We’re almost there! The end of NaNoWriMo will be here before we know it. *YIKES*
Now that we’re this close to the end, and in light of what we discussed last week (read Part 3 here), what does “winning” NaNoWriMo actually mean? Whether your NaNoWriMo goal was to write 50,000 words or you set a customized goal for yourself, how do you “win” NaNoWriMo? Your NaNoWriMo goal doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else’s, and your definition of winning doesn’t have to be the same, either.
Consider what your NaNoWriMo goal is. Fifty thousand words? If you reach 50,000 words, then you’re a winner. Write for an hour each day? If you’ve been writing for an hour each day this month, then you’re a winner. You get the picture. And if you don’t quite reach your goal but you gave it all you had, then I still think you are a winner.
Regardless of what your goal was and whether or not you reached it, if you put effort into reaching it and you didn’t just give up or slack off, then chances are you still wrote a lot. That means you are that much closer to finishing your novel or learning a new skill or putting together a collection of short stories. Look back at everything you wrote, and take a minute to realize just how much you actually accomplished! Figure out what you learned, as well—new skills, what genres you write best, the types of scenes you enjoy writing, how to not procrastinate. Moreover, after all of that writing, do you have a better writing habit now than you did on November 1st? November will end, and NaNoWriMo along with it, but your writing will, hopefully, continue. You can keep cultivating your new and improved writing habit and continue to set writing goals for yourself all year long.
However many words you ended up writing, and whatever you learned throughout NaNoWriMo, you can use all of that to make you a better, more consistent writer. Put all of your progress and new skills and habits to good use. That is what I believe will make you a NaNoWriMo “winner.”
One last thing to remember, and it is so important: winning NaNoWriMo is a personal experience, it is different for everyone, so please do not fall into the trap of comparison. Winning NaNoWriMo is about your relationship with your writing, and I would hate to see you putting yourself down or dismissing your achievements because you don’t think you measure up to someone else.
There is officially one week left in NaNoWriMo, so good luck! If you want to let me know how close you are to winning, leave a comment—accountability is important, now more than ever. 🙂