Of course, life has many different ways of preventing you from reaching your goals, so there’s a pretty good chance that you’re nowhere near your goals and wondering what made you think it was a good idea to pursue them in the first place.
If you’re far behind where you wanted to be at this time of the month, you’re not alone. There are thousands of other Wrimos struggling through the same things right now, and you can find a great many of them on the forums.
More importantly, having fallen behind doesn’t mean you should give up. No matter what your word count is, don’t stop writing now. You’ve already come this far, and you might as well keep going. Besides, you still want to finish your novel right? If you keep writing into December, you’ll still have the comfort of knowing thousands of other Wrimos are finishing their novels with you.
But if knowing that you’re not alone isn’t enough, here are five other reasons why you shouldn’t stop writing:
1. Finishing this novel is good practice. I’m sure you’ve already met at least one writer who tells you they’ve started many different novels but never finished anything longer than a short story.
If you actually are one of these writers, it’s crucial that you finish this novel. You need to get into the habit of finishing things, and this novel is a good start.
If you’ve finished a couple novel drafts before, that doesn’t mean you should stop now. Letting yourself give up once makes it easier to give up again. Finishing the book, on the other hand, makes it easier to finish next time.
2. You’ll never be like J.K. Rowling if you don’t finish the book. Realistically, you’ll probably never be like J.K. Rowling anyway, but hey, at least if you finish a book you can pretend. Or maybe try.
3. Telling people “I wrote a book” always makes them think you’re interesting. A great many people will then go glossy-eyed and start asking you all kinds of questions. Half of them will stop talking to you when you tell them it isn’t published yet, but the other half will still be impressed and might even tell you they want to buy your book.
Of course, when people say they want to read your book and it’s a messy first draft still, that causes all kinds of complicated feelings, but one of those feelings is pride, and that’s awesome.
4. You’ve already ingested too much caffeine to turn back now. Stop for a moment and think about how much money you’ve spent to stay thoroughly caffeinated this month so you could write.
All of that money, all of that caffeine was pointless if you don’t finish the damn book. So finish it. Regardless of how long it takes. And keep writing every day like you might just hit your word count goal by the end of the month, because who knows? You just might.
5. Everybody likes to be a winner. Winning Nanowrimo used to really only be about the honour of finishing. Every year since I started there have been more and more sponsors offering cool prizes to Nanowrimo winners.
This year, there are more prizes than ever before. I’ve scrolled through the page myself and been stunned. There are free books, discounts on self publishing packages, and multiple opportunities to get free copies of your own book.
So you might not win this year, but it’s still worth trying.
You may decide to do Nanowrimo again next year, or you might decide it’s not for you and never try it again. Either way, don’t stop writing now. You’ve come this far, and I know you have words left in you.
What’s your current word count? Do you think you’ll finish your novel this month?