Surviving NaNoWriMo: Week 4

typewriterWe made it! It’s now the final week of National Novel Writing Month. Whether you’re flying through your manuscript or falling behind, here are my tips for the end of NaNoWriMo:

  1. Keep going

If you’ve fallen far below par and know you won’t make it, you may be tempted to give up. And if you’ve already reached 50k, you may be tempted to stop writing, even if the manuscript isn’t finished. The most important thing to remember this week is to keep going, regardless of how many words you’ve written so far. Your goal for this month should be to write as much as possible, and that doesn’t end in week 4. If you’ve only written 10k words, try for 15k. If you passed 50k, see how far you can go! Take advantage of the momentum that NaNoWriMo gives you as much as possible, because it won’t be back for another year.

  1. Focus on writing

If you’re stressed out, don’t look at how many words you’ve written, how much you have left to write, or how many days are left in the month. Focus on your writing, not on the numbers. What’s going to happen next in your story? What are you going to write tomorrow? How can you improve on what you’ve written? What scenes are you excited to write? Think about your novel, not your word count.

  1. Plan ahead

For Americans, the final stretch of NaNoWriMo also includes Thanksgiving, and finding time to write during the holidays can be difficult and stressful. My advice is to plan ahead and know what you’re going to do ahead of time. If you’re traveling, are you going to write on the plane? Will there be some downtime at any point when you can squeeze in a few words? It may be that you can’t write at all on Thanksgiving, and that’s okay too. Just plan ahead: figure out when you’re going to make up the words that you missed during the holidays. Then you won’t have to worry about when you’re going to get the words down, and you can relax and enjoy the day instead.

  1. Celebrate!

No matter how much you’ve written this month, be sure to celebrate your achievement. Writing a novel is no easy feat, and writing so much in one month isn’t easy either. Be proud of what you’ve done this month, even if it ended up being less than you’d planned. Whether it’s one word or thousands, you’ve made progress on your novel. Congratulations!

What do you think? How has your NaNoWriMo been? What are your tips for surviving the final week? Let me know in the comments!

Interested in professional editorial services for your manuscript? Check out my Services page for more information about what I offer. I have an annual discount for NaNoWriMo participants!

This post is part of my Writing Craft series. For more info about planning, writing, and revising your work, check out the other posts in the series here, and follow the blog to see future posts!

Related Links:

Surviving NaNoWriMo: Week 3

Surviving NaNoWriMo: Week 2

Surviving NaNoWriMo: Week 1


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