The 16 Emotional Stages Every NaNoWriMo Participant Experiences

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All NaNoWriMo writers are embarking on a crazy, stressful, but overall pretty amazing adventure where you'll write 50,000 words and produce a first draft of a novel all within a single month. As a NaNo veteran, myself, with some failed attempts and some successes, I'm incredibly familiar with the emotional stages that November brings every year. So, whether this is your first NaNoWriMo experience or your eighth, there's no changing the tidal waves of feelings that are coming your way.

The best thing you can do is to keep yourself motivated. Remind yourself: This isn't a competition to write the next American best-seller, nor is this the time to worry about perfect prose or if your beginning is in tip-top shape. All you should focus on is getting your characters, setting, and plot down on the page. Worry about the rest of the details in December when the editing portion begins.

Also, remember to breathe. Writing 50,000 words is no easy task and there are definitely some long nights to come. But hopefully by the end, you'll have this book that you, and only you, created from just thoughts in your brain. How awesome is that? Prepare yourself for a wild ride of emotions, because NaNoWriMo only just started.

Week One: Pure Joy

1. You're So Excited You Can Hardly Contain It

2. You Finally Feel Like A Real Writer

3. You're Doing So Well You Treat Yourself

4. You Slowly Start To Fall Behind On Word Count But Don't Panic Because You Know You'll Catch Up Tomorrow

Week Two: Exhaustion

5. Your Friends and Family Wonder Where You've Been

6. You Desperately Miss Sleep, But You're Way Ahead Of Word Count For Once

7. You Ignore Your Inner Editor And Keep Going Because Inspiration Strikes And You Won't Give Up Yet

8. Your Words All Start To Sound The Same And You Wonder Why You Ever Thought This Was A Good Idea

Week Three: Stress

9. You Hit Writer's Block Mid-Way Through And Consider Giving Up Now

10. Your Character Has a Life Crisis Because You're Having a Life Crisis

11. You Can't Remember What Your Story Is Even About So You Start To Make Up New Characters And Plots

12. You Eventually Pick Yourself Up And Catch Up On Word Count

Week Four: Panic

13. You Realize Your Story Isn't So Bad After All And You Can Do This

14. You Let Thanksgiving Food And Family Distract You From Writing

15. You Realize You Only Have A Few Days To Finish And Panic More Than You Ever Knew Was Possible

16. You Stay Up Until Midnight Cramming In The Last Few Words Before Hitting The 50K Mark And Then Cry And Sleep At The Same Time

After you've slept for a few days and fully recovered, make sure to reward yourself. Buy a piece of pie or treat yourself to a fun night out with friends. You finished writing your novel, and you did an amazing job! Now: On to the editing.

Images: Albert Mock/flickr; Giphy (18)