Tag Archives: Quitting

The End is Nigh

Do you hear that?

What do you mean, “no”?
You sure you can’t hear that?
Listen carefully. Listen very carefully.
There! Do you hear that?
Of course you do. It’s unmistakable. 
That, my friends, is the sound of The End, and it’s coming for you.
Well, not for you specifically, but rather for your NaNoWriMo story. 
Depending on what part of the world you’re in there is anywhere between 5 and 6 days left to pound the keyboard and get the remainder of your 50,000 words down on the page. Some of you will be checking your graph on the NaNoWriMo site and doing some quick math:

Arithmetic at its finest

As we discussed last week, quitting is not an option. Quitting is for uh… quitters. More importantly, you don’t gain a damn thing from throwing in the towel. You don’t gain experience, your story certainly gain anything, and you sure has hell don’t gain any knowledge. You do learn a little something about yourself in that process though, and you might be okay with what you uncover. If that’s the case then you probably won’t want to keep reading this post because I’m about to try to get all inspirational and stuff.

Take this from a guy that has about a dozen other half finished pieces of writing sitting in a folder. Quitting is a habit. A bad one; and to kick the habit you first have to want to kick the habit. If you’re still reading this after I suggested you stop a paragraph ago I’m going to assume that you at least have a modicum of desire to press on. An excellent first step.


Now, the next step is an equally important one: GO!

“Huh… wha…?” you just muttered, possibly with an expletive.

You heard me, the next step is the one you’ve been doing on-and-off for the past 24 days. My guess is that if you’re surprised by this step that your writing has been more off than it has been on. I’m here to tell you that that’s okay. The reality is that you might not get your 50,000 words in by the end of the week, but, and this is a big but (I cannot lie), every word you write now will get you one word closer to finishing your story. It’s going to take as many as it takes to finish it and if any are missing a week from now, a month from now, or even a year from now it’s going to be a lot harder to fill them in later than it will be to fill them in now.

I know of what I speak. My 50,000 from last year’s NaNo got hacked up into 20,000 words for a “Book 2” and 30,000 words for the book I started. At the time, it was March and I had only 60% of what I had the previous December. So I started writing. Then I stopped writing. Then I started again. Then I took a break. Well, you get the idea. Now I’m about 5,000 words from cracking a bottle to celebrate. The only problem is November rolled around again.


That’s why I’m so intent on staying three or four days ahead of this thing because my goal for NaNo this year is the 50,000 words I set out to write PLUS the 5,000 I’m still missing from last year. The point being, had I just written those words last year, or the year before – when I quit – I wouldn’t have this guy hassling me all the time:

R.B. Wood’s Kickstarter has just 6 days left too. #justsayin

In summary: 
Just keep writing. Not just for the next 6 days, but for the 1,667 after that.
Your characters will thank you. Your future fans will thank you.
You’ll thank you (and I won’t have to give R.B. your phone number).

~ Andrew

“Sprinter Getting Ready to Start the Race” courtesy stockimages at http://freedigitalphotos.net