My name is Nathan Barra and I suffer from writer’s ADD. I have left a long trail of projects started, and then cast aside for the lure of a shiny new idea. The problem is that I am not satisfied with being a hobbyist, but rather I aspire to be a professional. There isn’t a publishing house anywhere that will pay me, an unknown author, for the first third of a book. There a lot of well-known and well-established authors that wouldn’t be paid for a partial book either. As it turns out, I need to finish what I start in order to make my dream come true. For me, NaNoWriMo isn’t about starting something new. It’s about completing something that you’ve started.
At this point, all of y’all participating in NaNoWriMo should be about three quarters of the way done or 30,000 words. You’re in your final stretch. Now all you have to do is complete something.
Though many individuals use NaNoWriMo as an opportunity to start a new project, I prefer to use NaNoWriMo as a challenge to either advance a current work in progress by 50,000 words or complete it. Last year I took this approach for the first time, and it resulted in the completion of my first novel. The thing is, I only ended up writing about 38,000 words. Technically, did I complete NaNoWriMo? No, but I did write more in the course of a month than I did in the 10 months previous. More importantly, I finished my first book, and for me that accomplishment is enough.
So for those of y’all who are on track with your NaNoWriMo goals, I admire and respect your dedication and skill. For those a little (perhaps a lot) behind, is there any way you can complete your book? You might not make it to 50,000 words, but can you finish your story in 38,000 words? A novel might be out of your reach at this point, but what of a novella? How about 20,000 words? Can you do a short story?
I found that many NaNoWriMo participants lose sight of the bigger picture because they are so focused on the 50,000 word finish line. In the end, the 50,000 word mark is not as important as being able to finish the manuscript, polish it, and then send it out into the world. In the end, the project isn’t done until you’ve stopped working on the manuscript and it has started working for you. Send it out into the world and then start working on the next project.Tags: Interludes