As this year’s National Novel Writing Month reaches its conclusion, we wanted to spotlight some advice that you may find helpful right about now.
“You’re not really done,” observes Justine Larbalestier. “Not even if you managed to finish a whole novel in one month.” (“Though if you did,” she adds, “congrats!”) Now it’s time to start thinking about rewriting… well, maybe in a week or so, after you’ve had a chance to decompress. It’s important to remember that you’re the one who sets the agenda here, not the book. Or, as Maureen Johnson puts it, “the book is your b%^#h.” (Well, she’s writing for an all-ages readership, after all.) That applies to NaNoWriMo, too, she adds—so you didn’t finish your draft tonight? So what? The important thing is you made a conscious decision to start writing, and you wrote, and you can keep writing. “Don’t use the fact that you are currently a little bit behind as an excuse to stop,” Johnson exhorts. “This is your opportunity to finish a book. So finish a book!”