NaNoWriMo-The End is Near

by limebirdkate

Two days left. Or thereabouts depending on the time zone where you live. How is everyone doing? Finished? Still writing? Planning an all-nighter to catch up?

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 fail is because they never finish their stories. 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 quit. 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.

Are you having fun when you sit down to write?

Do your characters make you smile, laugh, cry, throw paperweights?

Is your setting a place you enjoy describing?

Are you excited to see what your antagonist will do to your hero?

Do you want to write this story?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions, then keep writing when NaNoWriMo comes to a close. Set aside that 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 November 30th, with no 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.

Keep writing.

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35 Responses to “NaNoWriMo-The End is Near”

  1. Kate, I’ve loved your NaNo posts, and this one is just as awesome! :D

  2. Good luck, Kate, in the last couple of days! We all think you’re a winner already. ; )

    • Hi Anne,

      Aww, you’re sweet. :) Winding down the month is bittersweet because now I have this mess of words–some good, most terrible. And I have to plow through all of that to get to the story I had in mind. It’s been a fun ride. :)

  3. I am in awe of writers who do NaNoWriMo. I burn myself out within days and go crazy by that stage. Anyone who can make this month (by which I mean get thousands of words done 20, 30, 40 or 50 thousand) should be proud of themselves.

    I am confidently saying I probably will never “officially” win NaNoWriMo. And that is fine.

    • Hey Novel Girl,

      I can definitely understand the burn-out. I hit that midway through, and there was a stretch of time I thought I wouldn’t be able to write any more. However, I knew if I didn’t do it how disappointed I’d be in myself. I made it out to be a huge deal from the get-go. When I can guilt myself, then I can get through those obstacles. It’s like stopping myself from eating too much chocolate. I just guilt myself, and I can put the chocolate away. :)

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Good luck in these last few days.

  5. Good post, Kate. Lots of solid points for any writer to take away.

    What particularly sticks with me is the idea of having fun while you write. I always have fun when I write, so long as I don’t get caught up in all those “don’ts” you hear all around the net. I know these folks mean well (I hope that, anyway), but we just need to write. Rules and style tips can come into play in editing. Telling our stories should be something we love, and not be a terrible chore.

    Congratulations again to everyone who played the NaNoWriMo game this year, and many thanks to everyone who supported those who did! :)

    • Hi Mayumi, I have always believed that if we’re not having fun writing, then what’s the point? I think I would quit writing the day it ceased being fun. And you’re right, there is a huge difference between writing and editing, they need to be kept separate. Rough drafts are all about the enjoyment, the freedom of getting the ideas down. Worry about pulling it all together later.

      Seems like NaNo was a lot of fun to most everyone who played this year. And even if it wasn’t, I think the time spent is still valuable. Always great to chat with you, Mayumi! :)

  6. I love this, and you’re so right. The key is to just keep writing, to finish the stories you start from. Also, I think it’s important to learn from every story you write, long or short. That keeps you moving forward and always improving. :)

    • Thanks, Julie. Yes! Wonderful point–we do need to learn as we go, in whatever fashion it may be. If we aren’t getting anything out of our time spent on our stories, then we’re not going to produce very effective or compelling material. Thanks for swinging by!

  7. I’m very nearly there now! I can’t actually say I’ve had fun writing it to be honest. I’ve had moments of fun, but there has been more hard slog than fun. I was determined not to give up though! I think it was the wrong story for me to write really, but by the time I realised that it was too late to start again. I still really like my idea for the story, I just don’t think I’m the right person to write it! I’ll see what I think of it when I get to reading it through.

    • I absolutely share your pain, Vanessa. I didn’t manage to get “into” my story until very, very late in the game, so it was not always fun. Now that it’s almost over for me, I’m glad I wrote this one, but I think I’m just going to pass it around to friends and not worry about trying to do anything more with it. I managed to find the excitement in the story eventually, but this year was almost more about knowing other people taking part in the experience of it all, and having fun with that.

      • That’s a great attitude to have, Mayumi. I love that you’re using it as a learning experience, or a stepping stone, and not getting discouraged. So many writers feel like if they don’t win NaNo (or, even, if they don’t finish a story at all) that it means they are terrible writers, or they don’t know what they’re doing, or some other devastating self-sabotage thinking.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Well, you get huge brownie points for toughing it out. So many writers don’t, they quit, and I don’t think that’s good for the writing soul. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on it when you go back to reread. If you haven’t decided already, I would suggest to wait a few weeks before looking at it. Don’t dive into it quite yet; let it incubate for a while. That helps separate you from the feelings you had when you first wrote it. Just a suggestion! :)

  8. I think NaNo is a really important exercise in writing. It proves that you can write x # of words in a month. And once you know that, you can dispute that voice in your head that doubts you. :)

    • Hi Kourtney, great summation of NaNo. You should be their spokesperson! :) I think you’re right. Because, let’s face it, unless a writer carefully outlined a story ahead of time (which kind of defeats the purpose of NaNo, IMO), no story that emerges from NaNo is ready to go come December 1. I like the energy of NaNo, knowing that I’m sharing a challenge with friends. It’s invigorating for me, and I don’t look too much into it other than a chance to get a story started.

  9. It’s so true that the final number of words isn’t important. The adventure and learning from the experience is really what’s important. Even if the words that came out get completely rewritten, they weren’t wasted. All writing is good practice and should help us become better writers.

    It’s been a bit quiet in Blog Land with so many people focusing on NaNo stories instead of their blogs. So, somewhat selfishly, I’m looking forward to seeing more posts from some of you buddies!

    • Right JM, as with any rough draft — words and ideas aren’t wasted just because they’re rewritten. I know that I have improved as a writer because of rewriting and practice, and I value it all.

      I can imagine how quiet it’s been out there. I did a little bit of blog-hopping when I could, but I know I missed a lot of valuable, interesting posts for the sake of getting to know my pirate. ;) I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and catching up to what everyone else is doing.

  10. Thanks for the words of encouragement! I won last year, my first year, and this year I stalled out at 29,000. But I know that I will finish my story, and I can’t wait to find out what will happen next.

    • Hey J M, 29,000 words is respectable IMO. I’m glad that you aren’t giving up and that you’ll keep going. Be sure to let us know how you get on! :)

  11. How many people go on to finish what they have written and produce a novel and how many can’t even look at what they have written ever again? I’ve never been involved in it and am interested in what happens next.

    • Hi Loony,

      I am curious about the stats, too. I have a feeling there are more books that fall by the wayside. However, I think even when that happens, a lot of writers spin off from that point and write another book. Sometimes I think NaNo is simply one big warm-up session. :)

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