Don't Take a Break

I tell you what......If you ever decided to do National Novel Writing Month, and you actually reach your 50,000 word goal then keep going until you finish the entire novel.

That is what my mistake was, and now I am haunted.

NaNoWriMo is awesome. I think it's a great thing, and so many participate in trying to write a book in a month. The goal I set last year was 50,000 words, and I did it. I totally nailed it. From November 1 to November 25th, I wrote everyday. I wrote anywhere and any time I could. I wrote at the schools where I subbed. I wrote in the morning. I wrote at the doctor's office. I even wrote in the car on a 10 hour road trip.

I reached my goal, but now I am haunted.

The haunting is because we are 11 months after NaNoWriMo 2016, and I have yet to finish this YA novel. Once I hit the 50,000 word goal I declared victory and “took a break”. BIG MISTAKE. HUGE!  Please do not do this.

No now this novel haunts me.  It is the unfinished masterpiece.

But its ok.  It really least that is what I tell myself.

Good news is that I have started it up again. I am determined to finish this.  I will do it  In the book “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott she talks about her brother who has a report due on birds the very next day at school but hadn’t started it yet.  He was in a panic and asked his Dad how in the world were they going to finish this.  Her Dad replied, “Bird by bird.”

I love that story, and it applies so much to my YA novel.  If I take time everyday or a few days a week and I just write, even if for a little bit, I will make it. I will finish it. Bird by bird.

Ok so recap what we have learned today.

1. NaNoWriMo is awesome and everyone should give it a shot.
2. If you reach your NaNoWriMo word goal then DONT STOP!
3.  If you don’t finish it you will be haunted
4. Even if you are haunted keep at it and finish that book Bird by Bird.

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James Arthur

A children's picture book writer who lives in Texas with his wife and daughter. James lived in Taiwan for two years where he taught English and wrote stories for an international children's magazine.


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