With four days left in November (and NaNo) there’s a good chance you’re looking at the last bits of your project. Maybe you’ve finished, or are about to. Maybe you’re wondering if you’re going to be able to make it because you know you’re so close, but there’s still so much to do. At the same time, there’s also a chance you’re looking at your project and feeling crummy because you’re no where near your goal
This close to the end of the month is about when things start winding down. We finish that section, maybe and realize we’ve run out of story. Or, we hit that precious fifty-thousand and find there’s still so much plot left to go through. Perhaps you’re right on target and are excited about what you’ve accomplished. Maybe you’re looking at what you got done and are realizing that NaNo just isn’t the challenge for you. All of these are valid places to be at with your story.
Unfortunately, not all of these are pleasant places to be at with your story. This close to the end is when the energy toll really hits us. We’ve spent the last month working on this one project, pouring our time and souls into it only to find out that what we thought would happen didn’t happen. We fell too far behind. We lost our passion. We can’t see anything but the remaining work.
This is a good place to take a few moments and tally up our accomplishments, to remind ourselves that we did do something and that energy wasn’t just lost to the blinking cursor. Go ahead, get a sticky note or an index card, write ‘accomplishments’ on it, and then add a tally for every page you’ve written (if you don’t know your page count, it’s supposedly about one page every 500 words in single space and 250 words in double-space). Add a tally for every day you got some writing done–be that one word or one thousand words.
It might seem strange, but having a visual counter for everything you have accomplished can help. Getting to wherever you happen to be took a lot of little steps, and that’s exactly what those tallies represent. All of the little steps (which are comprised of even smaller steps) that you got through to get to this point. Every one of those marks is also a valid accomplishment. You did all of that.
You tried to accomplish something great this month. Chances are you accomplished several great things, be that five great pages or a great week of writing daily.