Huzzah, you made it–NaNoWriMo: The Finish Line! Here we are on November 30th, ready to ring in December and wave so-long to another NaNoWriMo. I hope this month was more than you hoped it would be. I didn’t get to 50k, but this was my first year participating while also juggling teaching, blogging, and speaking. Is a little part of me disappointed not to see that winner badge? Sure. But I’m pretty darn pleased to have kept all the plates spinning. And I’m off to a fine start and (a tricky middle) on my novel, so cheers!
If you’re feeling bittersweet because life interfered with your big goal this year, remember this advice from NaNoWriMo: The Finish Line edition 🙂
Let go of regrets
What’s done is done. Hal Elrod says that when life slaps you in the face, give it five minutes of freak-out time. I mean, you can pitch a serious tantrum. Then take a deep breath, say, “Can’t change it!” and focus on the now and the next days to come. By acknowledging your disappointment, you’re free to leave it an move on without spinning your wheels in denial. Today’s new. We learn from our experiences, and aim to get a little better each day.
Set a new goal for December
If you’re celebrating a major holiday in December, you know how much you have on your to-do list. Simplify as much as possible so you can still work on your November novel. Only ten minutes a day will keep the plot fresh in your mind so you won’t have to do a lot of review work to pick it up again after New Year’s. Daily action will move you toward your goal, and one day soon, you’ll finish! What’s one or two months in the grand scheme of things, especially if you’ve wanted to write a book for for-EV-er?
Look back at how far you’ve come
You’ve been eying that 50,000 mark for weeks. But this is the time to pause, turn around, and see how far you’ve come. You have completed chapters. You have a cast of characters. There are the major plot points you crafted with care. These are all huge accomplishments. If you’ve already done the lion’s share, all you have to do now is string it all together. (Like a festive evergreen garland, shall we say?) Give yourself some credit, and promise your inner-disappointed-child that you’ll finish the story. Tenacity is the quality that all great writers possess. You can possess it, too.
If November didn’t go the way you’d hoped, give yourself the gift of a re-do in December. You can tell your accountabilibuddy, and give a few people permission to check in with you and hold you accountable. The most important thing is that you don’t give up. Someone needs your book. Get it done, and release it into the wild to start a life of its own.
NOW YOU: How do you like to celebrate the end of a massive challenge?
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