NaNoWriMo – final stretch

Writing a novel in 30 days is work. Writing a novel – period – is work. But while it can be challenging, it can also be extremely fun and rewarding. I have had days this month where I think “how can I possibly write an additional 1,000 words today?” That’s usually just when I finish one scene and am not quite sure what the next scene will be. I’ll have an idea for a scene for later…but it’s connecting the two where I might feel a bit lost.

But I’ll keep writing, finding my way, and suddenly those 1,000 words are on the screen and then some.

On Wednesday, when I updated my word count, I entered the final stretch. I updated my count from 39k to 41k. 41,659 to be exact. This is above where I needed to be, which is where I’ve tried to remain all month (for days like yesterday when I didn’t work on this project). But what struck me as I entered in my day’s count and saw my progress updated on my graph, was that I had less than 10,000 words to go.

Somehow, that makes this final stretch all the more doable. Suddenly it was going to be a walk in the park.

Okay, that may be simplifying things a bit. But this morning as I got started and slowly got my count over 42,000, I just thought: “there’s only 8,000 more words to go. I can do this. I can so do this.” After all, I was already 42,000 words down. I was far past that middle point that can so often trip writers up, that point that can make me second guess my idea.

So to everyone else in the final stretch of NaNoWriMo, I wish you good luck! You can do this. You’ve come so far already that really, there’s not much more to go.  Just remember those heady days early on when your characters were new and you were getting to know them. Now that you know them, know their passions and motivations, you know how they’ll react to whatever it is you throw at them. But they’ve grown too.

Go ahead. Throw something in their way for this final hurdle, and maybe learn something new about your character in the way they’ve grown and how they react now. Get them out of their element and push them. Pushing your characters will help get over this final 10,000 word hurdle.


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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