to everyone who is still writing.
Wherever you may be with your word count, the most important point to take away from this challenge was that you gave it your best shot. No matter if you’re still stuck around 20,000 words — be proud of yourself that you tried.
And keep writing.
One of the biggest reasons that writers stop being writers is because they never finish their stories.
So keep writing.
This is a fact above and beyond NaNoWriMo, having nothing to do with writing 50,000 words in 30 days. NaNoWriMo is simply a challenge. That is not how most writers get their stories down. NaNoWriMo, whether you win or not, is not meant to be an example of your ability to finish a story.
Even if you do not “win” NaNoWriMo, that does not mean you must quit.
No. You keep writing.
If you are writing a story that is interesting to you, that is meaningful to you, that is important to you — keep writing it. Keep working. So what if November 30th comes and goes and you are still on word 17,561.
Why should you keep writing when things look so bleak?
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford
Things worth fighting for are supposed to be difficult, pose a challenge, make you think, set your heart on fire, and all around just drive you crazy.
True—sometimes all of the above happens in relation to the most wasteful and pointless of life’s issues. So how do we know if our NaNoWriMo novel is worth the fight?
- Are you having fun when you sit down to work on it?
- Do your characters make you smile, laugh, cry, throw paperweights?
- Is your setting a place you’d love to live or visit?
- Are you excited to see what your antagonist will do to your hero?
- Do you “write” in your mind while you’re doing the dishes or other chores?
- Do you want to write this story?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions, then keep writing even after NaNoWriMo comes to a close. Set aside a block of time, keep a regular writing schedule as best you can, and finish that story. You need to power through that tough skin of insecurity, doubt, dread, fear. As long as you care about your story, then all you needed to get out of NaNoWriMo was a chance to start writing that story.
After today, with no official challenge to push you forward, it’s all up to you. Don’t abandon your characters, don’t let your story down, don’t give up.
If you lost your way with NaNoWriMo, I can help! Register for a story assessment in December! Comment below if you’d like more information!
Have a writerly day!