So did you do it? Were you crazy enough to let NANO suck you under and spit you out thirty days later?

*looks out and notes the pale skin, sunken wild eyes, electric shock hairstyles and shakes head*

Oh you poor, well intention souls. I’ve been there, done that, and this year may not have it the magical 50K mark, but I was right there next to you, so I offer my congratulations on coming out the other side.

Now, set aside your pile of words and take a breath before you go under again. You know you have to, those words won’t edit themselves, no matter how much we wish they would.

Every year when I finish NANO, I proclaim with utter sincerity that next year I SHALL NOT SUCCUMB, and yet every year, I find myself lured back into the madness. For me it’s not so much about scribbling out words daily (six years of relentless practice has now made that an engraved habit), but it’s the challenge. November is never an easy month–you have Halloween on one side, Thanksgiving in the middle, and Christmas on the other. Not to mention the endless commitments of family and friends, and in my case, editing deadlines, day job projects, and overall craziness. As we close in on the end of the year, life ramps up and we don’t dare lose our grip on the rocket propelled merry-go-round that is our lives.

However, I think that’s why November was chosen for such an endeavor.

If you can manage to commit to your writing during this chaotic month, even if you don’t hit the magic number, the fact you set aside time and wrote is a win all by itself. I know for me, it’s a chance to lock my inner editor into a quiet, padded room so I can just write without their input. Even if you have an existing schedule for your writing, NANO isn’t a waste of time. It’s a chance to recommit to your passion, a time to connect with others and share in the wonder of crafting stories, it’s a time to celebrate the fact that you, my friend, are a writer.

So as NANO saunters off for another year, take a moment and enjoy your accomplishment. Then, before the brightness dims, get back in and keep writing.

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