Facing Your NaNoWriMo Novel in January

During NaNoWriMo you worked 30 days (or 30 nights) to create a monster, which has now become a different kind of challenge. If you want to live to tell your tale, it’s time to wrestle this ungainly creature into something a little more marketable. I’m willing to bet it takes a lot longer than one month. But, as a writer, you can ultimately become the conquering hero. Here are a few reminders as you continue your writing journey this January.


All’s fair in love and war and every writer knows that tangling with your WIP is a little bit of both. It’s a no holds barred match, so get creative and don’t be afraid to kick your NaNoWriMo project’s soft underbelly if that’s what it takes to pull out a win. Keep aiming for those weak points you AND your book will become stronger.

We made a lot of mortifying mistakes during NaNoWriMo. What seemed “so crazy it just might work” in November is now a “what was thinking, am I really that stupid?” moment two months later. Tempting as it may be to hide our sad efforts under a rock, a true writer is the one who can battle through these moments of doubt while marching ever forward.

Don’t mistake your allies for enemies. Maybe your manuscript looks like a big bad dragon, but it’s still a work in progress. Your real enemies are sneakier things, so be wary of perfectionism and procrastination when you should be focused on training your problem child into the mighty battle lizard it was destined to become.

The picture of a lone knight saving the day and winning against all odds is romantic, but hardly realistic. We all have chinks in our armor and innocent inexperience that ultimately leads to weak writing, mushy middles, and other egregious errors. Don’t be afraid to let other talented people come alongside and be a part of your adventure, too.

Every day, every hour, every minute, you are a valiant writer. Protect your writing time. Fight for your passion. Conquer your deadlines. Brave your challenges. Celebrate your milestones. Finish what you started; there is no nobler quest.

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