NaNoWriMo – Week Four – Home Stretch

I don’t have much to say this week as we enter the last three precious days of the month. All of my words have been eaten by NaNoWriMo and it’s beginning to take a bit of a toll on my mind. I’m exhausted. On the plus side, my typing fingers have never been faster and stronger than they have this month and despite the work load I’ve managed to keep my grades in all my classes amongst the A’s.

So, what are your word counts like?

I know so many of you have already given up to stress and the surmounting pressure of the words you haven’t written. Others of you I have watched as you joyously ripped across the last meter of this marathon and crumpled as soon as you broke the ribbon. Congratulations on completing. I’m in the middle of the chaos, ahead of the NaNoWriMo calendar, watching my fellow writer’s exhale proclamations of joy or defeat. Tonight I’ll be amongst those who whisper in joyous triumph. Despite the numerous setbacks, defeats, and the buckets of tears, I’ve almost made it. I’m just 1.3k away from the finish line.

This past week has been tough; I’ve pushed myself to write at least five to four hundred words everyday despite getting completely stranded in my MC’s mind. There was a day that I failed at that and wrote (according to my clock not the real world time.) a grand total of zero words. Last night I balanced that out though and I pushed myself to write at least 4k.  I was determined to 48.7k or die trying. So, I did… with 47 words to spare.

Tonight I’m pushing myself for 5k. I know that I only need 1.3k to win but I also know that my story isn’t over yet. I’ve just reached the climax and I am finishing this damn novel this month, no matter what the word count. I even wrote on Thanksgiving, which isn’t really a big deal because my family doesn’t really celebrate it. I got 3.3k written that night and officially outreached the grasps of my writer’s block.

Mixed emotions come with the draw of this November: there’s joy and excitement at finishing; fatigue from constantly using my imagination and my characters deciding to tell their stories their own ways; and then there’s sadness, it’s almost over.  Wow.

28 days ago I sat in the exact position I sit now on my couch with trepidation and the most inaccurate, soon-to-be-almost-completely-destroyed outline I have ever written. I had completely skipped NaNoWriMo Prep, expect for the day before NaNoWriMo.  At the time I was was regretting my procrastination but now I look back with a smile. If I had put more time and effort into that outline I wouldn’t have wanted to let it go, I wouldn’t have been able to give my characters the reigns to their story, and I would never complete this challenge.  It’s funny how God can use procrastination and laziness for the better.

I’m not looking forward to editing this novel next January/February/March.  I’ve left so many half finished scenes, more adverbs than ever thought possible, and a myriad of incomplete thoughts in this draft.  In fact I wish that I could set it all on fire and never have to deal with it again. I won’t though.  I’ve made a promise with myself to see this through, even to it’s ghastly demise.  Who knows, maybe it’ll surprise me again.

We have three days to type up our last words.  Make those sentences and paragraphs count. Write every word with the promises you made yourself at the beginning of the month.   Keep writing, no matter what your word count is.

This month has taught me a few things:

Be flexible. Let your characters tell their own stories occasionally.

Write through that writer’s block, it’ll never go away if you don’t write through it.

Write even when you have no inspiration and you hate every word.

Your story will throw hurtles at you, work with them and keep on going.

Don’t stop to research. That’s editing. You are not editing right now, you are writing.  If you research now, you’ll waste precious time and fill your novel with useless information that takes away from you story and doesn’t give it life.

Turn off those little voices in your head. They don’t know anything, they’re just there to annoy you.

Keep a constant flow of caffeine.

Good luck my fellow writer’s. You have a few precious moments left, use them wisely.

Stay safe.


Keep writing. This is a rough draft, it can be as flimsy and falling apart as you want it to be. Don’t stress.

expected word count: 48,000

actual word count: 50,148

Video Editor & Writer. Currently participating in her third NaNoWriMo and a video editing intern at the Center for Creative Media.

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