Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
Today I am writing my last post in my NaNoWriMo Prepping series, and I hope to impart some final bits of NaNo wisdom. I also hope you've enjoyed the series, and would like to extend a special thanks to everyone who has shared the posts with others. You're all awesome!
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As of this writing, there are only three -- you read that right, three -- days left until this year's NaNoWriMo, and I hope that, like me, you are excited for what is to come. The more a writer writes, even if the words are a sloppy, awful first draft, the better at writing a writer becomes, so remember that while your main goal for NaNo should be having fun, and gaining good writing practices (though the 50K mark is great, too), you are also doing this to become a better writer in the future, whether it's better at writing e-mails, letters, tweets, or some form of fiction.
As I said last post, there will always be a time in novel planning (or thinking, for those of you who are pantsers; you can't write a story without a sliver of an idea, after all) where you will have to actually sit down and begin writing, throwing all fears away. That time is almost upon us for NaNo, so now is when we gather our courage to make sure our steadfastness remains throughout the month.
Novel writing -- or, writing in general -- is an experience unlike any other, I think. It's very personal, very tedious, and even in challenges like NaNo, there is so much work to be done -- both during and after the writing. But what many manuals and talks about writing forget to include is how fun it can be, and even on the (many) days when it won't be fun, how rewarding. When you sit back after a month's work, or a day's work, or an hour's work, don't just look at how many words you wrote, but what you've actually accomplished in the story. It may be something small, but without tiny grains of sand, we would have no desert.
Have we learned your character's favorite color or place? Have we met a new friend or enemy? Has a large decision been made, or unmade? Has the love of your protagonist's life made an appearance? Has there been a death in the family, or a birth? Have your characters stumbled upon a lost city, or a new town? Has someone muttered that one line of dialogue that you think is simply hilarious or profound?
I have taken to attempting to write at least 500 words (though I often write more) a day for the last month, which for me has been busy elsewhere. It might not sound like many words to work with, but you would be amazed at the things that can happen in 500 words -- or 100, or 10, or 5. "She pressed onward" is three words, and yet those three words have the potential to change an entire story. Just imagine what new, exciting things will be happening when you're writing 1,677 words per day! Don't look at the number, look at the possibilities.
Have courage in your writing, and stand firm. This month is going to be full of as many blocks and frustrations as it is full of good points and elations, but that is simply the life of a writer, and the life of a book. No matter what happens, keep your courage, and keep moving towards the finish line -- and even if you don't make it to 50k, be proud of yourself for writing.