It’s November 1st, the day we writers look forward to all year because it’s the beginning of the month when we’re allowed to howl in misery, tear at our hair, beat our faces on our keyboards, and in all other ways get to act like a total artiste torturé. Lolz, just kidding…that’s reserved for November 30th!
No, seriously, I kid…NaNoWriMo is something that we should enjoy, in the same way a runner keeps going through every step of a marathon. It hurts like hell, we think we won’t make it, but ultimately we do and it’s the sweetest feeling in the world. Crossing that finish line, that sense of accomplishment…HELLS YES IT’S HARD!!!
Anyway, we don’t always finish every marathon, we don’t always complete every challenge. Just as a runner may have to sit out a race due to a broken ankle, you may need to assess if finishing NaNoWriMo is possible in any given year. The past two years, I started off with a bang, but because of life events beyond my control (including illness), had to give myself permission not to finish. Is anyone going to make fun of a runner for not tackling a marathon with a broken ankle? Of course not! In the same vein, you may have to assess whether or not you CAN finish 50,000 words in 30 days.
If you genuinely CAN’T FINISH, give yourself permission to ease out, it’ll be back next year. Take care of yourself and come back stronger. If you’re just not sure if you WILL FINISH, then reorganize some priorities, give some some stuff up and FIND A WAY TO WRITE 50-FRICKIN-THOUSAND WORDS!!!
Just write. Don’t edit as you go. Just write. Even if it’s the crappiest prose you’ve ever coughed up, keep writing. If you have writers’ block, skip ahead to something fun that you’re looking forward to writing and see how many words pour out of your fingers then! The actual rules for NaNoWriMo are stinkingly simple…WRITE 50,000 WORDS!!!! Don’t kneecap yourself by deciding that stupid things like fact-checking, grammar, spelling, or even common sense matter! JUST WRITE!
If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, let me know in the comments…THEN GET BACK TO WRITING!!!!