It is my pleasure to inform you that you have officially kicked ass this month.”
…Your willingness to go out on a creative limb, to stand up and reach for an impossible goal, is an inspiring example to all of us.
For those of you who managed to write 50,000 words this month, know that writing so much so quickly is a task that most professional writers would run from screaming.
…And if you fell short of 50,000 but still wrote your heart out, I have a little secret to share: in the course of this great experiment in caffeine consumption, the goal of 50,000 words has been, shall we say, overemphasized.
…As the month ends, though, I feel it is my ethical responsibility to bring some perspective back into your life. So listen closely: If you “only” wrote 15,000 words over the past four weeks, you invented fifty (that’s 50, five-oh) book pages of fiction. Those of you who made it to the 25,000-word point wrote eighty-three pages. In a month. Hello?
This is something to write home about.
And in this letter home, you should include a few things. One of them being the fact that you chose to try. … You put your name out there for the world to see. You risked failure. And just by risking failure, you avoided it entirely.
…You agreed to do something dumb. You agreed to try and write more fiction than you ever have in a month.
…And there is nothing more admirable in this whole damn world than someone willing to set for themselves the fearsome task of trying something big.
So be proud, writer. You’ve done something fantastic this month.” (pp. 154-155)
There is no standard set for the day after NaNo ends, but please, don’t abandon your novel now. If it is unfinished – as mine is – keep working on it. We gave birth to these dream children, now they need our continued love and attention to thrive and grow to their rightful potential.
I suggest setting a post-Nano daily word goal and keeping on a schedule to meet it.
Baty, C. (2004). No Plot? No Problem!. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.