As we all approach the end of NaNoWriMo, you may be thinking, “Well, I might not ever finish this sucker, but at least I got my 50,000 words done. And that’s what I set out to do, so I’m awesome!”
You need to complete your NaNoWriMo novel, even if it takes you till next November. Here’s why:
Finishing is a habit, and it’s a very important ones for writers to cultivate. In fact, my very first writing advice post, back on June 26, 2005, was about finishing. So let me end my month of Nano Tips by reposting that long-ago advice, which is as true today as it was back then . . .
There will always be a part of your brain that wants to give up when characters aren’t behaving, when you don’t know where to go next, when the inspiration has faded. Donâ€™t give the start-something-else part of your brain any extra leverage, or it will win every time. And once it starts winning . . . Well, let’s just say that the not-finishing habit is a hard one to break.
It’s easy to think up logical reasons to stop writing a story. You say to yourself: â€œThis sucks. Why waste any more time? I’ll start something new that inspires me!â€
Yeah, well, the inspiration of a new story is exciting. But if you wind up not finishing ninety percent of what you start, guess what happens. After a few years youâ€™ll have written 100 beginnings, 40 middles, and only 10 endings. Which means youâ€™ll be great at writing beginnings, only so-so at middles, and you’ll suck at endings. Which means you will almost certainly keep faltering between the middle and the end of every story, which means youâ€™ll keep giving up and not finishing . . . Rinse, repeat.
And that’s a hole you don’t want to fall into. So finish, even if you know this story isn’t going to win you the Nobel Prize–it’s good practice to type THE END.
That’s it from me! Good luck with the remaining hours of NaNoWriMo. Don’t forget to check out Justine’s post yesterday, and her big finish tomorrow!
I’ll see you in December with non-writing advice posts. Phew.