We’re nearly there. It’s nearly over. There are only five days left.
For some of you, that will be a relief. For others, that might be more along the lines of terrifying, depending on how far you are from the 50,000 word mark.
I remember when I was living on campus at University, the feeling around exam time when you went down for meals. The content of the conversations didn’t really change much, but the you could feel the tension in the air.
While I don’t miss very many things about living on campus, I do definitely miss one thing: Having a group of friends right there if you ever needed them. And they were all on roughly the same schedule as well, so chances were, if you were about to have a huge exam, nearly anyone you spoke to was in a similar situation. Emotions ran pretty high, but it’s amazing what a little solidarity can do for you.
NaNoWriMo is about the only time we can replicate that with writing communities. Most of the time, when you’re finishing a particularly tough edit, your writer friends might be only on their first draft, or line editing, or trying to put together query letters, or a thousand other stages of the process. It doesn’t mean they can’t sympathise or offer help, but it doesn’t quite compare to that all-in-the-same-boat feeling that working to the same timetable produces.
So for the last few days of NaNoWriMo, take advantage of that solidarity. Take a half an hour out of your writing time and go browse the forums, or another writing forum of your choice, and talk to people who are in the same boat as you. If you have real-life friends also doing NaNo, organize a last-minute writing session at a café or at someone’s house.
This has the added benefit of being fun. It’s easy to forget, at this time of the month, that NaNoWriMo is supposed to be fun. So that’s your job over the next five days. No matter whether you won or lost, whether you reached your personal goal or whether you didn’t, find some way to make at least one of the next five writing days fun.
Good luck. Not long to go now. Don’t give up. Enjoy yourself. See you on the other side.