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Word crawl/This Ends Soon Crawl

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You joined NaNoWriMo because you wanted to write 50,000 words in a month. It seemed easy in the beginning. Then, somewhere during the middle, you realized life happens: you lose motivation, school is piling on the homework, and somewhere in the distance, your work ethic is slipping away.

Yet, you realize, your pride is too high to lose. Not now, not when everyone around you is crossing the finish line. It's time you prove to the world that you're not just another quitter, that you're way better than everyone else because you wrote a novel in 30 days and they didn't. 


1. No one wants to start writing 10k words right away. Crack your knuckles, let out a breath, and sit down at your desk. Jog a gentle 100 words as you get back into the groove of where your story is (let's face it, you haven't done this in a while), and end your sprint mid-sentence.

2. Once you're done with that, go for a few stretches. Write the next two paragraphs. 

3. Final warm-up: select one song from your favorite writing playlist and write for its entire duration as if you were going on a casual run on the street and were pushing yourself not to stop until, say, you reach the next intersection.


1. You never want to go all out on your first lap (as you can see, this world crawl is paralleling a race. You're running. As if that wasn't a big enough of a hint: this is going to be brutal) so take it easy. This doesn't mean slack off. Position yourself in the middle of all the other races and sprint for 7 minutes and 2 seconds.

If you get less than 403 words, pick up the pace and write nonstop until you reach the next a thousand and a half.

2. Mama didn't raise no dehydrated raisin just waiting to drop out of the race in the blazing sun, so take a brief swig of water. By brief, I mean keep drinking for five minutes. Once that's done, get ready to pick up the pace again: you have 20 minutes to get 1,000 words. You're slowly falling behind and I'm not going to take it easy on you.

3. That was fun! Except, all that momentum and speed caused your shoelace to untie. You fall and collapse and scrape your knee and babies are crying and you're screaming and someone from the stands is wailing and in the distance you hear explosions, and yes, like you feared, there I am: I am standing in the crowd, yelling at you to get up as fast as you can and do 500 words in 5 minutes. There is terror in your eyes, but you're not weak, are you?

4. If you completely just bombed that, walk it out for 50 words while you think about what you can do to better your form, then sprint 250 words to make up for it. If you were right on task, keep a slow pace and try a thirty minute sprint. Go as slow as you want, but don't stop. Don't overwork yourself either. As soon as the other racers catch up, we'll be going at it again.

5. To close out the first third of the race, do a fifty headed hydra. As in, picture something gruesome with fifty heads is chasing you.


1. Take an hour and push through with as many words as you can, again without stopping. Your legs are burning up by now, and each step feels weak. You're lacking quality, and you know it, but guess what--you didn't have to be in this position, and yet you are, because you are the one that signed up for NaNoWriMo. Don't tell me that there's no point to it, because there is. Instead of complaining, you need to use that valuable time to keep going. At this point, you're writing just to get ahead. Quantity over quality hurts, but it's better to be caught up than have nothing at all to edit in a few months.

2. Stop. Reflect on what you've done so far. We all know the rule: never ever reread. Well, guess what? Time to reread. Complain all you want, but I want you to read all those cringe-worthy lines of garbage that you just wrote. Does that hurt? Does that make you want to quit? Are you tempted to close out of the document right now? Don't. Instead, learn your lesson to never do this again.

3. Shake off your inner disappointment in yourself, wipe away those tears, grind your teeth, and get ready to write some more crap as you try to catch up to those running in the front yet again. Aim for 3.5k in 45 minutes. 45 minutes is up and you're still not there? No excuse not to finish that 3.5k. In fact, punish yourself with an extra 100 words. 


1. Face it, you don't even want to win anymore. You want to drop out. But I want you to win. Take a final sprint of at least 500 words. You've been doing this crawl all day, I know it. Suck it up, punk, and deal with it. You owe me. Most of all, you owe yourself. Don't let all that time spent be for nothing and finish off strong.


1. If you've reached this point, congratulations. Write a final celebratory paragraph as the crowd at the finish line cheers your name. 

2. You see me approaching you just as you were soaking all of this in. Your heart rate increases--is that even possible at this point??--but then you realize I'm not here to make you write anymore. I pull you in and give you a tight hug, crying as I pat your back the way a dad pats his son's back when the son, the quarterback of his high school football team, scores the winning touchdown. I'm so proud of you, kid. 

3. In the midst of this hug, however, you realize it's too good to be true. I'm letting you off way to easy. This can't possibly be the end. Haha. You're right. I hope to see you run this same race tomorrow, nerd.