If things had worked out differently for me, we would have had an entirely different series of posts for #NaNoWriMo20. See, things pretty much kaplooey for me. I got an influx of emergency work and I got sick. Life happens, right? But I'm definitely not going to finish writing my WIP during November.
Are you in the same boat? Then let me help you out.
But before I explain, let me just say...If you're nailing NaNo, WAY TO GO!! This last week is full of bringing it all together, tying up those loose ends and kicking butt. If you're getting stressed out because you've got some missing bits, or you're not entirely sure how you wound up where you are, don't worry about it. That's what revision is for! Just have fun and write those words. You've got this!
Now for those of you in MY boat; let's talk.
You fought a good fight. You tried—you really did. But you're behind and your day-job or your real life need you more than the words do right now, so you're not going to meet your goal. But just because you aren't going to meet this goal, doesn't mean you aren't a writer.
You ARE a writer. And as a writer, there are two laws you must follow:
Law #1: BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Just let it go. It is what it is. Life goes on. I'm sure there are even more platitudes than these, but the point is, beating yourself up because you "failed" NaNo (possibly AGAIN) isn't going to do you any favors. More, it's going to flat-out hurt you.
Creatives—like you—can rarely create with a ten-ton weight hanging over their heads. It might work in cartoons, but it's not going to make you work any faster, better, or happier. Creatives need kindness. That doesn't mean they don't respond well to deadlines or pressure, but it has to be positive pressure.
Hating on yourself because you aren't going to meet your NaNo goals is not the kind of pressure that will create creativity.
Law #2: IT ISN'T OVER WHEN IT'S OVER
Sure, November will roll into December and it will no longer be National Novel Writing Month. However, December (or January, February, March, etc.) can be YOUR Novel Writing Month.
If you enjoy writing with others, invite friends to join you—you might be pleasantly surprised to discover there are a lot of people looking for the same kind of comradery as you are.
Just as an aside, years ago I had this whole #ninjaswrite community. We had Novel Writing Month every month and it was so fun! I called it NiNoWriMo—NINJA Novel Writing Month! I'd love to bring it back if there was any interest in it. (Comment or message me, if you think I should!)
So that's it, my friends! Be kind to yourself, and don't wait until next year to finish writing that novel. You got this!