Thursday, December 2, 2021

Take A Breath

Hi there!

It's O'Abby.  I guess you have all been so busy writing your NaNo books this month, there was no energy left for questions.  But that's okay.  It gives me a chance to give you all a really important tip for when you're finished NaNo.

Breathe.

That's right.  Take some time out.  Pause.  Let yourself rest.

NaNo is an intense period and most of you will probably have been juggling a punishing writing schedule with your day job, school, family commitments and everything else life likes to throw at us.  If you hit your 50K, congratulations.  Good work.  If you didn't, it's not the end of the world.  Even if you crawled to 12K over the 30 days, that's still 12K you didn't have on 31 October.

Unless you're writing MG, 50K probably isn't a finished book.  The way I see it, there are two choices at this juncture.  If you feel like you're on a roll and doing NaNo has set you up with some good writing habits, maybe you want to keep going and finish that book.

Go for it.  That's the right choice for you.

If the last ten days felt like you were dragging each word out of the world's deepest, thickest bog and you feel like you don't have the energy to even lift the cover of your laptop again, that's your body and your mind telling you to take a break.  You're not going to write good stuff when you're trying to pull water from an empty well.  You may never finish if you're feeling this way.

So take a break.

I like to leave notes for myself at the end of what I've already written so I can remind future, well-rested me what I'm thinking about the story at this point.  Where I go with it when I return may not be what I think now, but it can still be helpful, especially if, like me, you tend to skip around the story a lot while writing, often leaving gaping holes where I couldn't figure out how to get from A to B.

Take as long as you need to rest.  With the holidays coming up, you might find you need until next year (it's not as bad as you think - next year is only 30 days away).  Whatever you do, don't lose confidence in your story.  Go back to it.  Finish it.  You were passionate enough about it to spend 30 days writing, so you owe it to yourself to finish.

If you need a pep talk to help you through, let me know in the comments.  I have your back, whatever you choose.

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