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“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” — George S. Patton
The number of folks who are excitedly announcing hitting 50,000 words is increasing. I see it on Facebook, on Twitter, notations under icons on the NaNoWriMo site. To everyone who has crossed the line, congratulations. Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back — and consider your next step.
For the rest of us, come gather around. Today and tomorrow are for you. We’re getting down to the last hours of NaNoWriMo 2016 and words are frantically being written as we race to that 50,000 word finish. It’s been a long and bumpy road, and as you gather yourself for the final push, take a moment to consider where you were when you started and where you are now. It may not be exactly what you thought you’d have or what you expected, but it is something that didn’t exist when we started.
And if it isn’t what you wanted or what you hoped for, what are you going to do next? November is only one month out of the year. If you don’t win NaNo, or already know it’s a serious possibility that you’ll fall short, what are you going to do next?
We are writers. We write. We write through good times and we try to write through bad times, though there are moments when we have to say, “No, not today.” I saw that from a number of people earlier this month. They stepped away from the keyboard for a day or even a week, but they came back because writing is what they do. I would say bad times call for writing even more desperately than good times because readers need the comfort and inspiration fiction can bring.
So, if you’re looking at the “failure” of not reaching 50,000 words, are you going to just wallow in your own misery or are you going to come back to the keyboard and keep going? I urge you to keep going and look at the words you managed to write in November a beginning, not a finale. Maybe you won’t be able to carve out time in December as you might have been able to in November because of commitments as 2016 draws (thankfully) to a close. But if you keep adding a thousand or five hundred words every day, you will finally type “The End.”
We’re coming to the end of the road for this year. So, how high are you going to try to bounce?
Word Count Goal: 46,676