Wednesday was the last official day of NaNoWriMo. Did you get as far as you wanted? I didn’t. But that’s not the end of the story.

Writing is a journey, and sometimes a story takes us on detours. Eighteen months ago, I thought I’d finished my first novel, so I found an editor and discovered I had finished a rough first draft. The story had more to say. I had more work to do. I’m glad I didn’t give up on the process.

Sometimes it’s hard to measure our progress as writers. We type away early in the morning or late at night, usually by ourselves. We often don’t get as many words on the page as we hoped, but that doesn’t mean our work is futile. I’ve found that sometimes my fingers need to stop typing so my mind has time to catch up with the plot, or the character, or the setting I’m trying to create. I must allow myself time to think.

We need others to help us see our progress. I have an editor/writing coach who helps me notice and celebrate milestones along the way. My wife is also a great cheerleader. Find your people—those who will encourage you, challenge you, and remind you that progress isn’t always measured in word count.

Celebrate your progress during NaNoWriMo. Share it with me and others in the comments below so we can cheer you on.

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