I’ve already seen a few notes from NaNo authors bemoaning the lack of progress on their novels – and how depressed they are about the entire process.
It’s okay to fail.
In the first place, November is an AWFUL month for the idea of writing a novel in thirty days – right smack dab in the middle of it is the American Thanksgiving (unlike the Canadian Thanksgiving, held when it’s actually a harvest festival!). No matter who you are there’s a hunk of almost a week lost or at least majorly warped while you travel to visit family, cook meals, eat meals, shop like rabid marmots, go into a turkey coma, gorge on leftovers, etc.
Not the best environment to write in. Aside from the usual stress of banging out over a thousand words a day it’s horribly easy to fall behind over Thanksgiving and never regain your footing.
But you know what?
It’s okay to not finish your novel in thirty days. It’s perfectly fine for you to take two months, three months to finish your novel which should go well beyond the 50K if yoiu’re looking forward to publication.
The trick you should be learning from NaNo is how to get into a writing routine; how to get dedicated to the process and to the chore of getting some words, ANY words, down on the page every day. And if you can only put a handful of words down between helping lift turkeys the size of Volkswagons in and out of the oven or jot down a paragraph while waiting for the doors to open on Black Friday… that’s okay.
NaNoWriMo is only to get you going on the journey – when and where you finish it is your choice. Do a sprint, do a marathon. But just finish what you started.
Now it’s time for me to grab a cuppa and get back to work!