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Participant Pep Talk from Violet

You're at the top of the mountain. Right at the tip, scary depths in front of you. Your story has been chugging up the mountain this month, along tracks you may have planned already or maybe that you built as you went.

Now you're at the peak, staring down at the depths and set to dive. After everything you've built up, you should be ready for the plunge—the glide down the mountain, the very climax of your hard work this month.

We're all getting there. Maybe we're there already, and we're biting our lips staring at the depths that lay ahead. Or maybe we're about to get there, and we're not sure we're ready (I can assure you: neither am I.)

I don't think anyone's ever ready for the plunge. That skyrocket swoop down the mountain of terror, thanks to all your hard work—thanks to every character you've met, every relationship you've mended (or maybe, torn apart), every movement your characters made from the very start, every single everything, leading up to now.

I don't know about you, but I've always found it terrifying.

The climax of the story? Hoping that everything you laid out before you sends you in the right direction? That the path you've lovingly paved will lead you to the right point at the tip of the mountain, in order for a perfect plunge down the other side?

Inner editors are, I'm sure, watching intently. Probably armed with binoculars, watching your every move and telling you just how ridiculous you are to be doing this.

It's easy to doubt everything you've set out before you. It'd be easy to give up. No one had to climb this novel of a mountain anyway, right?

That's the thing: you did.

This scary, looming mountain that you might have been a little wary of climbing? You're meant to climb it.

I like to think of stories as mystical lands, planets with infinite mountains to climb. Magical mountains that readers will eventually climb themselves, appreciating your hard work as they make the trek, then plunging down in a swing of excitement, thrilled for what's on the other side.

In that mystical land of mountains for authors to climb, there was a mountain with your name on it. The secret that your inner editor doesn't want you to know is that this is a story you were meant to write. That your name was embedded into the mountain, waiting for you to conquer it. And only you can conquer this mountain—this is your mountain, and there will never be another like it.

It's terrifying. I know it is. But you're meant to be here now. You're meant to do this messy, brilliant, amazing thing: write a novel. You're meant to get to the other side.

And that's why your inner editor is crying at you: because he knows that, too. But he doesn't want you to realise.

You, my friend, can get down the mountain. It won't be perfect—no story is perfect. But it will be amazing, and it will be something that only you can do. If you don't take this plunge, no one will ever know the amazing story you've been pouring your heart and soul into.

Trust the fact that if you're here now, if you've gotten this far, then it's meant to be.

Take a deep breath, plug in headphones to block out your inner editor's balking, close your eyes, and plunge. You can do it.

Because, my friend, no one else can. Only you can do this, and I promise it'll be worth it.

Take a ride into the beautiful depths of the unknown.

No matter how scary it is, how hard it might feel, like you're slowly trudging through endless sludge, let me tell you: the fact that you're doing this amazing thing at all is absolutely brilliant. And I'm rooting you on.

I believe in you. Conquer the mountain.

Violet is a seventeen-year-old pantsing fangirl, equipped with a big heart and a love for positivity, with her cat Ollie at her side (who stands in for her as he is far more photogenic.) NaNoWriMo 2017 is her 6th year participating in the program, and she hasn't regretted a single word. Aside from writing, she has a soft spot for K-Pop, blogging on her new blog, spreading kindness, and telling puns. Did you hear about the frog's car? It got toad. 

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