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It’s that time of year again. November…or to writers, National Novel Writing Month, more affectionately known as NaNoWriMo or just Nano. Where writers everywhere set out to write 50,000 words in a month.

Cause that’s what we all look like…riiiiiiight.

There are those who participate every year, planning and plotting through October to be ready. Plotters, I admire you! There are those who jump in on November first, scrambling to plot and plan or merely crazy enough to see what happens. Pantsers, I love you!

It began yesterday with people tweeting their accomplishments, their word counts, how they procrastinated, how they were full of hope…and fear. Some start knowing they’ll hit 50K. Some know they won’t, but are happy to give it a shot. Some know they will have to rip apart what they write a few months after it’s finished. Some may never go back to what they write. Some will stay on track. Others will fall behind…only to catch up later or not. By the end of week two, determination will have replaced the fear and hope.

Maybe not the hope, not completely.

I am an observer in this. I do not Nano. The thought of word counts and reaching a certain number breaks my brain. NaNoWriMo causes too much stress for me to benefit.  But that doesn’t mean I am not writing alongside these brave and fabulous folks. I am drafting.

Right now, Twitter is full of tips, of information, of helpful words to drive people along their writing path.

I have my own thoughts about all the tips…

Don’t worry about them. Don’t clutter your brain with what others think you should or should not do.

Have fun. Enjoy your world and characters.

Don’t overthink. When the goal is word count, there is no room for thinking. There is typing, focusing on what happens next.

For the pantsers…let the story go where it likes! For the plotters…dude, you got that outline to guide you!

Perfection is boring. Who the heck cares if at the end of the month you have a brilliant piece of literature! No one cares. Revisions exist for a reason.

Write your story. This is time for you! For what you love! For what you feel is right for your art! Do it.

Write words. All words are good words. All words get you to your goal and give you something to work with later.

Don’t let the numbers break you. Sometimes the creative process is more than word count.

Do what works for you.

Don’t let others’ word counts get you down. There are people who will write over 50K…*cough*overachievers*cough* You celebrate you.

Please remember to sleep. And eat. *gives everyone a glass of water* LOVE YOURSELF! Take care of you!

I will be cheering from the sidelines. Whatever you do, be proud of you. Whatever you don’t get to…WHO CARES!

Do your best. It is enough.