The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch

Every year at about this time one of us writes a message with a reminder not to give up, that there is still time to reach your goals and here, in this group and place and time were will support you no matter what word count you have at 12:01am on December 1st.

It may sometimes sounds like tripe when we say the most important thing about NaNo is that you took that leap and you have more written now than you did before whether it is 5,000 or 100,000, but I promise you we mean it. Take courage and continue on no matter where you are. If you’ve already hit 50,000 words (or your personal word goal) – Congratulations!!!! Let your purple bar shine!

If you’re not at 50,000 I feel you more than ever this year because as some of you have noticed, my word count hasn’t made much progress of late. As is sometimes said “life happened” and my dread of moving has been proven true as I attempt to pack up my apartment and clean in these last few days of the month. I’ve known for a couple of weeks now that short of Mary Poppins showing up and helping me out with a bit of her magic, there was little chance of hitting that 50,000 words. However, if there is one thing I have seen true in my years with NaNo, it is that not ‘winning’ doesn’t mean that your efforts are in vain.

There is a quote that has been on my fridge for years now and I’d like you to take it to heart as you read and write today.

“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. It lies in having no goal to reach. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach. Not failure, but low aim, is the real sin.”
– Benjamin Mays –

There are so so very many people out there who will never step out and take a chance on the novel inside of them. No matter how many words you have written, you have taken that first step. You may consider your first draft garbage, but that’s ok. Pretty much every first draft is, but without it there are no second, third, or fourth drafts. Without it there are no finished novels.

I won’t be seeing you all at the last couple of write-ins with moving going on, but I have complete confidence that you will have an awesome time with Annette and look forward to the TGIO coming up next weekend. I don’t know exactly where life will take me in the next few months, but I don’t expect to be in Lansing come next November, so if you’ve ever considered getting more involved with the region, drop her a message and let her know. There’s always something that could use an extra set of helping hands.

It has been an amazing nine years with you all. It is still crazy to me that it has not only been that long, but just how much we have grown from that little group of 8 or 9 of us at Schuler’s my very first year in Lansing. You have been more than just my region, you’ve been my inspiration and I am so proud to have been a part of you. I know that no matter where I end up this coming year you are in good hands and will continue to do amazing things. I may be too far to pop in next year, especially if plans to move to Germany come together, but I have already promised to pop in and visit the chat room at the very least 😉

Now for a few practical end of NaNo tips:

  • Use the validator to check your word count even if it’s less than 50,000. This will let you know if there’s any discrepancy between your program and the validator.
  • Try and squeeze in the last couple of write-ins to boost your word count (and spirits).
  • Back it up and do it again.

– Write-Ins –

Today, 2-5 pm
Virtual Write-In
Get more info here

Sunday, Nov. 29, 2-5 pm
Grand Traverse Pie Company (E. Lansing)
Orchard Room

Monday, Nov 30, 8pm-Midnight
Last Blast to Get Your Words In!
Old Chicago (Okemos)

– End of November Wrap-Up –

If you would like to get a halo or nominate someone for one, make sure to do so in the next few days.

Make sure your final monkey trades have been entered as close to the first as possible for award calculation.

Not sure how to validate your novel? Check out this article for step-by-step directions.

– TGIO Party –

Our annual gathering to ease our separation anxiety and FOMO along with celebrating another NaNo completed.

Saturday, December 5, 2-5pm
Okemos Library

For more information go here.

To RSVP go here.

To share your potluck contribution plans go here.

I must resume my packing, but have a wonderful weekend, write-well, and never give up.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
along with Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons (MLs) aka your event coordinators, purveyors of fun, answerers of questions and senders of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

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