Right now, I know that you’re in one of three places with your NaNo novel.
You’re blissfully ahead, soaring so close to 50k that today, on the 26th, you will past the finish line. GOOD WORK, a job well done. Go on and soar on past that 50k and wave smugly as you pass by for you, dear writer, have written 50,000 words in 26 days and completed a novel. Go get ready for the holidays and catch up on all your missed tv shows or reconnect with your family after 26 days of separation.
Oh, but you didn’t finish your novel even though you hit 50k? Don’t fret! That is a-okay. First off, you just wrote 50,000 words in 26 days. That’s more than some people write in a year! So take a day off to savor your word count victory, then get back to that novel. Don’t let it fester in unfinished form while you ride off into the sunset with your word count goal. A break is fine, but don’t forget about it.
If you’re behind, DON’T PANIC. There are still 4 full days of writing ahead of you during which it is possible to catch up no matter if your 2k behind or 20-thousand. Want to know why?
Because. You. Can. Do. It. Even 20,000 isn’t so many words. If you can manage 500 words in 15 minutes, that’s only 10 hours of writing. Or two hours a day. Or one hour after work and two half hour word-sprints with your friends on Twitter.
You have already made it this far. It is possible to finish strong.
But here’s the thing: Even if you don’t finish at 50,000, that’s okay.
Reaching an arbitrarily picked 50,000 words isn’t the point of NaNoWriMo. You do not “win” or “lose”. Not really. The point is that you have written, that you were motivated to write, that you found a community of writers who are in the same trenches as you are, whether you’re published or unpublished, agented or unagented. Whether you have written fifty novels or this is your first literary attempt.
There is only one way to lose NaNoWriMo, and that is to not have tried doing it at all. And if that’s the case, then guess what, dear writer?
You’ve already won.
No go power out those last couple thousand and claim your bragging rights and swag.